Monday, 10 November 2014
Neil Gaiman & charity
As the son of a minister, I've been around the church all my life. My parents are also missionaries, my father regularly travelling to Eastern Europe long before the iron curtain fell. I've accompanied them on some of these trips, so have a feeling for what it can be like.
Whenever someone was taken on a mission trip for the first time, there would be an "Oh" moment - a spark of realisation about how others in the world live/survive. We may hear the stories and see the news and think we have understood the suffering that others go through, but (generally) it is only when we see first hand that it really hits home. That close encounter usually has quite the impact.
I would heartily recommend you go help a charity or mission organisation overseas if you get the opportunity - just once. To truly understand what other humans go through in countries less fortunate than ours (not that we don't have our own problems, of course), which can be properly understood through a first hand experience. Helping those people in whatever way you can, no matter how small.
This transition from shock to 'let's do something' has recently been experienced and captured by Neil Gaiman, who has released a video in support of UNHCR. Watch it, find a charity or mission to support (UNHCR or not - there are many to choose from, both locally and internationally) & consider helping in a more practical way. Money is obviously very important in keeping the wheels of charity turning, but so is the physical involvement of its supporters.