Think Young Christians are Apathetic and Uninformed? Think Again.
Young activists like LaToya Brown of New Haven, CT, gathered on the opening day of Bread for the World's 2011 National Gathering on Saturday, June 11, 2011, to advocate on Capitol Hill for poor and hungry people. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl.
It may catch leaders in Washington off guard, but there is a wave of young activists ready to leave their imprint on a broken world. Many believe that young Christians are too busy living within their own protective bubbles to notice the problems of the world around them. While this may be true for some, the vast majority of college-aged Christians I’ve met and formed friendships with are on fire with a passion unlike any I’ve ever experienced before.
As a 21-year-old intern at Bread for the World, graduating in May, my possibilities seem endless. I am idealistic, headstrong, and ready to devote my life to a cause that I believe in – and right now that cause is ending global hunger. This same passion lives in many of my friends, who fight for causes ranging from stopping sex trafficking, to ending the use of child soldiers, to volunteering in local nursing homes and homeless shelters. Lawmakers may think that the youth of this nation are apathetic, lazy kids who really don’t care about anything other than the newest video game, but they are wrong. We want to make a difference – more than anything we yearn to show Christ’s love to the world.
These issues keep us awake at night, and inspire us to make a difference. I am haunted by the thought of children going to bed hungry; of families working multiple jobs while struggling to make ends meet; of children facing stunting and challenges to physical development due to malnutrition; and of whole communities ravaged by drought and famine.
Young Christians are banding together to make their voices heard – to proclaim the good news of Christ’s love but to also put it into action. In a Reuters article, author Shane Claiborne explains that this new movement is comprised of young Christians seeking a more authentic expression of faith: "'I see an entire generation of young people who want a Christianity they can wrap their hands around. They don’t just want to believe stuff. They’re saying if you want to know what I believe, then watch how I live.'"
I have found an authentic expression of my faith at Bread for the World where I work to advocate for poor and hungry people in near and distant places.
To my fellow young Christians, I want to challenge you to ask yourself, what is the one cause that makes you impassioned for someone other than yourself? If you haven’t found one yet, I would recommend getting involved with Bread for the World to make a lasting impact on turning the tide of hunger and poverty in America and abroad. Participating in Bread's Offering of letters is a great way to start advocating on behalf of those less fortunate. Everyone is called to make a difference. Find a way to make yours.
+Find out how you can organize an Offering of Letters at your church. Find resources, stories, videos, and more at www.bread.org/OL.
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