Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's Exhausting, Changing the World

Yesterday was a super-busy day at work. I didn't sit down at my desk once, and at the end of the day, I was exhausted. But it was a great day, because I hosted author Mike Slaughter, who was with us to speak at the launch party for our Fall 2010 list. (His most recent and best book yet is Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus) 

I always love meeting with Mike, from breakfast in the morning, to meetings about his next books, to introducing him before his talk (so nervous beforehand I thought I would faint--I do fine with public speaking once I'm up there, though!) I love Mike's work at Ginghamsburg Church in Ohio, where he leads his congregation in being the hands and feet of Jesus, living out their faith in numerous social service ministries (a food pantry, clothing thrift store, furniture, medical equipment, and car ministries, etc.

Their biggest, boldest ministry, though, is The Sudan Project, through which Ginghamsburg has invested close to $5 million in Darfur, Sudan, providing schools, water yards, sustainable agriculture, etc. The commitment and self-sacrificial attitude the people at Ginghamsburg have--about all their missions, but the Sudan especially--is amazing. In a blue-collar town devastated by the loss of automotive jobs in the last couple years, the people continue to give sacrifically in Christlike love to the people affected by poverty, war, and disease in Darfur.

Mike is especially proud of how other agencies have gotten on board since Ginghamsburg started its work in Sudan. In 2006, Ginghamsburg made up 100% of the United Methodist Committee on Relief's presence in Sudan. Now, it's like 9%, I think he said, not because Ginghamsburg has reduced it's presence, but because so many others are participating in this mission relieving the suffering in what the UN called the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.

PBS's Religion & Ethics Newsweekly program did a great segment on The Sudan Project last week. I wish I could embed the video here, but it doesn't look like it is on YouTube yet, so please click the link!

Hearing about this great work, a cause advanced by Mike's writing, is encouraging to me (and my colleagues too!) as we participate in his ministry through publishing. I went home, poured a glass of wine, and put my feet up last night, tired from a very busy but worthwhile day.

(Sudan photos courtesy of Ginghamsburg and included in the book Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus.)

1 comment:

SpeasHill said...

You've got a pretty cool job.


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