In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.1                                  back to home                        David Timms

Welcome to a New Year

This marks the first "In HOPE" for 2006. Welcome to many of you who are new to this e-resource and e-community. Welcome back to the rest of you. I look forward to our year ahead together.

Ministry Resource

A friend recently gave me Paul-Gordon Chandler's God's Global Mosaic: What We Can Learn from Christians Around the World (IVP, 2000). Chandler opens our eyes to the wonderful perspectives that different cultures bring to the Christian faith. It's a delightful and insightful book for anyone with a heart for mission. Isn't that all of us?

Hope Happenings    

Last week at Hope we enjoyed hosting nearly 40 pastors and church leaders from around the USA for graduate courses in leadership, worship, and communication. The next set of "Blocks" are scheduled for June 8-15, 2006. 

 

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

"We must resist the popular tendency to think of transcendence as an upward and outward escape from the realities of self and world. Instead, transcendence is a breaking-in, a breathing of the Spirit of love into the heart of our existence ... that allows us to regard ourselves and our world with more trust and hope than ever before." (Parker Palmer)


Bystanders

The brutal slaying of Kitty Genovese shocked New York City in 1964. Her assailant pursued and attacked her three times over 30 minutes before finally stabbing her to death. But something more horrifying overshadowed the sickening violence. Detectives later determined that 38 of Kitty's neighbours had watched her ordeal from their windows and not a single person had shouted out or called for help.

Psychologists subsequently coined a phrase: "The Bystander Problem." They concluded that when many people are present, we are less likely to respond. The smaller the group, the higher the likelihood that we'll take action in a crisis or emergency. 

This phenomenon has repercussions for the church and all of us who call ourselves Christ-followers. We may feel overwhelmed by the avalanche of pain around us, or paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of the brokeness in our world.

What could I possibly do to make a difference? Could my efforts possibly count? Isn't there someone else more talented, more educated, more passionate, more connected, more affluent, or more able who will stand in the breach?

Our tendency to see the whole and not the parts stifles our response. The problems are so enormous, where should we start? So we don't. But if we could see one family and touch one life, we'd begin the process.

Did Mother Teresa initially set out to found an Order that would establish hundreds of centers in more than 90 countries with over 4000 nuns and many more thousands of lay workers? Or did she devote herself simply to touching the lives of the poor, sick, and dying in the slums of Calcutta - the ones she met?

While most people wrung their hands at the enormous oppression under the Romans, Jesus set about bringing liberty to the captives ... one at a time. And the movement took hold as each one reached one. What might the Lord do through our lives this year if we collectively decided to invest in a single other life? Might the movement take hold again?

Kitty Genovese lives near us. If one of her neighbours is willing to get involved, her death (or suffering) might be averted. Centuries ago, another bystander asked "Who is my neighbor?" Perhaps this year, we'll be able to answer that question clearly and unequivocally, and make a difference.  

In HOPE -

David

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/