Recently, at our church, we heard a presentation by Frank La Mere, an Indian activist. He shared the story of Pine Ridge Reservation and the effect of alcoholism on the population there. The Pine Ridge Reservation, whose boundary ends at the South Dakota-Nebraska state line, has had a policy prohibiting the sale of alcohol for over a century. But alcoholic beverages can be sold in Whiteclay, a town of 12 people. And that small town includes three convenience stores that sell an estimated 11,000 large cans of malt liquor on a daily basis, mainly to the native population. Based on the efforts of Frank La Mere and others, the laws were finally changed, and the convenience stores closed.
After the presentation, I had the opportunity to speak with Frank. I found Frank to be a fascinating individual with many profound insights into life that left me thinking. Frank said that today’s church spends much of their time wringing their hands over problems in society. But, then they go home and never do anything about the issue. He went on to say that he believed God called each of us to action to help change the world. His words resonated with me. So let me ask, are we a hand wringer or a difference maker?
Psalm 82:3 “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.”
God endowed each of us with gifts. He gifted us so that we could spread the Gospel and help those in need. Those gifts were not intended to benefit us only personally. When we use these talents for God’s purposes, we can change the world for the better. Could we end hunger in the world? Is it possible for us to end poverty? What can one person do to make a difference? We cannot do these things alone, but with God, all things are possible.
Matthew 17:20 “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Frank La Mere saw a massive problem within his community. Instead of wringing his hands over it, Frank decided he could make a difference. Using his gifts of words, he changed a problem that seemed impossible. Frank allowed God to move his heart to action and then followed God into action. You can learn more about Frank’s work in the movie “Sober Indian, Dangerous Indian.” Frank continues to speak out for Native Americans affected by alcoholism.
We are all called into action for the glory of Christ but how do we begin? Here are some ideas to get started:
- Christians must take actions – not just hand-wringing. Find a cause to support and participate in their steps to change it.
- Speak out – tell others about the problem to spread the word. Invite others to join you in the fight.
- Search out organizations and offer your support.
- Do everything with the love of Christ.
We have God on our side and He has equipped us – now go change the world for Him.
Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”