I can remember stepping into a mud brick building.
They called the space — the kitchen.
There was a boiling cauldron in the room filled with smoke and coals,
— and pieces of ash flying around as if it were Armageddon.
The cook was trying to boil enough meal to feed thousands of people.
The boat oar swirled with great effort into the big iron pot —
–which once prepared, would be sloshed into bowls where students would line up by the hundreds, before breaking down into groups of three or four, around every prepared bowl,
— to eat the gruel — with their fingers.
The cook knew the students could not survive only on meal alone — they needed nutrition.
So they would pull cabbage from the field, and chop it up, adding it as a relish to the mix.
It seemed they didn’t have enough.
Nobody seemed to notice.
Village schools know that children who worry about where their next meal is coming from — are not able to focus as easily on absorbing the lessons from their academic studies.
To address this, the headmaster created a plan to address the hunger of his students. The students at different grade levels alternated one day a week each to work in the fields which produced the food that maintained them in their studies. Meals like this cabbage soup recipe make a big difference in small villages.
The process seemed to work. The students were better nourished than the children who did not participate in the fields, or have access to the program.
The short tender cabbage roots need only a little soil to be able to produce a decent volume of food, which means — they could even be produced on the rooftops of inner city schools with minimal efforts — and can grow in the hot tropics or even the mild winters with only a bit of environmental adjustments.
What if every elementary school in more developed nations planned a four-hour nutritional production course and field into their curriculum?
Surely — it wouldn’t cost as much to keep them nourished, with all of the efforts and hands involved. From the spirit of Oliver Twist, may every orphan and student whose stomach growls be able to enjoy a second bowl of comforting nutrition.
Learn how to make this delicious meal and more with your own Instant Pot!
We hope that the next time you eat cabbage, you remember the children in the fields.
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As the weather is getting colder, we are going to try to share a few more healing posts – to compliment your healthcare this winter season. Please enjoy this updated post on carrots – with more recipes for you to enjoy – and stay warm out there! More updates coming soon. I am so busy working on cards this year.
One of our little children was sick in the village.
Their childhood illness was wrapped up in an additional problem — the child was also severely malnourished.
A cold, a flu, a cut — it doesn’t matter what kind of ailment a child faces —
— when they are malnourished — the effects are worse.
In a place where there is not enough healthcare — these conditions put a higher burden on responsible adults —
In addition to the stresses of tending a sick child, with few resources, and the possible spread of the illness to themselves due to lack of clean water — there are not always enough beds in hospitals if the child’s fever spikes.
— there may not be enough vehicles to rent one if you need to try to reach a professional.
That means — swollen little eyelids and dry little lips are your business — to moisturize, to comfort — to soothe —
Each tear that falls is a drop of liquid that isn’t in their bodies that you might not know how to replace.
What do you do, when they are this sick?
One of the village doctors, has a solution.
The children hate it — but it works.
In the lines of the sick and afflicted — the doctor calls those who are suffering from certain symptoms — giving the influenza-affected, cold-affected, incontinence-affected children —
Vitamin A is actually cutting edge medicine — providing an economical new solution to measles and other childhood diseases. If immunizations are not present or available, Vitamin A is a second-line defense which helps the children fight the epidemic once infected with their own natural systems.
Still, for someone who still has to hold and rock the sick little babies — who hate those pokey- needles —
I had to wonder — for the love of God —
— could someone just try planting some freaking carrots around here?
One of the benefits in education of living in areas that have food insecurities — is you learn what each food has to offer by the diseases and effects the deficiencies have on human bodies, when certain vitamins and minerals are lacking in the diet.
Modern-day Thanksgiving meals have the potential to be just as powerful in the present as they were in the past.
Believe-it-or-not filling your table with delicious foods – is just as important as filling those seats around it with people – who are in need of a blessing this year.
At the world’s table, the seats that are filled around different tables Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and more – are just as important as the seats that are missing.
Every time I’ve gotten lost in the world,
-on every trip I’ve ever taken, and every project I’ve ever started –
something happened to make it right.
From my first bumbling international solo trip as a teenager – in which the airline went on strike and carried all passengers to the wrong country –
To passing out in a cramped and humid foreign airport from exhaustion – fortunately into the arms of a missionary family –
To finding myself without funding in Africa – and fearing that I would not be able to make the plane –
To finding myself hours later sitting in a restaurant in London, with my first real glass of wine – if I remember right, it was $40 a glass – and a warm meal that was just as expensive – on a night when I was counting on granola or candy bars.
Red grapes – and red wine – have a real significance for me – and what signifies Thanksgiving to me.
It’s that moment – when you feel like you can’t go any further, and someone gives you a gift that it was beyond your capacity to provide for yourself.
There are thousands of mini-Thanksgivings that happen throughout the year, but we choose to try to celebrate the spirit of those – all in one day.
That first cup of red wine is what found me at a crossroads of decisions, when I decided how I wanted to spend my life.
I wanted to spend it – helping people.
But even people who help people – need help sometimes, too.
And that’s what I love about the spirit of Thanksgiving.
Everyone has something to give, and everyone has a seat around the table – because they all need to eat, too.
I had been lucky enough to be taught in a village by a woman that worked for the United Nations.
As she sat by the firelight, she explained how she’d been kidnapped by guerillas – and later freed, and how she had been to every nation in the world except for one small territory that wouldn’t allow her entrance. How even in dangerous places – most people are good – and do better when they are educated – just as the bible says – to teach your children, and to love your neighbors as you love yourself – as far as the east is from the west. My trip to London was soon to follow.
Even in the worst of times, a glass of red wine has become a prayer for me.
Nothing should be able to separate people from the good that they deserve.
It should always be just around the corner, on it’s way,
rolling in the river, or on the wings of eagles,
simply because there is a God.
So if you are struggling today… remember that there is a God, and the hope that we have in this world is only though what we can’t see, speak to, touch or feel.
Do what God would ask you to do. Not what the world demands of you.
Follow the whispers of your heart. Not the demands of those who pretend to be superior enough to exclude – for that is not how God made our hearts.
And God is coming to break away the shadows, and bring in the light.
Our work against poverty and injustice is never in danger of being without the support of God.
When you take steps towards the right things, even if you fall unconscious into the arms of a fellow passenger, God will keep you upright.
And may set you down at a table in a foreign land, on a day that you have almost nothing to eat – with a $40 glass of red wine in front of you – and good company.
Gratitude is what fills your heart – when God’s wishes meets people’s actions meet Godly will.
It’s that warm feeling you get – when the world is made right.
It’s not right to feel gratitude, when you are not grateful.
Can you imagine what would have happened – if the Indians spoke to the pilgrims, and they spouted their gratitude for the sky and the cold water – so much that the indians could not see the need that was killing them?
Even God, who knows all of your thoughts, cannot control your actions.
Don’t deny the world, help that you feel that you are called by God to give.
Don’t deny a person a kindness that you know that they need. God is probably the reason behind your awareness and consciousness.
When you are stranded on holidays, God hears those prayers.
That is how God works – He sends help through people.
And one of the people – that the world can’t do without – is you.
So for all of you who are loved and accepted by the village – feel welcome around the proverbial ‘turkey’ table, always – even if we have to plan a bit to make it happen.
Travel around Christmas-time isn’t easy for missionaries.
The holidays are the time of year – when everyone else travels.
For human-rights workers – the budget rule is usually to hunker down where you are – be it abroad – or stateside,
-as the cost of plane tickets skyrockets, doubles-and-triples – and potential passengers from around the world compete for seats – on planes, trains, and auto-mobiles,
-rick-shaws, bicycles, and cruise ships.
Cranberries are a special holiday flavor – in the midst of the hustle and bustle – because they are one of the special foods that the Algonquian people shared with the malnourished English settlers on the original day of Thanksgiving.
Fresh cranberries are a crisp favorite seasonal pleasure for many – however, due to the vastly wet and cool growing conditions – which are best-suited for countries of the Northern Hemisphere, with the exception of a few high altitude mountainous regions beneath the global poverty line –
– fresh cranberries are not easy to cultivate in dry villages,– which means, these little holiday berries have to travel, too.
Fresh cranberries can be sauteéd down into sweet syrups, sauces, packaged in cans, powders, bottled juices, jams and food dehydrators, and other processing, the same cranberryd flavor can be brought to the ends of the earth – in the same spirit as frankincense and mhyrr.
