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Posted by on November 20, 2012

Religion. It’s me and God, right? Go to church, read the Bible, say a prayer, give some money – is that Christianity?

Maybe I truly and sincerely invest in each of these endeavors. Church is not an obligation, but a welcome opportunity to worship God with fellow believers. I read Scripture with a heart and mind seeking to hear God’s voice through the pages of His word. My prayers are heartfelt and expect, in faith, to be answered. Giving financially is a joyful response of gratitude to all that God has given me. Is this Christianity? Is this true religion?

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and do keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

“Pure and faultless” religion means expanding my sphere of me and God to include others – to include those who are hurting and in need. It might get messy. It might be uncomfortable. It is guaranteed to require sacrifice on my part. I may be asked to give of my time, my money, and myself – and probably all three. But as we learn from the rest of James – and really the whole of Scripture – genuine faith will prove itself true in the ways we relate with others. We have been blessed beyond measure through God’s grace and mercy. How can we do any less than extend that blessing to others?

Greetings. I’m Sarah – a young lady whose heart is constantly pulled across valleys, mountains, and oceans to red dirt and smiling faces in South India. I currently live in Portland, Oregon where I’m finishing up my bachelor’s degree at Multnomah University. My elementary school days, however, were spent in Kodaikanal, India where God began to cultivate my love for the gospel and for the world. In the fall of 2011, I had the awesome blessing to get to return to Kodaikanal to do my practicum teaching at the same school I attended as a child. During that semester, I visited the Kannivadi Bethania Kids Home three times. I was captivated by the amazing children there whose smiles radiated the joy and contentment that comes from being cared for and loved well. I’m so excited about the ways that Bethania Kids is giving the irreplaceable gift of family and love to the hurting children of India. Back in Oregon, my heart still beats for those kids at Bethania as well as the countless children in India who still desperately need that family and love. Thank you for joining us on this blog as we share what Bethania Kids is doing, explore the issues that plague the beautiful country of India, and seek God’s heart for those in need.

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