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Archive for the ‘disaster’ Category


So, my friend Lisa and I have been developing a clothes closet type of ministry at Parkrose.  Lisa (who is very cool and peppery) works with homeless youth in Clackamas county and has experience in such things.  We’ve gathered bags and bags of gently-used clothing and blankets, painted the designated room with hip, happy colors and are waiting for racks and shelves to be installed.

We are good to go–except for the fact that we gave away ALL of the clothes and blankets this week!

My Native friend, Chief, told me on Sunday that a fire swept through his reservation that weekend, destroying at least 20 homes.  Without a second thought, I offered him our entire inventory.  Chief gratefully accepted and emptied out our closet.

The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord!  How awesome that we were able to bless others in their time of need!  But now we need to restock . . .

If you live in the area, could you take a moment and go through your closets–and pull out the clothes/blankets/shoes you don’t need or wear?   Your donations could wind up blessing a local high school student or family–or folks from the White Swan reservation!

We also need a name for this outreach.  We are open to all suggestions!  Email me or leave a comment if you have clothes to donate or ideas for a name!

shawnalyne@gmail.com

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I have never been to Sudan–but I have such a compulsion to pray for the country these days.  It is my son-in-law’s homeland . . . and my unborn grandbaby has Sudanese blood coursing through his veins.

Tomorrow begins a vote that will decide the country’s destiny–will the Christian south secede from the Muslim north or will Africa’s largest country stay united?  This article accurately sums up what is at stake in this election.  Two weeks ago, a prayer ministry for Sudan posted this informative bulletin.

Steven is heading to Seattle tomorrow to cast his vote.  I assumed he would vote for the South to secede, but he told me he was voting for unity.  Steven fears that, if the South secedes, the Christians in the North will face increased persecution.

“There will be no help for them,” he told me.

Steven is from South Sudan, but spent six years at a refugee camp in the North (Khartoum) and has personally experienced his share of persecution.  I love that he is not just looking after his own interests–his family still lives in the South–but he has a heart for all of Sudan.  In fact, he and Candyce–and baby Wani–will probably move back to the North someday to be agents of God’s love and peace.

So please pray for the peace of Sudan!  If you feel moved beyond prayer, here’s a link that offers short term trips to one of the most vulnerable areas.

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The book I’m currently reading, “The Hole in our Gospel” has been quite sobering.  And eye-opening.  The author basically describes poverty as a lack of not only material goods–but also a lack of options.  The truly oppressed have little opportunity for choices.

Think about all the choices I’ve made today–and I’ve not yet crawled out of my warm bed to dress and start the day.  I chose what time Greg would bring me my morning latte.  I chose to take an aspirin to relieve my headache.  I chose to use indoor plumbing to access drinking water (and take care of other needs).

I chose to put on my very expensive glasses so I could check all the emails and other messages that came in during the night.  I chose to read several Bible passages online and then share my insights with my online bible bus stop buddies.   I chose to turn on the heater to take the chill off the room and put on my fuzzy robe while I sit in my cozy, dry room and listen to the rain falling outside . . .

Shortly, I will get up and choose which outfit to wear to the garden and then Home Depot today.  I will choose what to eat for breakfast from a well-stocked pantry.   I will choose to drive my miata to the store of my choice to get more grub . . . all these choices will happen before lunchtime today.

Over 26,000 children will die today because of their lack of choices.  The basic necessities of life that we take for granted are not an option for these kids.  Clean water doesn’t exist; nor does food, shelter, safety or medicine.  Even if the kids survive, education and jobs are rarely an option.

My dog has more choices than these children do . . . and Scout will most likely be alive at the end of the day.

I know that many of us have “compassion fatigue”–the numbness that shrouds the heart in our affluent, choice-laden culture.   We are so bombarded with statistics and images of the dead and dying around the planet that we feel impotent–and very distant–from each day’s new disaster.

So we make the choice to just look the other way . . .

Our recent trip to Africa put faces to the statistics and I can no longer look away.  I  recently made the choice to sponsor a little girl with AIDs, and my small investment will help Kevin choose a better future–and God willing, a longer life.

You can choose, too.  If you don’t know where to start, I know a lot of precious children at the Uganda Jesus Village in Kampala.  Make Way Partners is another ministry I support–this organization helps to rescue women and children from unspeakable abuse in the Congo and other regions.

Our choice to get involved will enable others to choose life.  We can choose to make a difference.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to 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?

Isaiah 58:6,7

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January 13, 2010
The Morning After – Earthquake Haiti 2010

The sun is about to come up. The aftershocks continue. Some more noticeable than others. There is no way to even begin to share the things we’ve heard and seen since 5pm yesterday. To do so would take hours that we don’t have to give right now. Some of them feel wrong to tell. Like only God should know these personal horrible tragedies.

The few things we can confirm – yes the four story Caribbean Market building is completely demolished. Yes it was open. Yes the National Palace collapsed. Yes Gov’t buildings nearby the Palace collapsed. Yes St Josephs Boys home is completely collapsed. Yes countless countless – countless other houses, churches, hospitals, schools, and businesses have collapsed. There are buildings that suffered almost no damage. Right next door will be a pile of rubble.

Thousands of people are currently trapped. To guess at a number would be like guessing at raindrops in the ocean. Precious lives hang in the balance. When pulled from the rubble there is no place to take them for care Haiti has an almost non existent medical care system for her people.

I cannot imagine what the next few weeks and months will be like. I am afraid for everyone. Never in my life have I seen people stronger than Haitian people. But I am afraid for them. For us.

When the quake hit it took many seconds to even process what was happening. The house was rocking back and forth in a way that I cannot even begin to describe. It felt fake. It felt like a movie. Things were crashing all over the house. It felt like the world was ending. I do not know why my house stands and my children all lie sleeping in their beds right now. It defies logic and my babies were spared while thousands of others were not.

There are friends and co-workers that are missing. People whom no-one can account for. People we work with and love. There are more than I can name, but in particular we wait on one single friend who lived near the Hotel Montana – which has reportedly collapsed.

The horror has only just begun and I beg you to get on your knees – I truly mean ON YOUR KNEES and pray for the people of this country. The news might forget in a few days – but people will still be trapped alive and suffering. Pray. Pray. Pray. After that – PLEASE PRAY.

http://www.livesayhaiti.blogspot.com

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