Thursday, November 19, 2009

New blog site

Sorry about the confusion. I made the switch earlier this year. this is it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lent - Giving up Ignorance

Lent starts in a week.


Different denominations celebrate or observe Lent in a variety of ways. As I was growing up, my parents took (often dragged) my sister and I to church. I never remembered observing lent, and I am not sure if I ever have. This year, however, that is going to change.


Traditionally, the 40 days of lent represents the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by the devil at the beginning of His public ministry. Why they chose to have it be the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday, I don’t really know, but I am sure there is some tradition that many people have fought and died over. Lent is a tradition. Some argue that it is a pointless tradition not based in the Bible at all. During Lent, observers give up, or fast something that they are generally accustomed to, some take it to the point of fasting everything but liquids.


Even the number 40 has significance in the Bible. Not only is it the number of days that Jesus fasted in the wilderness, but it is a number repeated throughout the Old Testament. Moses spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai meeting with the Lord, then spent 40 years in the Sinai Desert with the Israelites. God made it rain on the earth for 40 days during Noah’s time. Elijah’s walk to Mt. Horeb took 40 days and 40 nights. It’s also the number of days God gave to Ninevah to repent of their sins. People even believe that Jesus spent 40 hours in the grave from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.


This year, I made the decision to observe Lent. It may be the first time that I have, but I have recently had this urgency to do so. I want to invite you to going with me this season to observe it. I’m not going to ask you to give up food, or sugar, or alcohol, or any dietary “fast”.

I am going to invite you to give up something that all of us are accustomed to - Ignorance. We are all guilty of omitting from our minds many of the issues that are close to God’s heart. Jesus spent 40 days resisting the devil’s plans for His life and I want to spend the next 40 days resisting the devil’s plans for this world.


I am committing to spend only 15 minutes every day of Lent to researching and praying about issues such as Human Trafficking, HIV/AIDS, Orphans, Foster Children, the treatment of Widows, Poverty, Racism, and Violence and telling people about it. 15 minutes a day adds up to 10 hours over the course of 40 days. I firmly believe that with these 15 minutes a day, God can break our hearts for issue of injustice in the world, and use us to do something significant. I am hoping that this will create a hunger to know, learn and share even more.


There are so many evils that we have the power to do something about. Ignorance is our greatest enemy because it is so easy to be unaware of what is really going on, even in our own cities and countries. To help combat this ignorance, I am willing to send a copy of the 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless Booklet to each family that responds and commits to spending 15 minutes a day in research, prayer, and awareness.



When Jesus laid out His mission statement in Luke 4, He proclaimed that the Spirit of God was on Him to bring the Good News to the poor, proclaim that the captives will be released, the blind will see, the oppressed will go free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. As followers of Christ, this is our mission too, and if you aren’t a follower of Christ, this is what being a Christian is truly about.


Give up Ignorance for Lent. If you would like to commit 15 minutes a day, either comment on the blog or email me at john.vicory@gmail.com and I will be in touch on where to research and how to get the copy of the 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless Booklet to you as quickly as possible.I have seen the way that people's lives are transformed through the eye-opening experience going through this book can be. I don't want you to miss out.


Lent starts in a week from today (next Wednesday), so let me know!

In Christ, who gave everything.

John Vicory

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Videos!

A few years ago, a good friend of mine, Alex Fung and I went to St. Ameria's for the first time. We were looking for a way to get involved in the community around us in Jinja, Uganda, but what we found changed our lives. We returned many times and helped establish a way for people across the world to be involved in the lives of these children who have been orphaned due to HIV, War, Violence, and the vicious cycle of poverty.
Recently, Alex sent me some of the video footage that he was able to capture on a couple of the visits. Here is a brief history of the orphanage, a personal story from Edith, one of the directors, and a video of the Echo Children's Choir of St. Ameria's. It is a song that has brought me to tears.








Next is a new video from the people at These Numbers Have Faces. I helped them out a very little bit about a year ago when I was in South Africa. I was deeply impacted by meeting Ace, Anda, and Michael. The work that These Numbers is doing there is powerful and effective. They are currently sopporting 3 students from the township of Gugulethu to go to school. Check out the video and see what they are up to! Here is their website as well. www.thesenumbers.com