As, we have begun to plow through the year and as we focus in on helping Kids in Need, there are many things about this "initiative" that I am noticing.
1.) Unlike "GI Focus" events that we have done in the past at NMC, this one is not very easily measured. In the past, we were able to see immediate fruit and numbers to compare to what we did. Examples: we raised a certain amount of money for the Rwanda Exodus Project and then sent Caleb Bislow and Dustin Eby to Rwanda to help train up these people and through those efforts, somewhere around 60,000 people heard about Jesus and some 30,000 stuck around to start churches in 27 different places around Rwanda. Those were measurable results.
With Kids in Need, our focus has a threefold goal of GAINing Awareness, GIV[E]ing Sacrificially and LIV[E]ing Differently. Of those three goals, we have noticed that the most important two are GAIN and LIVE. There are many reasons for this, but the main variable is the need to understand just what exactly is going on that needs to be addressed seems more important than just blindly throwing a bunch of money or sending a bunch of under prepared people to a certain area of need. Moreover, there is a sense of allowing the things that we learn and come to understand as real situations that must transcend simply acting in responsible ways and move to living differently, sacrificially, as the Holy Spirit prompts us to move. Because of this, this goal is very hard to measure with any amount of accuracy or, perhaps, even human satisfaction since we can't see "real" results from our efforts.
2.) This year is so much less about changing statistics and attempting to change the realities of what is going on in the world and so much more about letting our lives become an example, a depiction of the way that we want to reach the world. When it comes down to it, even giving financially to an organization is somewhat of a cop out. Especially, when the Holy Spirit has already convicted that person to alter their life that allows them to go and serve with that organization. If a person is unwilling to make the adequate changes to remain obedient and pursue God's will for their lives, no amount of money is going to change the fact that God wants that person to go and experience what it means to serve.
So, this year has to become about living our lives in ways that allows the Holy Spirit to move our lives in the ways that He sees fit and changing the way we live because of the things that He reveals to us. The hardest thing about this whole year push thing is the desire to just do something or just give this amount of money to this place. Those are great and admirable things, but that doesn't change how I live my life to better serve others and Christ.
*Just some thoughts. Not well put together that are not the direct opinion of NMC Student Ministries.*