First, I read Red Letters by Tom Davis. Step one of an unknown number away from the life I've known.
Second, I read It's Not About Me by Max Lucado. Step 2.
Third, reading through blogs and websites about orphaned children, African and Russian AIDS victims, I sensed a sad shame coming to me over the Western Church's mostly apathetic response.
Fourth, Lora suggested the book Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. I read about it on the internet and then bought it on eBay. I spent approximately a quarter of the book crying. It opened my eyes to the suffering of the Christians in China and how the Church is flourishing under heavy persecution. As for the writing, I was relieved to find it's not dry and flat like too many Christian authors' books. I've only ever completed a handful of Christian novels because I usually put them down in frustration after little more than a chapter. Alcorn kept my attention with ease.
I know the enemy of my soul would rather I not think about anything beyond my own trivial problems. He must spend loads of energy on keeping Christians apathetic and I think that the only reason my eyes have been opened is by a direct moving of the Holy Spirit in my life. He doesn't move in vain and I'm interested in what the future holds. What might an American homemaker living in England do to change the world and challenge the church? Only The Lord can say.
If you don't feel a tugging in your spirit to look into the suffering of the Church and the millions of poor and dying around the world, I challenge you to pray for God to reveal it to you. Read Red Letters and Safely Home, spend some time on websites such as Eternal Perspective Ministries, Children's HopeChest, 5 for 50, Prisoner Alert, Tom Davis' blog, Randy Alcorn's blog, Compassion International, the Bags for Darfur blog, Voice of the Martyrs (and their volumes of resources) and Bibles Unbound (I'm very excited to check that one out!). I'm sure there are many, many more resources available as well. While you educate yourself, pray that God lights a fire in your heart for the suffering.
Certainly, the most effective and obvious thing anyone of us can do is pray.