- "TO MAKE POVERTY HISTORY
Hybels is the founding pastor of the Willowcreek Church in Illinois.
"Being the activist that he was, Nehemiah
couldn't stay face-down for long. His mourning, fasting and prayer
turned quickly to action as he hopped up, resigned from his Persian
post, and got busy solving the problem that faced him. Risking life
and limb - as well as his reputation - Nehemiah asked a foreign king
for safe passage and provisions to go tackle the task he knew had
his name all over it. If rebuilding a wall would get the mocking of
his God to cease, then rebuilding a wall was exactly what he would
do! ... God was calling Nehemiah to participate in a 'new thing.'
Interestingly, it just so happened that this new thing would require
solid leadership acumen, fantastic communication capability, and
unflinching tenacity - all skills Nehemiah had hones during his
palace days. ...
"Fast-forward to today, and you'll find Bono
using his unprecedented fame and influence to draw attention to this
generation's most pressing issues, extreme poverty, of course, being
one of them. Bono has lobbied powerful world leaders for the
cancellation of the debt that plagues two-thirds of the world. ...
Near the end of a concert ... Bono stopped everything and yelled out
at his fans. 'Are you ready to save the world?' Everyone screamed
and cheered, having no idea where all of this was going.
" 'Life up your cell phones,' Bono
shouted, 'and text your name to the number on the screen ... now!'
Right then, the screens lighted up with the digits of a phone
number. 'Your message is going to ONE: THE CAMPAIGN TO MAKE POVERTY
HISTORY. You will be joining more than 1.6 million Americans who
have already chosen to get involved in eradicating extreme poverty
all over the world ,,, something that's going to happen in OUR
generation, if I have anything to say about it.' Instantaneously,
lighted cell-phone screens dotted the dark auditorium as tens of
thousands of people text-messaged their support. ...
"Bono's battle cry in the fight against the
injustices plaguing our world is clear: 'Think that because you're
rich, you can ignore the poor? Think that since you're healthy you
can just leave the diseased to die? Not on my watch!' ...
"I was required to stop all of the worthy,
kingdom-building things I was doing and take a look inside myself.
Here's the question I sought - and am still seeking - to answer:
'What do the poverty issues, the AIDS issues, the justice issues in
our world demand of someone like me with the influence God
graciously has given me?' ... I'm realizing more and more that these
are the 'injustices' that the Bible speaks to with greatest power
and frequency, and so these are the issues I'm wrestling with. ...
Do we march? Do we write letters? Do we run for office? How do we
overturn the systems that continue a form of oppression that the
Bible speaks strongly against?"
Holky Discontent:Fueling the Fire That
Ignites Personal Vision by Bill Hybels, Zondervan, 2007, p.