65,300,000 people have been forced from their homes around the world. 21,300,000 children worldwide have been left homeless over the last decade due to terrorist acts and human rights violations. 34,000 people are forcibly displaced daily because of conflict or persecution and many are children. 3,000 children lost a parent in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Those aren’t just numbers for Lenya Heitzig, they are her motivation.
Whether majoring in fashion merchandising, serving as a missionary with YWAM, or defeating cancer, Heitzigthrives on adventure. Her heart is to reach out to hurting people through tangible acts of love. After September 11, 2001, she launched Mercy B.A.N.D.s (Bearing Another’s Name Daily), silver bracelets inscribed with the names of individual casualties of terror. Over 60,000 people, including 2,000 family members directly impacted by 9/11, have worn these poignant bands.
In 2014, Heitziglaunched Reload Love, which touches the lives of children affected by terrorism. Reload Love raises awareness by collecting spent bullet casings, melts them down and upcycles into beautiful brass jewelry. Reload Love encourages and empowers people across the globe to stand up to the terrors of this world by yielding the most powerful weapon of all: their hearts. Reload Love provides relief supplies, children’s programs, and safe spaces such as playgrounds for children caught in the crossfires of terrorism.
Heitzig recently wrote Reload Love, which details the epic way God answered her prayers—how a spark came to life turning weapons of war into something beautiful. Experience the hope found in a children’s playground as you journey with her through the jungles of Burma and the war-torn streets of the Middle East.Though the shape of your heart and passion may look very different, you will find hope and inspiration in ordinary people who go to incredible lengths to share God’s life-giving love.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Philippians 2:1-3
Let love motivate you. It can be easy to get discouraged or desensitized by all the things that we see or hear on the news. Tragedies and terrorism may not impact us directly either. Ask God to give you a heart like His and to love others like He would. Pray and ask Him to show you how you can help. It might be volunteering with a local ministry that is mobilizing donations. It might be organizing people at church to pray for the needs of those on the ground. It might be collecting donations to be sent to the frontlines. Remember that you don’t have to do it all. Invite your friends, family, classmates or co-workers to volunteer too. It can be encouraging to our faith when we serve alongside others and talk about the experience.
Renew your love. It is unfortunate that we are living during a time where terrorism has become all too common. Instead of becoming desensitized, ask God to renew your love for those that have experienced tragedy. Ask God to reveal any lies that you might be believing from helping others. Sometimes we think we are better than a people group. Sometimes we use the excuse that we “don’t have time.” Ask God to remove those lies so that you can love others like He loves them.
Pray. Take time this week to pray for those that have been affected by tragedy. It could be an act of terrorism, natural disaster or war. Pray that God would provide for their needs including shelter, food and health. Pray that God would raise up volunteers to help them. Pray for the leaders of their countries that God would give them wisdom to make decisions and if they don’t know Christ, that they would come to know Him in a personal way. Pray that God would bring healing and forgiveness through the Holy Spirit. Pray for the ministries that are there that God would guide them in how to help others.
To win a copy of Reload Love, click here: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/reload-love.html
We were given a copy of Relaod Love by Frontgate Media but all of our thoughts and opinions are our own.