Dear EAPE World Changers,
You do so much good for so may people by supporting the ministries of EAPE. The thousands upon thousands who are learning to read in our faith-based literacy programs in Haiti, the hundreds of young Africans affected by the AIDS epidemic who are in our residence and training programs in Zimbabwe, the thousands of inner-city children who are in our various schools and outreach programs across North America, and countless Haitian refugees who have fled to the Dominican Republic and are now being reached by initiatives of ours which enable them to experience something of God's love, are all among the many lives being positively impacted because you care.
But this particular newsletter is not only a plea for you to keep supporting our ministries, but also a plea for you to join those of us at EAPE who are considering the Christian obligation to simplify our lifestyles.
Let's face it: Those of us in the world's most affluent societies must learn to live more simply so that others can simply live. Our wastefulness, our tendency to buy so many things we don't really need, and our careless consumption of fossil fuels by owning huge, inefficient cars and driving when we should walk or use public transportation, all require thoughtful consideration.
I know that I must begin asking myself hard questions about the ways I spend the money God has placed in my hands. Do I really need an extra sports jacket? How much should I be spending on luxuries? Am I careful about turning off the electricity when I leave a room? Is my lifestyle increasing America's peace-threatening dependency on foreign oil?
John Wesley once said that a Christian should work as hard as he can, earn as much as he can, and spend as little as he can, in order to give away all that he can. Simpler lifestyles would help all of us to do just that. Not only would those of us to whom much has been given be able to better help those in need, but we would also help curtail global warming and slow down the consumption of earth's non-renewable resources which threatens all of us together.
The young people who work in our EAPE ministries are taught the necessity of living simply as part of their basic Christian training. It is time for those of us who support their work with our prayers and gifts to start supporting them with our lives as well, by doing those same good things.
You may just start in little ways, but by all means start! Remember what Jesus said: "If you are faithful in small things, you will become the master of great things."
Thank you so much for all the good you do through your gifts. We need them! But, truly for God's sake, let us all commit ourselves to adopt lifestyles that would be even more pleasing to Him.
ABOUT TONY + September 2006