Ali Eastburn was a self described “material girl”. She liked her stuff. Near the top of the list of that stuff was her diamond wedding ring. Through an incredible prodding from God she came to realize that her ring was an idol. She also came to realize that most of the diamonds in the world are mined by people in Africa who live on the edge of poverty and face untold dangers. If you have seen or heard about the movie Blood Diamond then you understand. In addition to that she learned that the lack of clean drinking water is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in Africa, every day. All it would take to save those lives is for someone to drill a well. The water is there. It is just buried in the earth.
All of that came together in Ali’s mind when God showed her that “right now you have enough wealth on your finger to provide safe, clean drinking water for an African village”. And so under the compulsion of the Holy Spirit, Ali eventually sold her diamond along with another donated by a friend. That first step provided the money to drill a well and save a village. But it did not stop there. She began to tell others about this opportunity to serve and so was birthed a ministry called “With This Ring”. You can go to the link on this site to check it out.
I heard Ali talk about this ministry at the House2House National Convention. What was truly stunning was the number of women who came up to her after she spoke and took wedding rings off their fingers and handed them to her, right there! One woman had been a widow for five years yet still wore the ring her husband gave her. She decided it was time to give the ring to the cause of Christ.
The ministry is not first and foremost about drilling wells. That is simply the blessed result of the purpose of the ministry. What this is really about is helping people come to grips with their love of “stuff”. It is about selling what you have and giving it to the poor. It is about turning away from your idols and worshiping God alone. The change in the hearts of people is what this ministry is all about. If you are able to give away your diamond wedding ring and replace it with a ten dollar band from Target, like Ali did, then God is doing something huge in your life.
What is so cool is that God, in His economy, takes that event designed to change our hearts and uses it again to change the lives of others. In this case it is for poor people all over Africa. They are served. Many of those who are served do not know Jesus. Some of the villages are 100 percent Muslim and when they realize that a Christian has sacrificed for them, their hearts soften. And they ask why? That is what I call provocative. Christians living out the Gospel in radical ways that provokes a question, “what is the reason for this hope within you”. It provokes people to ask, “Why did you do this radical thing?” For Ali, she did the radical thing of selling her wedding ring because God said that He wanted to be first in her life. What about you? What is the radical thing that God wants you to do that will provoke a response that leads to Jesus?