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Hope for the Hopeless

Published on August 14, 2018 by Olivia Thompson

Fighting for justice means living in righteousness—a lifestyle of selflessness, of elevating other’s needs above your own, whether or not anyone is watching. As I’ve learned from Micah’s teaching, all poverty comes from social injustice, and all injustice comes from unrighteousness. The cure for poverty, disease, illiteracy, and oppression is not a Band-Aid of redistributing money, but true transformation in the hearts of individuals through Jesus Christ. When God chose to save the world, he didn’t send a check; he sent his Son. Only through Christ’s redemptive transformation can spiritual emptiness be replaced with righteousness and the giants of social injustice be slain.

Over the last three months, God has brought me face to face with these giants of injustice through my relationship with a certain widow named Mary. When I met her, she was dying of Tuberculosis and AIDS. Her caretakers were her elderly mother, who was also sick, and her three young children. With no income, they could only rely on the generosity of those around them for their daily food. Though Mary’s situation seemed hopeless, somehow God saw fit for our paths to cross at such a time that my friends and I could visit her every week, provide a few meals and necessities for her family, sing to her and pray with her the day she went home to be with the Lord, and comfort her family at her burial our last weekend in Zambia. I don’t know why God didn’t answer our prayers by healing Mary’s physical body, but I do believe he’s bringing new hope into her household. The last few weeks we visited Mary, some teenagers from the community joined us, translating for us and praying alongside us. Although my time in Zambia and Mary’s time on earth has run out, God is raising up new ambassadors of the Gospel in this place. Following our example, they will be the ones to confront the injustices in Choma by visiting the sick, loving the poor and the oppressed, and putting the needs of others above their own.

Injustice doesn’t just exist in the compounds of Choma, Zambia. Injustice exists everywhere there is unrighteousness, sin, and relational brokenness. As I return to the United States, I know God has more work to do through me. The spiritual emptiness in my own community needs Jesus’ transformation just as much as any other community does. As each of us returns to our communities, may God continue to transform us into his hope on earth.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Thompson – 2018 Immersion Intern