Friday, February 5, 2010

Um...I want the Presents

If you don't know already, I'm partnering with One Days Wages to raise funds for women who have been raped because of the longstanding civil war in Congo. The idea behind the campaign is to celebrate my birthday by asking friends and family to donate to the cause.

One night before bed, I talked to Lizzy (7) about it and explained that Mommy was asking people to give to these needy women instead of presents for my birthday, and I suggested maybe someday she could do that as well. At this point, she clarified that if she did that she would NOT be receiving any presents, is that right? I said yes, that's right. It didn't take her long to quickly exclaim "I want the presents!" which made me LOL.

Yes, I do hope for both my children they would grow up to be compassionate, generous givers, and let's face it: obviously Lizzy is not quite there yet. And this whole birthday-for-a-cause thing is not to guilt trip anybody. Although if giving up the new tenth pair of jeans to give to a women who have been gang raped and abandoned by community makes anyone feel guilty then I'm not gonna fuss about it. The point is that giving makes a DIFFERENCE in this world in the lives of these women. Giving is cool, hip, fun, feels-good, obedient to God, cares tangibly for the poor/marginalized, it's a FANTASTIC way to celebrate a birthday. And if anyone doubts it, you should've seen my face when I saw that someone donated $200 to my birthday cause today. THAT gave me a HAPPY birthday. :) :) :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Crap Happens

What kind of crap? Well, when a 9 year old girl named Chance risks everything to tell the story of how her parents were killed in front of her, her aunt gang raped by soldiers, and how one raped her. You can see her in the video here:

I've already ranted on the problem of pain in my last post so that's not what this post is about. This one is about finding hope. When I see the face of that little nine year old, I see the horrific violence done to her but I also see how beautiful and strong she and her aunt are to share their story with all of us. In the most recent tragedy in Haiti, accounts of Haitians risking their lives to help each other and international aid pouring in are the beauty found among the ashes. In a world where one sixth of our population live in extreme poverty, we see grass organizations like One Day's Wages working hard to bring change.

So it seems no matter how much theologizing, evangelizing, and politicizing we do, crap happens. But there is also much hope and light to be found in the midst of darkness. And though we cannot control terrible things happening in our world, we can make choices in our response. For my birthday this year, I'd like to respond by trying to make a small difference in the lives of women and children like Chance who experience war and gender violence. Please consider joining me in praying, donating, and sharing this cause so their voices can be heard.