Tag: Justice

Love, justice, and compassion beyond ego

Written by on March 12, 2009 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 7 Comments

Jim Palmer is a former pastor who left organized Christian religion and began to discover the reality and fullness of his own faith. He has seen terrible injustices firsthand, including child slavery and forced prostitution. He directed a non-profit in Nashville serving abused and abandoned kids, and he has befriended many homeless and poor people in his community. His own childhood was a story of abuse and abandonment. He has always struck me as a person authentically journeying toward truth and love. I was very struck by something he wrote about compassion and justice awhile ago.

He begins saying, “Increasingly it seems that too often we (at best) are alleviating symptoms instead of initiating the cure, and (at worst) exacerbating the problem, despite our well-intentioned efforts…What follows are some of the things that I’ve been wrestling with. As you will see, I’m not even sure how these below points are all connected or if they are at all…”

With apologies to Jim, this a very long excerpt. Following are seven points that are worth reading and discussing more if you’d like:

1. Technology and the media makes our world a “global village.” Screens everywhere shows us the conditions and crises

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A story of hope in Cambodia at Andong Village

Written by on March 4, 2009 in Helping Without Hurting, Photo Posts, Video with 5 Comments

Take a few minutes and watch this video. I recommend watching and then reading the story with photos here.

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Andong Village, Cambodia photo story

Two weeks ago I visited Andong Village on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Here is a brief story in pictures from that day. Keep in mind that you are only removed from these events by a few hours of travel. These lives and stories are ongoing, parallel to our own, in real time.

The well water in Andong Village is tainted with heavy metals. Long ago UNICEF provided large containers of water, but it was contaminated and people got sick. UNICEF left the barrels, and a private individual has been filling them with pond water and selling it. The water should be boiled, but fuel is expensive. Most village families have to take their chances.

Andong Village began in 2006. A slum in Phnom Penh (Sambok Chap) was emptied to make room for developers. More than 1000 families lost their homes and property (officially a much lower number). They were relocated to an empty field 24km outside the central city with no homes, no electricity, no sewage facilities of any kind, no drainage pipes to prevent flooding in the rainy season, no trash collection, no school, no hospital nearby, and the list could go on. Perhaps the  worst part was …

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Denying the resurrection of Christ

Written by on January 31, 2009 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 3 Comments

I was scrolling down the list of blogs that I read regularly, and I stopped on a post by Peter Rollins. He’s a Jesus follower, writer and teacher. Imagine my surprise to read the following:

Without equivocation or hesitation I fully and completely admit that I deny the resurrection of Christ.

Then I continued to read:

I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.

However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed.

I love his honesty as he cuts right to the substance of “belief.” I confess: me, too. I am often led about by fears or preoccupied with myself, because …

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Empowering Women to Fight Poverty

Written by on December 18, 2008 in Helping Without Hurting, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

In Muhammed Yunnus’ book, Banker to the Poor, he writes about their decisions to prioritize loans to poor women. He says the women were more likely to invest additional income for the long term benefit of the family and slowly raise the family’s standard of living. Men, however, were in general more likely to spend extra money on themselves. Obviously, it makes sense to empower responsible men; the point is that people on the ground amidst poverty recognize this practical value in empowering women.

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Poverty is…

Written by on November 24, 2008 in Helping Without Hurting, Notes By The Way with 1 Comment

I don’t know if you ‘ve seen this or not. I was a bit skeptical when I first heard the answer — too simplistic maybe. But I appreciate the point very much, especially like his application at the end.

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