Standing with the Vulnerable 

So, I quit my job.

Before you assume any conclusions, let me just tell you that I liked my job and the organization I worked for. I had good leaders and amazing coworkers. In fact, this job was very safe and secure and I had no tangible reason to leave.

Why I Quit My Job

Over the past year, I’ve begun to realize that something was missing in my life. The same thing that might be missing from the lives of a lot of Jesus Followers. As I watched our country and even some in the Church turn its back on refugees, immigrant children, the marginalized, disenfranchised and the vulnerable not just here, but around the world, my heart began to ache.


At first, I thought this was just the ache that any human should experience when presented with the suffering of another person. But, it became more clear to me through God’s prodding and pushing that I was aching to do something about it.

My wife and I have been passionate about social justice and standing with vulnerable people since we first had our eyes open to those issues at Eastern University. Radically loving others, especially the vulnerable, is the message of Christ. It’s the very heart of our faith. However, as the busyness of life, the responsibility of starting and providing for a family, and the inevitable creep of American Dream materialism set in, we became less active in actually doing anything about it. This began to change about a year or so ago, around the time we started this blog.

Part of this change was moving to York. We decided that we could move closer to family, with a lower cost of living, and even build a home to accommodate our dream of being foster and adoptive parents. We went back to my dad’s church: Church of the Open Door. We had no idea that we would be coming back during a biblically inspired social justice revival at COD. Within just a few weeks, my wife would be helping to lead a new community outreach team that stands with the vulnerable right here in York. But God had even more in store…


I was very resistant to moving back to York. I had always PROMISED that I would never return after spending my senior year of high school here. After our move, I even became pretty depressed and felt like my life was taking a turn that I didn’t plan or want. And I was right. I didn’t plan it, but God did.


As my heart continued to ache, and my desire to do something more about the things Jesus cared most about grew, we found an open position at an organization called World Relief where I could use my skills as a fundraiser to work full time for social justice. Based out of Baltimore, this job wouldn’t have been possible if God hadn’t led us to York. I was hesitant to leave a job that provided well for my family. I was hesitant to step out in Faith to stand with the vulnerable. I am so thankful that God opens doors and windows, and then pushes us out of them.

As I write this, I am getting ready to drive down to DC, and represent World Relief at an event that celebrates the lives of refugees, and advocates for policies that protect them. I’m amazed at Gods faithfulness. His faithfulness to even give a flawed Jesus follower an ache for his children who need his love. His faithfulness to lead us by the hand when we are hesitant and scared. His faithfulness to open doors we could never open, doors that lead to a radical life of loving others.

If you are a Jesus follower, you have an ache to stand with the vulnerable too, even if you don’t know it yet. Not everyone is called to work at a nonprofit, or a church or feed the homeless full time (but I think a lot of us are.) Volunteer at a local organization doing social justice, encourage your church to start thinking about these issues, change your lifestyle and give sacrificially to a radical organization like World Relief, pray for opportunities to show Christ’s love to someone every day. And walk through doors when Christ opens them.

Wheels up for Rwanda on Monday. 

To find out more about World Relief and what we do, go to https://www.worldrelief.org/about

 

“With initiatives that focus on disaster response, health and child development, refugee and immigration services, economic development and peacebuilding, World Relief works holistically with the local church to stand for the sick, the widowed, the orphaned, the alienated, the displaced, the devastated, the marginalized and the disenfranchised.”

 

5 thoughts on “Standing with the Vulnerable 

  1. Gurnam Kaur Khalsa says:

    So inspiring, Nate! Thank you so much for sharing and encouraging. You and Chelsea are a big reason why I feel so at home at the Church of the Open Door. May the Lord continue to bless you and surround you with His love and light.

    Like

  2. Jenn says:

    How awesome! My best friend from college worked for World Relief in Nyack, NY; and then in Atlanta back in the 90’s. Such a great organization!

    I’d really love to hear what was done for the social justice revival at your church?

    Like

    • chelseariedy says:

      Jenn, Nate’s Dad has been preaching through James and through the series two different ministries/movements have come out of it: for #forYork and #fortheworld. We are in the very beginning stages of rolling out three teams at each campus (a partnership team to support nonprofits in york, an outreach events team, and a community service team). We lead the community service team and have started with small projects but are hoping to move onto projects that aren’t so much as “charity” but fall under the social justice category. I have a meeting with World Relief today to learn about their program for welcoming a refugee into the community. We are just getting started but I am thankful that the vision has been cast and this has been identified as a focus for COD.

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  3. Kevin Hofer says:

    Wow Nate! I’m so excited to see what God is doing and will continue to accomplish in your life. You are truly becoming a world changer!

    Like

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