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Against All Hope

Do you remember the holocaust of WWII? I remember freaking out in history class, that it took us (america) so long to intervene and stop such corrupt twisted behavior. How can so many people be killed and it go unnoticed? You can’t pretend that kinda stuff is not happening and look the other way.

For so long I also maintained the assumption that Nazi Germany and their concentration camps were a one time tragic event against one people group… such an ignorant thought. Holocausts and genocide still plague our world. Struggles against severe cultural prejudice still leave bodies in heaps and piles, or worse, surviving people are subject to prisoners of the most  dehumanizing acts.

Genocide in Burma has left hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee to jungles and across borders to Thailand and other neighboring countries (some even to America with the help of World Vision, my parents even adopted a Burmese family).

Hope keeps these desperate people alive. Aid from struggling organizations and missions might sustain them a little longer. The people that are not eliminated are sold as commodities, many of them as factory and field workers, and many, many more into the sex industries of Thailand, Cambodia, and elsewhere.

I have such a hopeless feeling myself, but the relentless smiles and struggle for survival that these people possess draw me toward their redemption. Not to mention, what kind of people are we if we just look away?

Against all hope,

Abraham believed…

Deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do.

But on what God said he would do.

romans 4:8 (NIV & The Message).

I am going in January, I want to be a voice for the people that have none…

**these photos are not mine



To Life

I won’t do it justice. I can’t. Not even with the finest vocabulary in all of the land.

Neither will a camera, especially not my point and shoot. And since my feeling is that the government here would make it difficult to upload unscreened videos, I will do my best with words from the images that my starving eyes have consumed: (cue an Enya song for dramatic effect, go ahead, youtube that ish!)

Rice fields stretch for miles, gingerly plotted green grids dotting sanctuaries of water that perfectly reflect and mirror the blameless, rapturous clouds of felicity sauntering along tree lines bordering dignified ancient mountains. An occasional unassuming farmer is harvesting the crop donning the conical paddy hat while dirty kids ride rusty bicycles along the crude muddy road. But I don’t care how dirty they look, there is still a polished air about them where no frown has ever crossed their determined faces. The looming mountains that form a bordered frame around this scene laso in all shades of green. There is no other color in the spectrum that contends for real estate here. Unadultered, the only adjective that belongs is ‘lush.’

But this scenery is only a back drop.  Weaving in and among the rice fields, we made our way over make shift bridges hovering on top of cat fish farms to a clearing of bamboo huts and cement buildings that comprise Child Life. Precious children of all ages call this place home, sans parents, only a handful of volunteers drift around like elementary school lunch room monitors.

And these children are precious, believe me, but they are also especially clever. These are the ‘Artful Dodgers’ of Asia. These are the street kids that hover on the border of Thailand and Burma (Myanmar) and beg. These are the kids that are notorious for their habit of pacing around, rarely without sniffing a plastic bag of glue attached to their faces. Its a lose-lost situation. They are starving, dirty, and wandering the streets begging, but you give them money, they either sniff glue with it or have to hustle it off to the older kids that run the network of gangs. It is beyond an unsafe life for them.

The glimmering light of hope is the safe haven tucked back deep in the rice fields where Child Life has harbored these children and given them survival and an education. But when you talk about ‘invisible children’, these kids are absolutely elusive. The biggest problem is they can’t belong in their home country (usually Burma) because of the oppressive militant government and injustice of poverty, but Thailand doesn’t want them either as they bring their misfortune and poverty into their country. So where do they belong?

I see it as one world. Erase the borders and see that we are all just trying to pursue life. Who will claim these prodigal footloose children?

**the photos used in this blog are not mine, I had to borrow until I can upload my own.



You are my microphone

I might over-examine things. Actually I do. Not in a bad way, more in a soaking wet with curiosity kind of way. For instance, I know we have this thing called culture. Its just how we do things. But how do we simply walk into it and adapt to its waters and never question it?

So, I’m talking to my friend Twohill yesterday and we were laughing at how people will dish out millions of dollars for little animals (we love animals too bear with me haters). Like there was an animal rescue org in CA that had this huge campaign to nurture some little seal. They raised millions of dollars to concoct the creature a specific comfortable aquatic sanctuary, nurse it and harbor it. After some time, the organization sponsored an enormous local event where they were going to launch this million dollar stock investment back into the wild. Animal obsessive enthusiasts came from all over to cheer this little blubber nugget on its way out into the vast primeval oceanic jungle. Not five minutes after the beastie gyrated its ways through the Pacific layers, a monstrous killer whale swooped in outta no where and intercepted the seal into its destined killer jaw cage. All of the hard earned “American Dream” dollars lobbied for the support of this animal chunk were swallowed into oblivion without so much as a drop of ketchup.

All that extensive tale to question, what is wrongggg with people in our culture that we are so quick to pump extra cash into the unnecessary care of wild animals while at the same time there are people that are desperately fighting to barely survive life in this world.

We feel so accomplished when we support a child by donating a few bucks a month or tossing some change in the orphan bucket on our way through the grocery line, but how is our culture NOT in a state of EMERGENCY based on the catastrophic imbalance of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness (fahget about prosperity!). Our culture is so egocentric, how do we even sleep at night on our perfect tempurpedic mattresses (where a chick can jump up and down on it and the dude’s glass of wine doesn’t spill) when there are places in the world where 30 kids sleep on a floor in a one bedroom house with no mother to tuck them in or no promise of breakfast in the morning and the constant fear of being trafficked because their life has little to no value. WHAT kind of a culture are we living in? Who do we think we are?

I know that people are drowning in our culture. I know that people are numb. I know that my emotion might not jump off this screen into your heart or soul. I know that these paragraphs might even be too long to even hold your short attention span. But if nothing else, please examine our culture… your reality, and expand your perspective outside your excessive comfort and feel a little less comfortable knowing that there are cycles of unnecessary evil in the world and you can do something to end their perpetuation.