Saturday, September 29, 2012

News release review: International Justice Mission

God has been teaching me about joy this semester. Paul writes in Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Last night at my Bible study, we read about the early followers of Christ in Acts 4. They counted nothing as their own and viewed all that they had as things to be used for the Lord’s glory. A friend in the group talked about how she feels happy when she is able to meet the needs of others. Although our motivation to give and serve shouldn’t be driven by how it makes us feel, there is an undeniable feeling of peaceful joy that results when we do.

I wrote about International Justice Mission in my last post. Those involved in the organization find joy in their work to help end modern-day slavery because they feel this work is what God has called them to do. On Tuesday, the organization put out a news release about President Obama’s announcement of an executive order regarding labor trafficking in U.S. Government overseas contracts.

The release does a good job explaining how the organization is connected to a newsworthy, national event without being promotional. The release is timely. Journalists could easily construct an article from the information and interesting quotes from national and organizational leaders. It would have been good to put the job title of the person listed as the contact with the contact information. Just a name tells the reporter nothing about whom they would be contacting about the release.

International Justice Mission’s use of traditional and evolving forms of communication continually inspires me. I like to think the organization does so well communicating messages because those creating the messages find joy in doing the work God has given them.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Website review: International Justice Mission

I met Jill my freshman year through the sorority I was involved with. She was finishing her undergraduate degree after having spent more than a year doing mission work in Africa. She seemed so sophisticated, full of life and “on fire” for sharing Christ with others. Jill was several years older than I was, and I wanted to be just like her.

On a snowy, January morning during my freshman year, Jill told me about International Justice Mission as we drank coffee at a local Starbucks. Hearing Jill speak passionately about the organization made me want to know more. The Lord used Jill to direct my interest toward nonprofit communications.

The organization’s website is one of the best I’ve seen for a nonprofit. Its website does more than promote its goals through information about the organization and how people can connect. The website is also a source for timely information about modern-day slavery.

Feature style articles are regularly posted on the news section of the website. Each news story will have a dateline followed by a lead that draws the reader in. Articles are easy to read, being written without excessive adjectives and “fluffy” phrases. Sometimes headlines tend to be too long, but well-written articles offer information and stories that interest the website's audience.

International Justice Mission maintains a website that expresses its mission and values through a balance of information about the organization and relevant news stories. I would have never visited the website had Jill not told me about the organization that January morning and encouraged me to follow Micah 6:8: to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blog review: A Holy Experience

I studied in a local coffee shop on Thursday afternoon as rain steadily fell on the world outside. I realized that the falling water was a gift not only to the desperately dry ground but also to me. A reminder to slow down, the rain was God’s way of reminding me that he always provides. I wrote “feeling of peace as rain falls” in the journal where I record God's gifts to me.

I started counting things I am thankful for after reading Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.” I recently discovered that Voskamp also maintains a blog,, in which she writes about her life, displays her photography and shares her views about God’s grace.

The writing in the blog is beautiful. Voskamp’s posts often read like poetry. Each post tells a story about a recent experience she has had. Each story is punctuated by her thoughts and photography. The posts are lengthy because of the photography and her writing style but for this blog the longer length works. Fans of A Holy Experience are willing to scroll to read and admire.

For those who are looking to be encouraged and have a few moments to read, A Holy Experience is worth looking at. I never fail to be inspired by Voskamp’s writing. Her words remind me to be thankful for moments like watching rain on a Thursday afternoon.