During our first few village Christmas seasons, we could not afford gifts for the little children in the village – instead, they had beautiful traditions of dancing together on Christmas Day.
It wasn’t until about four seasons in that we were able to put up our first Christmas tree – made possible by the kindness of a donor.
Another year, we added in the tradition of holiday music – and added piano lessons until all of the children could play Jingle Bells.
Every year we challenge the village children to make paper projects, that have grown increasingly more beautiful as years have passed by.
Cranberries offer great nutrition for children, and help fight off and prevent UTI infections. For children who are HIV+, any kind of healthy food that offers anti-bacterial benefits are a blessing.
Raw cranberries have a bitter taste, but when cooked with sugar form very nice syrups and flavor – another example of a popular bitter flavor being a lemon – or a lime – and add a special holiday flare to some of your favorite seasonal dishes.
Child laborers in the early years of America found work on cranberries in the 1930’s – and lived in similar conditions as many of the child laborers of today. Child right’s activists know that good legislation helps to protect society in many different ways.
The idea of activism, and nonprofits for our free nation was actually an idea born of Harvard University– which was the first establishment of learning and higher education in the newly-developed America. Harvard University was and is located near a cranberry bog – which became a local source of identity and color that has served the university andthe world withauthentic crimson, defined as an‘arterial red’.
Activists from early Harvard, and around the world wrestled with the ideas of how to build a nation that respects human rights – and to encourage through education, legislation and rules to where the children of a society are entitled to schooling, free from labor, and to have rights to medical care, food, resources, safe labor – and housing – is something that we’ve struggled as a nation towards – but have not yet fully arrived.
Offshore slaves hope and wish for the day that many of those same amenities can be made available for them. That’s why – around the holidays especially, it is important to incorporate giving into your holiday budget.
Help another child go to school. Encourage another law for the protection of children in your own community be put into writing. Sign another letter – supporting those who are out there fighting and working for human rights issues. Hire somebody for a simple task that you don’t want to do to give them a bit of financial support or freedom.
As you enjoy your cranberries this Thanksgiving and Christmas season – let the appearance of this bright ‘arterial red’ fruit be a reminder to you of the blessings of indian cultures – and your visual cue to actively participate in the need for child rights – and human rights – and donations & gift-giving, all around the world.
It’s not necessary to travel to the ends of the earth during the holiday seasons in order to send a gift that matters:
World Vision Catalogue – Pick out a short-term project to sponsor for an international child this holiday season, or sign up for Christian sponsorship.
(World Vision’s holiday catalogue is not a joke – I’ve done a lot of work in small villages – and have seen the goats! I’ve watched the village children learn to take care of them – they become like dogs or cats but love to eat the gardens!)
Sponsor A Child Through Children International – For $32 a month you can provide a child with life-changing benefits, like medical care, educational support, life skills and job training before graduation. Children International is humanitarian sponsorship – as many of the children in need cannot be sponsored by religious organizations. Children International began in the 1930’s with Christian Sponsorship, but adjusted their model over the years to make the same sponsorship benefits to children in poverty-stricken areas – of different religious identities.
(I have visited my own sponsored child abroad – many, many times through Children International and am always proud of their work.)
Click Here To Support The Needs Of An Orphanage This Holiday Season:
I have worked in villages with or near each of these nonprofits – and am proud of the work they do. Have you ever sponsored a child? Have you visited your sponsored child? Have you ever been on a mission trip? Share your stories – or your questions with us, here:
Tourists come to visit – and never know what kind of life or personalities exist beyond the safely-marked roads — or what kind of poverty exists there.
That said, amongst the poverty – there is also abundance.
If you can make it past the hippos and the crocodiles — you can eat the fish.
The girls will refuse to throw lines and dread the canoes, fearing the water’s edge for the aggressive animals that find their home there, just beyond the large crops of fresh sugar cane that poke their reeds shyly out of the river bed.
Even the boys will hesitate — for it is dangerous.
But the men – will smile – and whistle. Fishing isn’t for just anybody. There’s a reason why they are brave.
The men, and older boys will make their own fishing lines, and sometimes climb into a canoe that perhaps they’ve even made — themselves.
Once, we filled an entire canoe with village children – it is not easy to keep the vessel from tipping without extreme and concentrated balancing effort.
