When I heard about The Justice Conference last fall, I knew I had to go. (This was even before I had the idea for my 2012 experiment.) I bury my head in the sand way too often. I hoped the conference would provide an education about the injustice in our world, and more importantly, give me ideas on how I could help.
My sister and I attended the conference together and met up with the pastor and worship leader from my church, Kaleo. Sis and I took advantage of the low morning crowds and toured the exhibit hall. You know how at conferences people swarm the exhibits hoping for good deals and free swag? We found no swag.
The exhibitors at The Justice Conference didn’t give out free t-shirts or tote bags. They came to pass out information on whatever hurting part of the world they represented. Feed the hungry, sponsor a poor child, save girls from sex trafficking, build wells for clean water, and more, and more, and more.
Walking down isle after isle, I began to feel overwhelmed. I wanted to give my money to the Cambodian 11-year-old rescued from sex slavery, but I also wanted to give my money to build a well so communities could drink disease-free water. And really, shouldn’t I be able to donate just $25 a month to sponsor a child in Columbia? Or 2 children? Or 10?
“Here!” I wanted to shout, “Take all I have!”
Then apathy set in. If I couldn’t help everyone, why help anyone?
|Photo of exhibits from The Justice Conference Facebook page|
Friday night, the main conference kicked off with speaker, Ken Wytsma. Wytsma is lead pastor of Antioch Church, president of Kilns College, and founder of The Justice Conference. He spoke of the relationship between “righteousness” and “justice” and how Biblically, they go hand in hand.
Wytsma spent the next 45 minutes pressing conference attendees on what it meant to be a Christian and wondering what the world would be if the church displayed courageousness and actively pursued God’s will. He warned that talking about the world’s injustice for the next day and a half, our hearts would be heavy.
Day and a half? I couldn’t even get through the exhibit hall.
“Seeds will be planted this weekend,” Wytsma continued, “and those seeds may get crushed. But unless the seed gets crushed, nothing can grow from it.”
This is why I needed to be at The Justice Conference. I need to be crushed. And when I think I am as crushed as I can be, I need to be smashed even further. Because there are kids right now who are not eating. There are families dying of malaria because they can’t buy a mosquito net. There is a girl being raped right now because someone purchased/stole her to do a specific job.
Last weekend, I began to see the possibilities in how God might use me in justice.
Sandy Hopenrath says
Andee, you're doing an awesome job of spreading your fire for Justice. SO often, I know, that when I go to a conference and try to convey the impact it had on my, I fall short. My words usually seems so anemic compared to what I'm feeling. BUT through your words I AM feeling this through you. I can't wait to see what becomes of this fire!