Monthly Archives: January 2013

Chapter 14 Finally The Good News

StarfishWhat a breath of fresh air. Fresh air and an incredible reminder and challenge that could shake our core. I loved this chapter (again). As harsh and hard as the last few chapters were I am always so thankful for how Rich sets it up and reminds us that “we must not, as Christians, stick our heads in the sand and pretend that the world is doing just fine because we are.”

Our reality is just that, our reality. It’s a good reminder. I loved most the two most basic reminders of actions we can take. We are NOT to sit here just pitying the poor. We must take action. And that action doesn’t need to be big and grandiose in the lives of the world, just of one person – the one we can impact.

It is possible to change the world’s realities, and that is exactly what God has challenged us to do. This is what it means to be “salt and light” in a dark and bleak world (Matthew 5:13-14). It’s what the Great Commission was all about.

Do something. A common running theme. The most impactful theme I’ve ever encountered.

And prayer. This is not just a physical battle, there are spiritual forces at work here. There is a legitimate battle taking place that we often can’t see – only the effects of such. We must pray.

And prayer is not the domain of the United Nations or of the governments of the world. Only the faith community can draw upon the power of God through prayer.

That’s on us. Again, two powerful messages to me in my mind. 1. Do something. 2. Pray. Call upon the most powerful force there is and ever will be. He is there. We must pray and we must act. Together, in tandem.

This is heavy on my heart and mind as I prepare to leave for Haiti. Remember when I said I was going to do it? Well, I am. Saturday as a matter of fact. What God has in store for me I don’t know. I pray I get to make an impact. I pray I can make a difference. And as selfish as it sounds, I look forward to what God has to teach me. My world needs to be rocked a little. I’ve been reading about it and doing what I can from the comfort of my own home – it’s time to get a little dirty, a little uncomfortable, a little real.

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Chapter 13 Spiders Spiders and More Spiders

I wanted to stop turning the pages. This is a chapter where I wanted to turn the channel. Rich has done a great job up until now of presenting facts but keeping things light. I think at some point though he needed to deliver the rest of the facts. The rest of the actual reality that the world faces that we don’t know about and quite frankly don’t want to know about. This was chapter 13. (I did peek ahead and the title of Ch 14 is “Finally, the good news” – I can’ wait!)

Absolute favorite quote that got me through what seemed to be a sea of drowning individuals and circumstances, Bob Pierce

Don’t fail to do something just because you can’t do everything.

I loved the additional microfinance stories, incredibly uplifting and a challenge for me personally to find ways to invest in such causes. The issue of gender made my heart hurt. Some parts literally made me nauseous. No, that’s keeping it too PC, some parts made my stomach literally turn, I tasted bile and had to force myself to keep reading instead of running to the restroom to throw up.

  • Little girls growing up in developing countries are more likely to die before turning five – I have a five year old. Prayse. The light of my life.
  • Two -thirds of the world’s eight hundred million illiterate are women
  • More apt to be forced to marry before age 16 and be the victim of sexual and domestic abuse
  • Some two million children, mostly girls as young as five years old are part of the growing commercial sex trade around the world. This is the point where I wanted to run to that restroom I mentioned. Prayse again was so vivid in my mind. And this is many parents’ reality. My heart hurts for them.

As a woman, I got defensive, my pride and my ego were hurt when I read that

Women own less than 1 percent of the world’s property. They also work two-thirds of all the world’s labor hours, but ean just 10 percent of the world’s wages.

I am not really a feminist but I got pissed at this. I am waiting for the information and the specifics on how I can help this piece because it ticks me off. One of my favorite quotes was from the former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan

No tool for development is more effective than the empowerment of women.

Nice. Love it.

That was my focus but if someone can please address the story of Margaret, who’s nose, ears and lips were cut off while six months pregnant when the Lord’s Resistance Army came to their village as she was working in the garden. How she ever encountered her attacker later and drew upon the strength of Jesus Christ to forgive him… well, I don’t know. It’s beyond me. I was 100% humbled however as I think back to certain grudges that I am struggling to 100% let go and let our God handle. For 100% true and real forgiveness. It seems so petty now.

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Chapter 12 The Horsemen of the Apocalypse

FOURHORSEMENIf we are willing to take up the fight.

I am holding on to this one statement, this one half of a sentence. In a deep, intense chapter filled with reality of what is wreaking havoc on our world, things we are aware of but choose to tune out because of the enormity of the situation and seemingly hopeless causes that are ruining an entire generation, I choose to hold on to the hope (because there is hope) only IF we are willing to take up the fight.

I asked myself at the end, “Are you willing Tiff?”

Ready to dig in?

Hunger and Thirst and Malaria, TB, and AIDS
The patties in Haiti, made with dirt, mud, oil, and sugar. This is what people are eating. Anything in an attempt to quiet down their stomachs. To fake out their bodies for a short period of time. What I have underlined is the effects of hunger not just on the body,

Hunger also affects the human spirit. Perhaps most destructive of all is the desperation felt by parents who know that there will be no food today, and likely none tomorrow, to satisfy their hungry children. This horror gnaws at the heart…

It would gnaw at mine. The thought of it seems like a lion crouching in the darkness, waiting to attack. To be faced with this nightmare of a reality, not for me but for my children, is what breaks my heart yes for the children in the ads who are clearly emaciated, but for their parents who are watching, wanting to provide and protect and simply cannot.

I am struck over and over again how the effects of these things are literally changing the next generation of this world. For the worse! What are we doing? We are watching the next generation be cut down, be impaired mentally, never having the chance to live up to their full potential and any one of these kiddos could be the one who inspires the world to do something about this, to eradicate it all! And we are letting them be impacted beyond repair (all of the below are quotes directly from the chapter).

  • 350 to 400 million children are hungry, producing a whole generation of adults with compromised mental abilities.
  • Women and children in developing countries invest two hundred million hours a day fetching water (usually infested with diseases that kill many). That’s equal to a full time workforce of twenty-five million people fetching water eight hours a day, seven days a week.
  • One in every thirteen people become sick with malaria. The loss of productivity is debilitating.
  • Each week AIDS takes more than ten times as many lives as the United States lost in the first five years of the war in Iraq.

BUT there is hope, if we are willing to take up the fight

  • The world can and does produce enough food to feed all of its 6.7 inhabitants. The causes for why it’s not reality are many (climate, political corruption, etc.) but the reality is that it can happen. It will take smart people working together and major life change in many but it can happen!
  • In Gbum Gbum the presence of one well increased the schools attendance from 40 to 400. The women in this community were selling shea butter for a profit (even to Bath and Body Works) and the men had improved crop yields. How? Their entire day was not spent getting water.
  • Here is a resource page of other ministries dedicated to drilling wells and providing clean water throughout the world: Water Well Drilling Ministries.
  • One of the most effective interventions for malaria is a $10 insecticide-treated bed nets.
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is working to completely eradicate malaria.
  • Former Uganda president, Yoweri Museveni declared war on AIDS as a threat to Uganda’s future and security. Through those efforts HIV infections decreased from 21% in 1991 to 6% in 2000.

The battle is a winnable war if we are willing to take up the fight.

Are we willing?

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