Women wait at the water’s edge — or buy from the more corporate fishers, a bulk amount at a cheaper rate —
– and then women and girls will wander through the hills with the dead fish balanced on hats that look like sombreros —
-or they stack them up on blankets in rows on the ground in the markets –
-shouting out their fresh food for the day.
Fish provides great amounts of protein and vitamins for the children in the village, so long as the people are allowed to be near the water’s edge.
Without refrigeration, some types of fish can be dried and stored for long amounts of time, although the smell is not not the most friendly, they are safe to eat.
It is important to have clean water sources for healthy fish. Pollution anywhere, such as in factory-condensed areas – have effects on all of the wildlife – and the people – who live in the nearby environments.
Fish ponds rarely work for extended amounts of time without a budget set aside to repair the pumps when they fail. Rivers and large bodies of water are much more dependable, but often, the poor are not allowed to be on those properties. Some suggest that they bother the tourists, and others – the landscape. Owners of large areas of property frown on gleaners and are known to burn the gardens and crops of widows and orphans that try to plant there.
It is important that people have the right to fish, and licenses and regulations help ensure that all have an equal opportunity to natural resources.
We hope that you enjoy fish, and pick up a few fish recipes today to share – and when you do, you remember the children in the village.
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One of the first things that I noticed about children in poverty-stricken villages…
— despite the hunger which was so evident in most of them,
Was how fun… how delightful, it is…
to feedthose little bellies.
A family member bought a cookie decorating kit, hoping I could take it to the children in the village. I somehow managed to bring all the way across the world, through ALL of the international checkpoints – due to the fact that it had all dry ingredients – no liquids. That was when I discovered how much village kids liked – cookies.
I woke early one morning, and headed to the center where we do our work with children, just as the sun was rising. I took full advantage of the few moments of holy silence, before the children arrived, and made my way around the table and desk, setting out the ingredients from the boxed package for the children to decorate cookies as they walked through the arch in the clean walls.
The first little girl walked in the sunlit room. An eight –year-old. She heard me moving around quietly and her sleepy, tousled head took in the sight of the prepared craft table.
“Can I show you something?” I asked, taking her by the hand.
I showed her the bright yellow icing, which had been powder in the box, which I had prepared with fresh butter,and the little cup of rainbow sprinkles. The cookies were flat and straight, like cardboard puzzle pieces cut into the shape of butterflies and flowers.
“What is it, Aunty?” She asked, looking at the stack of packaged butter cookies, in the shape of butterflies and flowers.
“It’s an art project.” I whispered.
She sat down and I showed her how to ice a cookie.
She thought it was paint. She took to the decoration of her piece — thoughtfully — in her little pink nightgown.
The next little boy wandered in. He was only six-years-old. He had been living on the street with his brothers until just about six months before. Now he was in kindergarten. He took his new school responsibilities very seriously.
He always wore a solemn, worried expression. He had learned that school and church — were the factors which made his life comfortable, and separated him from the way that he lived on the street.
I sat him down, and put in front of him a cookie.
I watched him begin to decorate his treat. He watched the first girl carefully, to make sure that he was doing this right.
More children filed in. Graciously, it happened almost one-by-one that they silently took in their surroundings and took their place around the table.
I was able to show them their tasks individually, not as a group, although they were all together.
They loved the sprinkles. They loved the bright color of the icing.
But none of them – knew – that this was an edible treat.
“Don’t eat it.” I had told them. And they had listened.
I suppose Crayola markers and tempera paints, and glue also appear edible — to someone who doesn’t know what they are.
The kids had gotten used to this command not to eat the educational supplies they created with.
I have no idea how much paint had been tasted, nor plastic that had been chewed before they finally gave up trying.
Finally – near the end of their quiet decorating, one of the girls – a very bright child – asked – “What is this, Aunty?”
“Everybody,” I announced. “Stick your finger in this… just a little bit.”
We passed around the icing bowl – and everyone placed a bit of the “yellow paint” on their fingers.
“Now,” I smiled… “Taste it.”
As they all began licking their fingers and their eyes went joyful and wide.
“What is THAT, Aunty!?” One child demanded.
“This is a cookie.” I held up an example.
“This is icing.” I held up the icing bowl.
