At every turn we are reminded that the world is more and more globally connected. As recently as 20 years ago [a blip on the radar of human history], it was nearly unthinkable that a person who had not traveled beyond their home country would know much more than their own surroundings.

I am 35 years old. I can remember at 15 my most culturally diverse experiences were going from my home in Upstate New York to Amish country [we used to marvel at the diversity they represent], meeting a foreign exchange student that my cousins hosted, seeing some slides from a visiting missionary, and browsing National Geographic in search of the “naughty pictures.” That was it.

Today, through social media, online videos, the immensely more affordable ways to travel internationally, and an increasing willingness on the part of Americans to allow people to reflect their home country’s diversity, one can be from anywhere in rural America and experience meaningful relationships with people greatly diverse from themselves.

We, as human beings, are more globally connected than ever. It is an exciting time to be alive.

One of the things I have always loved and respected about America is that we have a history of opening our doors to others. We are a “melting pot” of bunches of cultures. It is what makes us Americans. Everything and nothing is truly “American,” because we are such a coming together. American classics like pizza, hamburgers, and pies all have their origin somewhere else, but somehow are simultaneously American. Even our Chinese and Mexican food is our own.

The other part of America that I have always loved is our commitment to “take care of our own.” It is appalling to Americans to see fellow Americans suffer and hurt. We are different, and we are diverse, and we could argue all day about which region of our land has the best food, dialect, atmosphere, climate, etc. But when an American is in deep need, we pull out our stars and stripes, we post eagles all over our social media platforms, we start non-profit organizations, and we sacrifice for our brothers and sisters. We doll out cash; we travel for weekend cleanups. Churches gather and pray, construction workers coordinate efforts. We come together.

Now, the time has come for us to merge our American values with the realities of the global nature of our world. As much as it brings tears to my eyes when I think with pride about how we respond for fellow Americans, it grieves me that me miss the boat on our children from different continents. It is time for us to pull out our stars and stripes, to post an eagle on our Facebook wall, and show the children of the streets of Ethiopia what it means to be an American. It is time for us to say that the same way it is not okay for us to see mom carry her baby upstream in Baton Rouge and not band together for her at any cost, it is not okay for a small child to sleep in a sewage tunnel because bedding down with raw sewage is better than being beaten or raped in the night. The same way it is not okay for families to be displaced without a hand from their neighbor in Alabama, New York, New Jersey, or South Carolina, it is not okay for a little girl to be marketed for sex in Ethiopia because she hit puberty and no one is looking out for her.

We are Americans, and we are humans. Lets be both. I can’t do this by myself. I need you. I need your money, I need churches to band together and pray that the government will pass our project so we can get started. I need biker groups to ride and raise money for the kids over here. I need 5Ks to be run for the little children over here. I need bake sales, yard sales, and all the other creative ways we Americans come together for a worthy cause. I need stars and stripes flown, I need eagles proudly displayed, and I need you to say with me that this, a child with no food, education, or safe place to lay his or her head, is not okay either.

Okay, I can’t see my keyboard anymore. America, I believe in you… I need you to come together with me for here, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Together, let’s show what it means to be an American to our brothers and sisters here. Show, with me, that we don’t just believe in human rights for Americans, we believe in human rights for humanity.

Mercy Branch is a nonprofit organization that relies on the generosity of people just like you. Over the coming year we will be opening our NGO here is Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We are looking for creative ways that people can gather others, raise awareness, and help us achieve our goal of raising $75,000. Have an idea? Want to help? Please reach out to us at mercybranchinc{at}gmail{dot}com so we can talk about your ideas!

Are you willing to be one of the 150 supporters we are praying for this year? We are asking God to send us 150 supporters at $30/month to help fund the cause here in Ethiopia for the sake of His children. If God is calling you to be one of those supports, simply click here and sign up!

Can’t commit to monthly support? What about a one-time gift? Mercy Branch relies on generous donors who give one-time in any amount to fill out our budget. If you can do that, simply click here!


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