Let us all learn from their example…


February 3rd, 2011

On January 6, Muslims lined the streets to protect Christians leaving Coptic Christmas Mass in Alexandria.

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And a few short weeks later Christians surround Muslims to protect them during their prayers.2gvcl

“I know it might not be safe, yet it’s either we live together, or we die together, we are all Egyptians.” – Cherine Mohamed, a 50-year-old Egyptian housewife.

Meeting Milo – Day 4


March 21st, 2010

Saturday, March 21

We spent the morning at the care center with Milo. And he spent the morning asleep in his sling. It gave us a little time to visit and play with some of the older kids at the care center. Some were pretty shy but most loved the extra attention. A few of the older kids (5 or 6 years old) were excited to tell us that they also had families waiting for them in America.

Saturday had about 52 activities packed into the afternoon. It was a little crazy and exhausting. After the care center, we made a quick stop at the AHOPE care center. AHOPE cares for children who have HIV and are orphans. One of the parents in our travel group had brought donations for the center and so we got a quick tour and spent some time playing with the kids.

AHOPE 1 AHOPE 2 AHOPE 3

Next we went shopping. First they drove us through the Mercado which is the largest open air market in Africa. It was streets and streets filled with shops. You could buy everything from plastic clothes hangers to chickens. There were several places I wanted to stop, including the street filled with shops only selling fabric but it’s so big and busy that it’s not really the safest place for a bunch of tourists without a guide. A couple of guys from our travel group hired a taxi and went back later with a guide and said it was pretty amazing.

We went shopping on a much smaller street of shops. We had about 45 minutes to shop. It was pretty much a “if you want it, get it.” type trip. Not a lot of browsing and debating…just buying. Later, we went to a shop that sold silver jewelry, clothes, books, and a few “higher-end” items. And we stopped at a coffee shop to stock up on Ethiopian coffee.

That night we went out to dinner for traditional Ethiopian food and dancing.

We got back to the guest houses around 10 or so. Probably later. And we had to be up and ready to board the bus at 6:30 in the morning on Sunday for the drive to Hosanna.

I Don’t Want My Kids to Be Happy


March 13th, 2010

I fell into a rabbit hole in blogland this morning and ended up here. More specifically, I ended up here, reading a post by a mom who doesn’t want her kids to be happy. And realizing how strongly I agree with her.

NaBloPoMo Post #28: Change the World


November 29th, 2009

“Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it… but I’m afraid He might ask me the same question.”

-Anonymous

You know that story about the guy on the beach who is tossing starfish back into the ocean and another guy comes along and tells the first guy there are too many starfish to really make a difference and the first guy responds by picking up one starfish, tossing it into the ocean and saying “it made a difference to that one”? That’s how I feel. There are so many things wrong in our world. So many people suffering. So many wrongs that need to be made right that I wonder how I can make any impact on anyone. And, as corny as that story is it’s constantly reminding me that my efforts, even though they may seem small, make a difference to someone.

I guess I’m just an optimist and hope that if everyone who is able helps out one or two people in need then we just may start to see some change in the world.

Not Letting Things Go “Undone” #6


March 17th, 2009

Saying what needs to be said.

I think this is the hardest thing for me (and a lot of people) to do.

There are times when hard conversations need to happen.

I can think of only four specific times in my life when I’ve need to have one of these conversations and they aren’t fun but they are necessary.

It’s not healthy to constantly have stressful situations on your mind or to talk about them with people who aren’t involved. Those things rarely help.

And I’m not saying that we should run around telling everyone how to live their lives and start passing out judgement left and right but if and when the time comes that one of these difficult conversations needs to happen, then don’t let it go undone.

Not Letting Things Go “Undone” #5


March 8th, 2009

Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act.

Proverbs 24:12

Don’t let things go undone.

Lent


February 22nd, 2009

Lent begins on Wednesday. It’s the forty days before Easter. Traditionally people give up something during Lent. Most commonly chocolate, or junk food, or pop. I used to do those things. And most the time I’d cheat. But I’ve never quite understood the point of giving up something for only 40 days (and giving up something that really isn’t that big of a deal). It’s taken me a while but I’ve come to realize that Lent is more than that. Lent is about preparing for Easter. Sacrificing something, something of yourself to (hopefully) better understand the sacrifice that Jesus made for the world.

Every week at church we say a confession

Most merciful God,

We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbor as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer)

And the line that hits me every week is “by what we have left undone.” It’s easy to ask for forgiveness for the wrongs I have done, but it’s a little more painful to ask for forgiveness for the things I should have done but didn’t because I wanted to spend my money, my time, my gifts elsewhere.

Matthew 25:34-40 says

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ (The Message)

Yeah, that’s when it gets hard to think about all the things I’ve left undone. I know that I can’t help every person I see but I do know that I can try to help those who need it.

I don’t think I’m going to give up anything for lent except my time and gifts. I don’t think “give up” is the right phrase, though. I think “give away” Instead of wasting time on the computer or watching T.V., I’m going to try and find a way to help. I’m not really sure who I’ll be helping or how but I’m not going to let things be undone.