Why can’t you be one person?


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How You Can Be “One Person”

Posted by Karla Colonnieves on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:13 AM

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“Ghandi was one person. 
Martin Luther King was one person. 
Mother Theresa was one person. 
Why can’t you be one person?”

Convicting words, huh? You’d be surprised to know that they came from the lips of an 8-year-old girl.

Vivienne Harr is a little girl who decided to make a stand against slavery and free 500 child slaves through the nonprofit Not For Sale. How much does it cost to free that many child slaves? $150,000. How is she doing this?

A lemonade stand.

Rain or shine, she would sit at her lemonade stand, “selling” glasses of lemonade for free. According to Vivienne, her lemonade is “not for sale because people are not for sale,” encouraging people to pay whatever is on their heart.

After just 52 days, she got the world’s attention, from New York Times to BBC World News to media outlets all over the world. She had thousands of people following her on Facebook and Twitter, and she raised a whopping total of $30,000! You can read the whole story here.

753f015ecfbb11e1839c1231381b3106 7Vivienne and her parents have turned her lemonade stand into a business, or rather a “giveness,” as they call it, as 100 percent of the profits goes to Not For Sale so they can give freedom to people. Now that Vivienne has reached—surpassed!her $150,000 goal, she is bottling up her #MAKEASTAND Lemon-aid and plans to “not” sell them in stores, making her lemonade one of the only mass-market products that is “not for sale.” Right now, you can order your own lemonade to be delivered right to your doorstep!

Now how inspiring is that? I’ve been thinking a lot about how God uses the small things in our lives, like our talents and experiences, and makes big things out of them. How He takes the little that we have and multiplies it into something huge.

Consider the woman who poured her perfume on Jesus’ feet, doing all that she could to honor Him with all that she had at the time. Or the boy with five loaves and two fish and Jesus multiplying the boy’s offering to feed 5,000 people.

These people saw a need and did what they could with what little they had. In the same way, Vivienne saw a need and decided to do something about it. She took what little she had – her special lemonade, her experience (“I’m only 8 and the only business experience I have is a lemonade stand!”), and her compassion – and she did what she could. And wow, has it multiplied into something big!

With all the injustice in the world today, there’s plenty of need. What need could you meet? What has God already given you that you could use to meet that need? And would you be willing to be that “one person” and do something about it?

“Compassion is not compassion without action,” says Vivienne. “It’s why I ‘make a stand’ every day. When I thought of doing this, I didn’t think of all the reasons why I couldn’t. I thought of all the reasons why I must.”

Consider being an IJM FreedomMaker and start your own campaign to raise money for justice!

Prayer Idea: As Vivenne says, “Compassion is not compassion without action.” Is there biblical basis for this? James 2:14-26 is a good passage to read on the importance of accompanying deeds with faith, verse 7 saying, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” In the same way, it’s important to accompany action with our compassion for people living in oppression and injustice. Ask God to show you how you can be acting out your compassion in practical ways.


Photo: Vivienne Harr, 8 years old, and friends decide to make a stand until they free “all the slaves in the world.” By makeastandlemonade on Instagram. 


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About ywammercy

Called to serve the poor of our world through self-sacrificing love, compassion and justice in the model of Jesus Christ.
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