Crossover Ministry (www.crossoverministry.org) – Clinics offering healthcare, education and medicine to poor people in Richmond Virginia.
Snappin’ Ministries (www.snappin.org) – ministering to families with special needs children.
Forgiven Ministry (www.forgivenministry.org) helping reconcile children with their parents who are incarcerated.
Prior to the dinner we attended one of three seminars: Offering Hope to the Poor through Social Justice, with Marvin Olasky (editor of WORLD) and Stephen Tavani (Founder of WOW International – http://www.wowjam.com ). Both men are deeply committed to social justice – but not the way contemporary politicians and social engineers promote it.
The political left thinks social justice must needs not simply level all playing fields – they want "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his need." The political right too often stumbles into social Darwinism – let the poor die off. The Bible teaches that justice separate the guilty from the innocent; (social) justice is always accompanied with righteousness – these are the foundation of God’s throne – and must be the core of how we serve the poor and hopeless.
Mr. Tavani believes if the Gospel is true and works in the worst places, it is true and works anywhere. To that end, he and enormous corps of volunteers go into tough communities with everything from free cold water, bicycle repair, hair cuts, manicures, food, family photographs, games and shoes. He and his volunteers escort a small number of folk at a time into a tent, and fit each with free name-brand athletic shoes – after bathing the feet of those they serve. Is it any wonder they draw crowds? And to those crowds, he offers the Gospel of salvation, as he and his volunteers meet real needs. They believe doing is more important than saying.
Mr. Olasky believes this as well, citing the difference between the ancient Romans and Christians hospitality. The Romans were hospitable to those who could do them some good; the Christians entertained those who could never repay. (Luke 14:12-14) He speculated that one reason Christianity may have caught on was not so much the teaching, but the practice by which Christians shared and risked their lives to serve.
It was quite an evening!