hard to look at

Monday, April 21, 2008

Why did I post a random picture of the Managua dump, you ask?

I was working on the poster board sign for our Nicaragua trip and needed some pictures of Nicaraguan children so I went on Flickr...(which is such an unbelievably cool place on the internet, btw.) Not only did I find pictures of children, I found pictures of children in the actual dump, "La Chureca", where we will be going in June to try and help rescue children out of. They are hard to look at. They made me cry, but I guess they should.
I sent out our support letters this weekend. I'm guessing if you read my blog, I probably had you on my list :-) If you didn't get one and want to help us with funds and prayers for our trip, we'd be blessed.

Hungry dump girls. This picture appears to have been taken just this month. The caption said that they looked fairly well dressed, but they were obviously hungry. They would dig around and find food, smell it first and then eat.
Delivery. I guess it's like Christmas when the dump trucks make a "delivery". Over 3000 people LIVE in this dump. Not visit. They have their little shanties. Many of the women and children have never been outside of it.
The most reliable source of income is prostitution. Families encourage it and sell their daughters (as young as 11) to the truck drivers for the equivalent of $1.
This is Gloria. She's been building relationships with the families in the dump and decided she needed to see if she could do more.
It's called Villa Esperanza.
So she is partnering with Forward Edge International to build this. It's called Village of hope. They'll be able to house women and childrens in "families" of 8 and host teams to come and help out. That's where we come in. We'll be one of the first teams and will be able to help with the building and also on outreach to the dump. We're hoping to identify specific ways that our home church can be an ongoing support.

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (Haiti is the first). But I guess it doesn't matter where it is...little girls shouldn't be eating garbage and made sex slaves to garbage truck drivers in any country.
I wonder if you know...there is more "Slavery" in 2008 than at any other time in history. The numbers are staggering and most of it flies just under the radar of the average person and sounds just a little too unbelievable to pay attention to.
When the Africans were being traded in Slavery in Wilberforce's day, it was a legitimate "business". A slave cost his owner the equivalent of around $50,000...a fair investment. Today, girls are tricked and kidnapped (mostly from Asian countries, but at least 30,000 from right here in the US), they are trafficked to other countries to cover the trail, and then sold for $18. And they're not being asked by their buyer to pick cotton either.
Something should be done.
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen. To loose the chains of injustice and to untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" Is 58:6-7

We're NOT too small to do anything (that was one comment I read on Flickr about the pictures.) I for one won't stand for it. I recently heard of a man in India who intends to END slavery so that when his children are his age, they can be working on another problem. I'll partner with him and Gloria and Shannon Keith and Dave Rogers and others like them and at least die trying!

In the Managua Dump

Saturday, April 19, 2008

In the Managua Dump
Originally uploaded by Sbmoot

some conversations are just fun

Thursday, April 17, 2008

if you're just browsing around looking for an interesting read, here's a fun conversation I've been having with Chrissi Wright. (She's our pastors wife). Their blog is really acedemic and intelligent and a whole lot of fun. Add your comments if you feel like joining in :-)



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

came across another great quote today...just can't help posting it.

“Those who know don’t have the words to tell and the ones with the words don’t know so well.” Bruce Cockburn

These words describe how I feel about my faith and my Jesus so much of the time. I've never been an "evangelist" (and always feel the heavy burden of guilt, placed on me by well meaning preachers over the years, for the verbal "evangelizing" I don't do). When asked to "give my testimony", I can't find words. (It's not shyness or timidity...trust me). The things my heart knows about my Jesus just don't have words to go with them...at least not in my native tongue. I've always thought that maybe I just wasn't as good a Christian as the others who are able to "evangelize and testify", and that someday if I kept walking in faith I would arrive and then I would have the words. But the further I go along in this journey of faith, the more profound it gets and the words to describe, explain, testify get further from me, not nearer.

On Monday I gave away my table at BackPorch to my enemy (yes, I have one...not by choice).
The shop was full and there was no place for her and her little boy to sit. I had a lovely spot by the window and i knew an act of generosity would do me more good than the remainder of my lavender latte. (Besides there was this tugging, "Holy Spirit" thing going on inside of me). I silently offered her the seat across from me and she sat down. I wished her a lovely day, tousled her 5-year old's hair, smiling and packed up my things. There are so many things I want her to know and understand about my faith and what I understand of the character of Christ (she's a Christian too, a sister), and believe me, I've exhausted so many words trying to communicate these things to no avail. We're still enemies, she insists we remain as we are.

I've stopped talking now. I'm determined to stop questioning my beliefs just because I can't convince her (and others) that I know what I'm talking about. There are things that I Know about my Jesus that I can't communicate...things that they should know, need to know too. My inability to communicate them does not make them any less true or important (why have I always thought it did?)

Now that I've settled that, I can give myself permission to just start living them and not worry so much about the talking part. Sounds easy enough, right? It's not. Lifting my hand to offer her that silly chair took more strength and courage than I've employed all year (you should have seen my hands shaking...oh brother!). I hope it did her heart good...because the thing is, I really love her...enemy or not. And that's the truth, as confusing and impossible and less than believable as those words sound. I really love her...and that only because of the indescribeable presence of Jesus in me. Some things just can't be reduced to words, i guess. A tough reality for a word lover like me. :-)

Does anyone else have a similar experience with a faith that is more real and deep than words can communicate? What do you do with that?
Do you get frustrated and feel condemned and insignificant sometimes too...because you can't find a way to communicate?
Do you question the validity of your beliefs when you can't convince other Christians?
Do you ever get frustrated that the ones who do have the words don't seem to have the actions to back up the words...?

great quote

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I heard a quote today that I can't resist posting.

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -A. Lincoln

I love Pike Street Market!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Now that I'm posting for our Travel blog too, I might just offer you a link here from time to time so I don't have to post twice :-) Sorry...is that kinda lazy?

We spent Easter in Seattle. Fantastic time! More pics on the way...but here's our little outing to Pike Street!

today's my birthday


The kids said i'm either 33 or 35 or 40 or something. Remember when you were first aware of your moms age and how OLD it seemed back then? that was when she was 34 for me. it doesn't seem quite as old up here anymore!