With great focus

It seems like a quick 20 years has gone by since the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989! I remember watching the news footage on TV of people jubilantly celebrating newfound freedom. My dad happened to be there for training with his Army Reserve unit and he brought me little chunks of the wall back as a souvenir. In 2000 I had the opportunity to travel by myself to Berlin. At that time a small section of the wall was still standing, and I went to visit that spot. The wall looked like such a tiny barrier to have held back a population for so many years! I realize that the patrolling guards with guns and the various other deterrents in place were integral in securing the border, but the wall had been such a significant symbol I think I expected it to look more like the Great Wall of China than a thin piece of concrete – like a highway sound barrier.

When the initial call for freedom to travel over the border was issued I wonder if the officials expected people to tear down the wall like they did. Lots and lots of people chipping away to break through that symbolic barrier – all of them focused together with a single purpose. Eventually it took industrial equipment to remove the large portions of the wall, but the initial flood of destruction to the wall happened through the work of many.

This week I was struck by a similar event – when God’s people all focused together intently with a single purpose. I am a fan of the blog “Stuff Christians Like.” I got a Facebook message from this blogger inviting me to donate money to help build a Kindergarten for children in Vietnam. He was inspired when his daughter saw a picture of a starving child and said to him, “That’s not real though. That’s pretend right?” To honor his own little Kindergartener’s compassionate heart he challenged his readers to help him raise $30,000 by December 31 to build this Kindergarten. God probably saw that goal and thought, “how cute.” 18 hours later God’s people had responded and raised the entire $30,000. In the time it took me to fill out the donation page 3 other people had donated a total of $30! There have been A LOT of $5 donations. Many people without much to spare who realized that with intense focus everyone’s $5 donations could start to tackle the challenge of poverty by helping 200 kids in Vietnam start school every year. There is still so much to do to defeat poverty in this world, but wow! What a difference a crowd of people can make when they focus with great intensity.

I wonder what our local church could learn from these experiences?

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