Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blanket and a Bible

Recently I was listening to a Piper sermon and heard him reference something called The Voice of the Martyrs. Curious, I checked it out and found that they are an international, nondenominatinal organization that helps persecuted Christians and is committed to educating the world about their sufferings as well as fulfill the Great Commission. So I signed up for their weekly email updates to know how I could pray for the persecuted Christians. Sometimes I do pray for them when I get the email...sometimes, sadly, I say I'll come back to it and then don't. I forgot that by signing up I would also receive the free newsletter in the mail. After pulling it out with a bunch of smaller fliers, I was kind of shocked at the picture I saw on the cover. There's one man sitting in rubble who looks as if he's been beaten, blood dripping from his face, being held by another guy who is catching the blood on a towel. It was obvious that for this edition they weren't going for the cheesy, feel-good Christian cover.

As I browsed through the newsletter and fliers, one in particular caught my eye. There was a Sudanese boy on the front, wrapped in a white blanket. The caption beside him read: "If this were Jesus, would you give Him your blanket?"
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketOn the inside were three stories of Christian Sudanese young people who had been persecuted by Islamic soldiers because of their faith. It was hard seeing their pictures- one was burned from head to toe. One had huge scars across her chest. One had been nailed to a board and left to die. My first instinct was to look away. That uneasy feeling was creeping up. But then I felt compelled by the Spirit to look again. To see their faces. To know their names. I felt like the Spirit was reminding me that this is reality. Things like this are happening everyday around the world whether I wanted to know it or not. And I really felt like I needed to take action. I know I can't change the world, but I want to do something. And that's where the catchy phrase "blanket and a bible" comes in.

VOM has been in Sudan for the last ten years, delivering medical care, Sudan Life Packs, Scripture and pastoral training. Their current outreach is asking American Christians to send good quality, new or used blankets along with $2.00 (per blanket) -that covers the cost of shipping and an illustrated Bible storybook that will be delivered with each blanket. For the Sudanese, a simple blanket means a good night's rest. A means of shade during the day. A way to carry an infant or their few possessions. At first, I was just going to ask my friends and family if they'd donate, but Josh encouraged me to include our blogging family too. If you'd like to contribute, you can do one of two things:
1) send me an email at blanketsforsudan@gmail.com and I'll let you know how you can get it to me.
or
2) send it directly to VOM at:
VOM- Blankets of Love
510 West Adeline
Bartlesville, OK 74003 (don't forget to include $2 per blanket)

This is a great opportunity to make a difference, but please don't feel guilted into it. And please remember to be praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing persecution because of their faith.

Here's a couple of links where you can find out more on:
the genocide in Darfur (a region of Sudan)
Blanket and a Bible Outreach
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

17 comments:

LeRay said...

Hey Natalie! Count on us to have a blanket and 2 bucks (or more) for you when you come on the 27th. Thanks for sharing this.

The Thurmonds said...

hi natalie...
my name is emily and i go to the village. i came across your blog about a week ago when i was on christa mason's blog. i just read what you wrote about blanket and a bible and i would love to help. how can i get a blanket and the $2 to you? my husband and i go to the 5:00 service on sat night. do you guys ever go to that one? if not let me know some other way to get it to you. i'm off on thurs and friday so i can meet you or bring it to you anytime then. (by the way... i love your family's blog! you do a great job capturing who your family really is!) talk to you later!

olivia and henry said...

natalie, this is awesome. i am so encouraged by you! thank you for letting us know about this. just last night, i went through all clothes/blankets that we have for the kids, as we are trying to pack up our house to move...i have several blankets that i would love to give to these babies/children! count on me for 3 or more blankets, and the money to go with it. let's get together soon!
angie

Jeffie said...

hey nat, we'll definitely want to help. let's plan a time to catch up soon and i'll get the blanket/$ to you then. love you and thanks for sharing this!

Jeffie said...

hey nat, we'll definitely want to help. let's plan a time to catch up soon and i'll get the blanket/$ to you then. love you and thanks for sharing this!

Christian and Erin said...

Thank you so much for sharing. Christian and I have been talking about the persecuted church and how we could find out about different things that are going on around the world. We would love to give you some blankets, we will be gone for the next 2 weeks but we will get them to you before the end of August.

Erin

The Thurmonds said...

hey natalie, yes i do know the area that the church offices are in but i'm not sure which building it is- a b or c? i will drop off the blanket and money on thurs or fri.

luke baublet said...

hey natalie.

i'm glad to see that another person has found out about voice of the martyrs, more people need to be aware of whats going on.

amanda and i will see what we can do to help with the blankets.

Isaac, Kim & Landen said...

We will definitely help. Thank you for sharing!

Boy & Girl said...

natalie,

i just happened to come across you blog from a blog and WOW thank you so much for sharing this with us. I'd love help!

thosetonnes said...

It was wondeful to see you as well. You and Lily! Maybe we will run into each other more. I have been subscribing to VOM for awhile, and I am not good at praying either, you are not alone.

thosetonnes said...

and I would love to get you a blanket. I will stop by Target or Walmart soon and pick one up!

lauren w said...

Yes. I have figured it out. We will be getting a blanket to you shortly. Had fun last night (still full, geeze...)!

Aina said...

Nat, Your compassion is so encouraging and has reminded me to pursue the things that God has laid on my heart. It's awesome that God can use this to make a difference in the life of a child. Caleb and I will be a part of this for sure.

philip said...

my parents live in bartlesville. i don't know when i'll be up there next, but if you wanted to keep collecting but didn't want to ship them, i could take them up to them next time i'm up that way. just something to keep in mind. great idea, neat organization.

Lindsey Brittain said...

For sure I'll get you a blanket!

Kristyn said...

As we were unpacking the car today I found the blankets I had packed in the back of the trunk!! I can't believe I was there all week and never left them at your house! What was I thinking??...anyways, I'll try again next week ;)