I’m reading a book called The Poor Will Be Glad by Peter Greer and Phil Smith. I highly recommend this book. In the final chapter, the authors introduce us to a Congolese village known for minerals such as coltanite, used to make cell phones. The authors note the irony that, at the time of this book’s publication, no one in the impoverished village owned a cell phone. Further research indicates Congolese coltanite as a conflict mineral, extracted through violence and oppression.
This presents an opportunity for prayer – and action beyond prayer. Prayer itself is an action and should precede other actions, whenever possible. (Obviously, in an emergency situation, action sometimes precedes prayer, or the two happen at the same time.) Often, prayer leads to further actions. That is the case regarding this story of the Congolese minerals.
If you are reading this and you have a cell phone, your phone has now become a good reminder of people struggling through difficult conditions in this and other Congolese villages. Let your cell phone become a prayer reminder. As you pick up your phone, pray first for the people living not just in this particular village, but also in remote villages all over the world. Take some time to put yourself in their shoes and say a fervent prayer for them. Know that God will work through your prayers to make a difference.
Let your cell phone also be a reminder that people who live near bountiful resources often do not benefit economically from those resources. Pray for God’s justice to bring redemption and restoration to those situations.
Finally, allow prayer to lead to a further action: Learn about global sources of injustice, such as conflict minerals. Do some research on the current state of legislation regarding corporations and source minerals. Know where the items you purchase originate, and at what cost to human lives. As Christians, we need to do at least that, just for starters. As God leads you further, in prayer and in action, to bring global justice, follow His lead.
Begin all things with prayer. Know that your prayers are powerful and will make a difference. Be willing to be used by God as an answer to prayer. And when your cell phone rings, take a moment to pray for the people living in Congolese villages.