Sprinklers in the Sky

Tonight, me and some friends went to distribute blankets to some folks having to stay out on the streets tonight.  I met a fellow named Peter.  I don’t like this story.

Peter took me by my hand and led me to the side of the building he and some friends were sleeping by.  Pointing to the sky, he began telling me about how the owner of the bicylce shop there had rigged up a series of sprinklers in the trees.  Every night, at various parts of the evening, the owner goes out and turns the sprinkers on these people sleeping under the security lighting of the shopping area.  This is done in an attempt to remove them from this section of the sidewalk.

I held the hand of a beautiful human tonight who is fighting for work every day only to be greeted by rediculous sprinkler systems in the sky.  My understanding of sprinklers was that they were for the lawn…

Don’t Buy M&M’s – Transforming Mission Update

First, let me apologize for those of you who don’t like to read thoughts on mission/church/theology.  I made a deal with some folks that read this blog that I would post some insights from my reading group going through David Bosch’s “Transforming Mission”.  I promise not to use this space to voice too many opinions on church/theology/culture/etc… I’m considering another blog for that ;).

Thursday this week, we met again.  So much stood out to me in the discussion, it was hard to summarize one point.  So let me pull a few things out that I think connect.

We are all… every human on the planet… called to care for the poor.  So much of what Jesus said in his short three years on earth mandates us to this end.  I don’t believe the lie that I so easily fell into when living in the States that said “well, I support missionaries in Africa or wherever, and that’s my part”.  That’s fine, and that’s a start, but there’s actually quite a lot of things that I contributed to in my day to day life that actually perpetuated world poverty.  Sometimes I even knew about it, but let’s be honest, shopping at Walmart was just easier than figuring out where I could get clothes NOT produced by kids in sweat shops (I don’t think I will be apologizing for being blunt here).

Further more, I’m concerned about some of the initiatives I see when it comes to church outreach.  Far too often, a small percentage of the church actually sees injustice in their communities and moves to address those issues.  What’s easy is for the majority to write off their part and say “well my community does it, so I don’t have to.”  That’s a pretty unbiblical response I’d say.

So what’s my part?  Yeah, welcome to my world of tension!  I think there’s actually something intrinsically crucial to how we set up our communities that lead me to my response to this question.  Rather than 10% doing something and 90% taking credit, I wonder if the 10% could help the 90% by finding places where every member of the community could get involved in addressing the problem.  SO, with that, let me be a help to you, my dear friends in America, by giving you a copy of a link my friend sent me this week.  CLICK HERE

If you’re unaware, there’s a global crisis within the impoverished world, of young people being sold into the sex industry (common day slavery).  Unfortunately, I found out that one of my favorite chocolate companies, Mars, has been contributing to horrific child labor so as to alleviate their costs and increase their profits.  Here’s a small step for all of us to take:  DON’T BY MARS CHOCOLATE!  That’s simple, but we must continue to push and do more.

I fear there are HUGE social systems that cause us to NOT deal with the issues we’re facing in the world.  The proof came when the first bailout package was signed last year in America.  What I witnessed was how that had effect on making the South African currency drop 5 points.  We don’t think our choices affect the world so significantly… but we all have played a part in the destruction of others.  It’s our duty to reverse the course of our actions and the actions of previous generations to put an end to the destruction of others for the betterment of ourselves.

My friends who are blogging on this topic: