When we started the Nazarene Fund two years ago, somebody asked me this just the other day: What started that? That was me sitting in my office -- or, sitting in my studio. And Johnnie Moore had just come by, and he had said, "There's a huge problem. We -- these -- these Christians and Yazidis are just being crucified and sold into slavery." And he said, "We're trying to get these 50 families out." He and Mark Burnett, I think 50 families out.
And they needed a million dollars to do it.
And I -- I said, "We're going to help you on that. We'll raise a million dollars. We'll get them out."
But what happened just before that was the turning point. I was on television. And there was a nun who was trying to get to the United States, just to testify in front of Congress on what was really happening to these Christians.
And we had a Skype interview with her. And she was living in this -- this container, cargo container, and it was in the middle of Iraq. And it was in early August. In the desert in Iraq.
Now, mangle, living your life in a metal box in the middle of the Iraqi desert in August. I don't think that's very cool. You know, there's no windows. There's nothing. And she's broadcasting her Skype on phone, in the middle of this container.
And she was talking about how she needed help to get into the United States because people needed to hear the message. And she was talking about everything. And she wasn't complaining about her situation at all. And it was weird. Because I almost had tunnel vision. I stopped listening to her. And I'm just looking at her in this metal box. And I'm starting to imagine what just her life is like, and that she's not asking anything for her. She's not saying, "Hey, help me. Help me." She's saying, "I got to get to the United States because the people here are suffering. Not me. The people around me are suffering."
And I thought to myself, what the hell am I doing with my life? I'm sitting in this air-conditioned studio, and here's this woman actually standing up in a time that is beginning to look like the 1930s in several places around the world.
And I'm sitting here doing, what? And she said, "Thank you so much for helping me get the word out." And I don't know if you saw that episode, but I just -- I broke down. Not unusual for me. I broke down. And I just said, "I'm sorry, Sister, but I haven't really even listened to what you were even saying. Because I just realized, what am I doing with my life? What are we doing?"
That was the moment for me that I decided to get involved. And there's been some other things here recently, I've -- I told you recently. And we'll go over it this fall, as we go on. But I want you to know, I've -- look, I've told you about the Nazis rising up ten years ago. I told you about the communists and the Nazis. And showed you that this has happened in the 1900s, the early 1900s under Wilson. It happened under -- it happened under FDR as well, the Nazis and the communists. They fight. And they closed down shippings, and they try to close down ports. And they try to close down capitalism. Both of them. Both sides.
And Americans have to be good enough to navigate between those two things. Told you about that for -- ten years ago.
And I've warned you for a long time, these things are about to come. And when they do, they will be overwhelming. And even the very elect will be lost, even the people who you love and adore and really get it, they're going to be lost, because it's going to be overwhelming.
As I said to you over the last probably month, something deep inside of me has changed. The seasons have changed. We are in a new era.
We are -- we have finished writing the beginning of what America and the world is going through. And we're now writing the all-important middle. This is when we actually decide which way are we going? You're watching a three-act play. The first shows you the life that people had before and then the conflict. And then the second act is them going through the conflict, and it leads to a pivot point or a choice. Curtain.
Then act three. How do they solve it? We're now entering act two.
And I -- I urge you to look at the possibilities in front of us. I urge you. The good possibilities. I urge you to look at the -- the -- the wake-up call that we're getting right now.
Because this is going to go back to politics, just like it did after September 11th. It's going to go back, and it's probably going to be worse than -- than it was a week or so ago. This is a chance for you to strengthen yourself, to find shelter, to find peace, to find your heart again, and to figure out, okay. If I don't want to go back to feeling that way, how do I guard my heart? How do I stay there? Because the lions are coming again to rip us apart and use politics and economic strife to do it.
Get involved. And allow yourself -- it sounds so weird. But allow yourself to be a human being first and a political animal last.