Over the last year or so I’ve become incredibly impressed by the tireless efforts of one person who has taken two causes by the scruff of the neck and harnessed social media to push the issues onto individual agendas.
Lance Laifer has championed the causes of malaria and pneumonia both on and off line with remarkable consequences. The ‘March of Washingtons’, for example, has seen $85k donated (although this is by no means just about facebook) so far whilst thousands of people have joined the Facebook groups, causes and events.
And as far as any of that is concerned I’m not aware of his being spurred on by anything other than the fact that at least 300000000 (three hundred million) people will contract malaria or 4000000 (four million) will die from pneumonia this year.
Reason enough I think you’ll agree.
This Saturday just gone was World Malaria Day and as a small way of participating and showing support and solidarity it was suggested that people blackout their Facebook and Twitter profiles. Not requiring anything more than people taking 5 minutes to change their profile pic.
I’ve been annoying people by inviting them to causes, groups and events as well as giving my ‘Status for Humanity’. Unfortunately, only a handful bothered to do anything about it.
Understandably not everyone checks their social media every day but at a weekend the vast majority will at some point.
It’s disappointing that more people didn’t join in, not because people don’t care of that I’m sure but because it’s not a priority, because after all it’s only something on Facebook or Twitter and for a number of my friends I’m not really bothered.
The problem I have is with the Christians.
There isn’t an excuse for not being involved with these campaigns. there’s nothing anyone could say to me that would lessen the importance of raising awareness and helping to combat diseases that cripple the poorest in the world. Nothing.
Fortunately global attention is getting to grips with Malaria, it’s getting the kind of funding that could start to make real inroads. The global economics shouldn’t change that (check globalrichlist.com to see how plentiful our lives are) so maybe lives will start to be saved.
So the grassroots focus is switching to pneumonia. When I was invited to the cause it was a no-brainer to join. Pneumonia is a big deal. Bigger than I had registered. Just visit worldpneumoniaday.org to see. So I looked at my friends and I saw some influential people, other Christians with time and resources, passion and compassion and cherry picked the people I invited.
The response has been rubbish.
This is not an invite to play Attack, it’s not getting you to see which fictional character you’re most like, nor is it even an invitation for any sort of financial or physical commitment.
It’s an invitation to stand shoulder to shoulder with people in need. Bluntly, that’s why there’s the church. That’s why God sent His only son. That’s why we are involved as a body. To roll up our sleeves and see people’s lives transformed. And to take a lead that shows the world the incredible love of God and the power of grace.
For sure there’s an incredible amount of prayer going on but far more often than not God is going to use people to answer them. People like Lance who put the Body of Christ to shame. Is ignoring online campaigning ok? Is ignoring non-church instigated action an acceptable apathy?
I don’t think so…