So, the ALS ice bucket challenge is all the rage right now. I have intentionally refrained from posting or commenting on anyone’s post for fear of being called out. Well, my dad challenged me and my siblings (thanks a lot dad!) and as the challenge goes, “you’ve got 24 hours.” I’m supposed to accept the challenge and post my own video dumping a bucket of ice water on myself or I can give to the ALS Association (or both!). As of August 22nd, over $50 million dollars in donations had been given to the ALS Association: http://time.com/3159673/als-ice-bucket-challenge-donations/
I celebrate the awareness that has been raised and the generosity of so many. However, I have felt unsettled every time I see another video on my news feed. Throughout much of the United States and around the world, we have heard about drought conditions and water shortages all summer long. I recently saw a picture on Facebook of a group of individuals walking with buckets on their heads to retrieve water with the caption: “Ice bucket challenge? You know how far I had to walk to get this?”
I cannot help but think about my friends in Ghana and what they might think about all of this? If you have read my blog before, you no doubt have read about my dear friend Vincent Asamoah. Vincent and his family are some of my favorite people in all the world. They truly live out what they say they believe. As a result of God’s calling upon their family and the passion God placed in the depths of Vincent’s soul, Vincent stepped out in faith, resigned from a job that paid the bills but took him away from his calling and passion, and went to work full-time as a completely 100% fund raised staff member through Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Vincent and his family knew Shoot 4 Life Ministries was what God was calling them to do. They knew this would require sacrifice and change.
Vincent had to give up the vehicle his former job provided him. They had to move to a more affordable housing situation. Unfortunately, landlords in Ghana are often greedy and corrupt. As a result, the most affordable housing Vincent and his family could afford does not have running water.
My dear friend Vincent and his family have lived without running water for over a year now. But this is not what Vincent would want you to know. This is a small inconvenience for the beauty and Good News of the Gospel of the Way of Christ.
Vincent would want you to know that over the last year, Shoot 4 Life Ministries and their ministry partners have shared the love of Christ with THOUSANDS of children through sport of basketball. Shoot 4 Life Ministries demonstrates to and teaches children about the Way and Love of Christ, respect and love for one another through the sport of basketball, and provides a meal and ice cold water to children who attend basketball camp.
I am going to use my pastoral voice and authority to re-frame the challenge I have received. I support Vincent and Shoot 4 Life Ministries on a monthly basis but I am going to give an additional gift to Vincent and I challenge YOU to do the same. I challenge you to give a one time gift or better yet, to join in and support Vincent on a monthly basis. You can give to Vincent here: https://my.fca.org/3742-asamoah-vincent.aspx
There are many worthy causes to give to and to challenge people to learn more about. I challenge you to support the work of God in Ghana through Vincent Asamoah, his family, and his team. I challenge you to learn more about the mission of God in Ghana and how Shoot 4 Life Ministries seeks to join in with what God is doing. Learn more about Shoot 4 Life Ministries here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SHOOT-4-LIFE-MINISTRIES/270228426354555
As an aside, I have not posted on this blog recently, however, Heather and I have both been active writing this summer. Please feel free to check out things we have written published elsewhere. Enjoy!
Is there room at the table? https://www.facebook.com/notes/wilshire-baptist-church/is-there-room-at-the-table/10154413866275317
Here are two posts Heather had published on a larger scale:
Until the Lion Has Its Historian, the Hunter Will Always Be the Hero: http://nacsw.org/blog/2014/until-the-lion-has-its-historian-the-hunter-will-always-be-the-hero/