#88 Project for Awesome 2015 - IOCC
Love isn't simply something to talk about, it's something to live. Help us support IOCC in this year's Project for Awesome, and live the Gospel. Together, we can make the world a more awesome place.
1) Why is what IOCC does very important?
2) Why should we care about people in other countries?
3) What are some ways we can help those people?
Hey everybody, this is Steve and love needs to be something we live. After two years and almost ninety episodes of "Be the Bee", I've talked an awful lot about all sorts of topics. As much as I love reflecting on the beauty of the Gospel and talking about the Love of Christ, it feels empty when we talk and don't do anything more. Especially when we talk about loving our neighbors and don't follow through. That's why we were so honored to participate in the "Project for Awesome" last year and help raise awareness about FOCUS North America.
This year, we're honored to help out our friends at IOCC and ask you to join us in not simply talking about love, but actually living it. International Orthodox Christian Charities, or IOCC, is a fantastic organization committed to truly living the Gospel by offering emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide without discrimination. Since it was founded in 1992, IOCC has distributed over $500 million to families and communities in over fifty countries around the world. Ninety two cents of every dollar they raise goes directly to those in need. They've been efficiently and effectively helping people for almost twenty five and have developed an incredible reputation around the world, earning a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.
IOCC has done great work here in the United States, helping to repair or rebuild over 200 homes damaged by natural disasters in the past decade. And since 2007, they supported literacy for children in over 20 states, distributing almost $42 million in new school textbooks. As incredible as all that work is, IOCC's international presence may be even more amazing. They're on the front line in Greece, helping people in the midst of the terrible financial crisis. They're building resilient communities worn-torn Kosovo. They're helping eradicate Podoconiosis, a crippling foot condition in Ethiopia. And out of all the work that they're doing, from Greece to Serbia, to the west banked Ethiopia, I want to focus especially on the great work that IOCC is doing in Syria.
Because the humanitarian disaster in Syria is on a truly massive scale and IOCC's response tells you everything you need to know about their strength, impact and Christ-centered love. In Syria alone, more than 13.5 million people are currently in need of assistance. And of those, almost 7.6 million people are displace in their own country, that's 7.6 million people who can't go home. If you want to understand a bit more about the refugee crisis, John Green has a great video on the topic. Link's in the dooblydoo. Since March 2012, IOCC has provided humanitarian relief for 3.3 million Syrian people. Both those displaced in Syria and those who are living as refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Armenia, Greece and Serbia. They're offering desperately needed emergency aid, distributing clothing and food and hygiene kits and shoes and bedding and diapers. All the things people need to survive.
They're providing shelter, by repairing structures and offering rent assistance. They're covering costs for essential medicines, newborn deliveries, and even minor surgeries. They're trying to ensure that kids have access to education by providing school uniforms and supplies, tuition support, and helping to rehabilitate damaged schools. And, through their cash reward program, IOCC is offering jobs to displaced people, providing families with much needed income. They're empowering people to help rebuild schools and shelters, clean up public spaces, provide school children with uniforms, and knit winter clothes for infants.
In Matthew, Chapter 25, Christ lays out in pretty blunt terms, what it means to truly follow Him, to truly live the Gospel. If our love doesn't manifest itself in the way we live our lives, then our love is simply theoretical, and our belief in God, merely academic. So the question for us is, what do we do when we encounter someone who's hungry? Someone who's thirsty? Someone who's sick or in prison? Naked or alone? What is our response to suffering? Is it love or is it the opposite? And no, I don't think the opposite of love is hate. The opposite of love is indifference, which leads to us doing nothing. Instead, let's do something awesome!
So please, help us raise awareness about IOCC, please vote for IOCC in this years "Project for Awesome" and maybe even consider becoming a donor. And together, let's help the make the world a more awesome place. So let's be the bee, and live the love we preach. Be the Bee and Live Orthodoxy. Remember to like and subscribe and share. I'll see you all next week. Thanks to our supporters on Patreon who helped make this episode possible! To support the creation of more Orthodox Christian content, please visit Patreon.com/y2am.
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