Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Missed (and Costly) Opportunities

From a CNN article today......

"In common with many other crises in Africa, U.N. officials say the late response in Niger shows how the rich world often misses chances to avoid worse disasters by reacting only when situations reach critical, headline-grabbing proportions.

Jan Egeland, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Tuesday it would have cost $1 a day to prevent malnutrition among children if the world had responded immediately. Now it costs some $80 to save a malnourished child's life, he said."

In relief and development work, we can't afford to wait on "headline-grabbing" crises.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Something I'm proud of

At first glance this small building might not be too impressive. For me, it generates a lot of pride in God and in my Ugandan friends.

This building is the new home of the Bukhana Church of Christ in Eastern Uganda. The reason I'm so proud is that The Source, the church's redemptive small business in Jinja, decided on their own to share their profits to fund the new construction of this remote and very poor village's church building. Their building had earlier been blown down by a storm.

Through jobs created and opportunities provided at The Source, about 15 Ugandans continue to work hard every day to provide good things for other Ugandans. Through their daily service, they encourage others that living for God is the greatest choice they can make. This small building is just one display of fruit provided through the loving Ugandans at The Source.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Life Lessons

This weekend is a time where I'm enjoying family as well as thinking and praying about Africa - a whole lot! Easton, my curious six year old, has been thinking Africa too. We are experiencing a weekend where real African needs are intersecting with all of the attention to African needs.

Saturday morning I went out to do yard work and Easton took the opportunity to ask if he could work for money. He said he'd like to earn two dollars. So, I gladly had him rake the grass clippings and bag it for me and gave him his two dollars.

Saturday afternoon we were cooling off inside watching Live8 when TT, Easton's pre-school teacher in Uganda (and my cousin) called on the phone from Uganda reporting of her time at the orphanage in Rwanda. Her big heart has an idea of raising about $3,000 to buy all the orphans new mattresses this fall when they move to a new location. Easton and I then talked about TT in Africa, the orphanage, Live8 and Rwanda and I wondered how it was all soaking into his six year old mind.

Earlier in the week, a Liberian who has been displaced in a Ghanaian refugee camp, moved to Tulsa under the UN's refugee relocation program. He drove by our church, opened the phone book and called to see if he could get a ride to church today. The secretary couldn't understand his African English so at her request I called him, found out where he was staying, and told him I'd pick him up. When I told Easton to get in the car and told him what we were doing, he grabbed his two dollars and knew exactly what to do with it. After some searching in Southwest Tulsa we found Samuel, our new Liberian friend, and Easton promptly gave him his two dollars and asked him questions about Africa all the way to church.

I love how God works in that way - weaving together many lives, small and big, to make a big difference in His Kingdom.

May Easton continue to learn life lessons about God and love. May we all continue to seek God as He prompts us to seek Him through service to others. And may God use the publicity of African poverty this week to prompt many rich Christians to love and serve the poor around the world.

By the way, did you see Roz on the Volvo commercial? It was great!

Friday, July 01, 2005


Sign your name to the ONE petition and be a part of supporting suffering Africans. If Pres. Bush and the other G8 leaders are aggressive on these issues next week, it will make the biggest difference that can be made to make poverty history. Non-profit organizations can do great things, but they can't touch what a very small percentage of what our tax dollars can do.