Doing good to heal the world
By Karen Krolak
Hunger. War. Slavery. Poverty. Dirty water. Human trafficking. Child soldiers. Weighty topics for most people living in a comfortable culture, but reality for large portions of the world’s population. Heal the World, the most recent book by Bishop Michael Pitts, addresses these issues and more in order to raise awareness and unite individuals in the pursuit of doing good.
As the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, a large multi-ethnic congregation in Toledo and a growing global network of churches, Bishop Pitts has had the opportunity to travel throughout the world for many years. He states that “traveling and seeing other places does something – for you and to you.”
Witnessing the struggle of individuals to survive without access to clean water, education or treatments for preventable illnesses – and contrasting these realities against the blessings and privileges in America – Bishop Pitts recalls the start of a journey for himself: “I felt like I wanted to do something about it. I couldn’t fix 100 percent of the problem, but I could fix the problem for somebody 100 percent.”
Heal the World was birthed out of this desire to do more and first began as an organization soon after Bishop Pitts was promoted to the office of bishop in 2009, with the goal to increase help on local, regional, national and global levels. From building homes in earthquake-devastated Haiti, to digging a clean water well in West Africa, as well as building a school there from the ground up and supplying students with uniforms and teachers with motorbikes, Heal the World seeks tangible ways to provide aid to people in need.
As an organization, Heal the World also joins with other ministries, supporting the WOW JAMS with Stephen and Linda Tavani, and also Dr. Patricia Bailey-Jones with Master’s Touch Ministries Global as she ministers in warzones to people who have never heard the gospel.
The power of relationship also extends locally as Heal the World partners with the Martin Luther King Kitchen for the Poor, the Cherry Street Mission, Mom’s House, and the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Toledo.
The synergistic aspect of joining with what other organizations are already doing is profound. Bishop Pitts recounts doing local food drives in years past from the church during Thanksgiving and Christmas, then realizing “our friends at Martin Luther King Kitchen and Cherry Street already have the organizations set up. For the same amount of money…we could feed four times as many working with them. They already have the connections; they already have the system.”
And financial responsibility is essential when entrusted with the contributions of others. Bishop Pitts declares, “I don’t put any money toward anything that I cannot authenticate.” This commitment involves even sending teams into the places being helped, working with men and women already there on the ground to provide accountability.
With stunning photos and shocking statistics, Heal the World as a book “draws attention to the organization and to the needs of people, because most of the time, we are just unaware,” he states. The tendency of Americans is to only view the world through our own eyes, for example, thinking that because slavery was abolished in our country, that slavery has ended everywhere. Bishop Pitts points out in his book, “There are more slaves in the world than there have ever been. Part of that is because the price to buy a human being has gone down.” Unsettling facts like this are meant to open the eyes of people to the plight of those around the globe.
As the author of over a dozen books targeting primarily a Christian audience, Bishop Pitts admits that this publication is different. With a broad focus and appeal to the social consciousness of individuals, his goal is to motivate people to move beyond awareness, to move forward to action. He states, “What I wanted to do with this book was to bring together people who want to do good.”
While recognizing that other organizations, businesses, or philanthropic individuals may not believe the same way in terms of faith, the desire to push good throughout the world is still compelling. Organizations are able to use the book as a thank you gift to donors and contributors. “It gives them something to put into the hands of people, especially if they’re missions-oriented organizations,” Bishop Pitts adds.
He emphasizes, “If people would be so inspired by looking at this and reading it, that it would just cause them to be more volunteer-oriented in a totally different organization, or to give money to one of our local missions, or food bank, or a pregnancy center…then I would feel like I’d done my job there as well.”
The hardback copy of Heal the World is available to purchase at michaelpitts.us or cornerstonechurch.us for $22, significant according to Bishop Pitts because of the scripture from Revelation 22 which is printed on the back cover of the book: “and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
For those wishing to donate to Heal the World, visit dontateHTW.org.
Bishop Michael Pitts is the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, located at 1520 S. Reynolds Rd., Maumee. Contact 419-725-5000 or visit cornerstonechurch.us.