[HOPE]

Usually I don’t do a whole lot of writing on this blog…but I feel that this needs to be said.

I have been studying International Development for the past four years at UCLA and am about to graduate this June. Recently I have been reflecting back on what I’ve learned these past four years – what lessons have I really retained from my academic experience that I can take into the world with me? The answer I came to nearly brought me to tears: that there is no answer.

Thinking back on my classes, I’ve learned countless approaches to eradicating poverty – maybe we should give more monetary foreign aid to developing countries, maybe we should invest more in microfinance, maybe we need to build more schools and improve levels of education, maybe we need to eliminate government corruption, maybe we should focus on providing clean water, maybe we need better governance, maybe we need more orphanages, maybe we should inject economic stimulus, maybe we should promote free trade, maybe we should improve infrastructure…it’s a never-ending list.

I don’t know what the answer is. I am left speechless in a world full of fellow humans beings who are suffering. And I don't mean migraines. 

I mean the girls who are less than half my age who are being raped every day.
I mean the children who have never known the loving touch of another human being.
I mean the parents who will never be able to rest that their children will be well fed.
I mean the babies who are literally thrown away because they are unwanted.
I mean the families who are torn apart because of atrocious wars.
I mean the women who are sold into sex trafficking because there is no one to stand up for them.
I mean the young boys who have been brainwashed to believe that violence is the only answer.

Another never-ending list.

There are literally millions of my brothers and sisters around the world living in such deep suffering, pain, injustice, and hopelessness – and here I sit, blessed beyond belief. Speechless as to what the answer is.

I want so badly want to help, but I am just one person. What can I do? 

What hope is there in a world that has become so numb to injustice and is so quick to turn a blind eye in favor of comfort and ease and pleasure? I am so guilty of becoming numb to the problem, telling myself that someone else will do it because I am too overwhelmed. 

But this is what keeps me going: Even when I am speechless, I do not serve a God who is silent. 

“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”
 Isaiah 41:16

Unlike myself, the Lord does not turn a blind eye to the poor. He cares deeply for each one of them as precious children, loved and created in His image. No life goes unnoticed by Him. He sent His son to die to save each one of us, all saved by grace. 

So when I start reflecting on how we can make a change, how we can possibly make a difference in the world, I hold fast to the promise there is hope. 

Hope not in a person or an ideal, but in Jesus. Hope in eternal life where there will be no more tears or suffering. And for now, I am commanded. Not asked or encouraged, but commanded to love and to serve my fellow brothers and sisters as I have been loved. 

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”  
1 John 3:17
This is not meant to be a guilt trip. But friends, I encourage you - don't turn a blind eye to injustice. Don't tell yourself that someone else will do it. Go beyond just copying and pasting a link on your Facebook...and get up and do something! Or support those who are. We have been commanded by our Creator to bring a voice to the voiceless, to stand up in the face of injustice, and most importantly to love others as we have been loved. 
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? –Isaiah 58:6-7

Much love <3