The children all took their treats out to the sunny porch and we took pictures of their beautiful treats that they were so proud of.
The kids began to nibble on their treats, but not one child ate the whole thing. For nearly a week, I watched them sneak into the kitchen and take small sugary bites out their cookie.
The children knew of scones, they had heard of cakes, they were learning — how cooking on a stove was different than cooking over am open fire. And how an conventional oven is completely different than that.
–– but until that day… they didn’t know cookies. And icing.
They loved these things called “cookies” and wanted them to last forever.
Notably, this treat – that the village children really like – is a luxury made out of a few simple ingredients that can almost always be found in just about every corner of the world.
Wherever you happen to be in the world, chances are, you are not very far from a tray of cookies. They don’t have ot fit in your suitcase.
Since that first cookie day in the village, we’ve worked with many different cookie recipes, with the many different ingredients we can access in the village.
We’ve been baking cookies ever since, and are sharing some of our favorite cookie recipes with you today. Click on the pictures on the left side of your screen for the recipes and ideas by Gimme Some Oven. (See video at the end of the post.)
Hopefully we can post more about those — including ingredient substitutions for commonly missing supplies, soon.
*The pictured cookie was made by a wonderful group of people in an adult daycare center to bless the people of our church.
— but children in villages — with an internet connection —
— love to check out beautiful foods and cakes online.
Food photography and blogs, as well as cooking shows —
–have taken over the media in the past few years.
Children watch through window displays, glassed in televisions, or phone screens —
— hunger makes them look a little bit dreamy — when they view beautiful foods on empty stomachs.
Ideas hug and comfort them with an inspirational touch — that maybe someday they will also be able to eat something like this.
For a recent holiday, the children chose to make a Rainbow Cake.
They didn’t have enough funding for several layers, but instead decided to paint it beautiful with food coloring and icing.
This was their result.
This is a great cake idea for birthdays — especially if children are helping to make the celebration special.
Bright colors — and extra sugar — bring hope to the children in the village.
Here is a link to our color wheel experiments which make Rainbow Icing possible even if a whole spectrum of food dyes are not availalble: Color Theory
Click on the pictures on the left side of your screen for the recipes and ideas by Gimme Some Oven.
If you would like to support our projects in the village – please mail a check to *Pinteresting Against Poverty, PO BOX 26074, Overland Park, KS 66225. Donations are tax-deductible if you file your return in the USA.
Check out the gallery on the right side of your screen to learn more about Rainbow Gardening and Village Nutrition.→
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— is one of the reasons why there are so many orphans
— in the village.
Sometimes barefoot isn’t an option.
Did you know that there are viruses in the soil, which damage children’s health?
Help us to raise awareness by sharing this post on your social media. Also, you are welcome to contact any of the companies below on behalf of PinterestingAgainstPoverty to restore any or all of these functions.
Note: Our link our online donation center is disabled and we are struggling to find a company to process our donations online. We also struggle with affiliate marketing, while many companies have agreed and approved us, we don’t get our earnings, they seem to disappear after we have earned them. We created an volunteer affiliate marketing link with buttons and images that others could add to their sites, but that also failed to work properly. We used to have a button where people could and make a general donation to support children’s rights – including shoes for their feet, and we are disappointed with several companies for not keeping their promises to our NGO. CJ, Content Ad and ShareaSale and Abebooks.UK (not US, which explains a shortage of sales – yet our website has been offered a trustworthy certificate from the UK, and I am not sure if that applies to the USA.) and Ratuken. All required w-4’s and approved some of our posts for affiliate marketing income but that never worked. We were set to recieve a commission from sales at Better World Books, which would also provide reading materials to the United Nations in exchange for the referrals. As many of you know, building libraries in villages has been a long-time passion of mine. Intermedia phone lines had trouble for weeks connecting us with international calling but eventually did so, but when we were unable to keep up the phone bill because of the failure of the online processing. Sprint and Verizon could not connect us to international calling- to be fair. T-Mobile couldn’t give us our phone number back, and several other pay-as-you-go services were not able to meet our needs. Evalon services by Costco failed, although there was great efforts put forth by the customer service team at Costco to encourage stable services. Evalon approved our financial application and insisted that 3DCart Store or another online plugin must be added to process online, but then the plugin service claimed Evalon’s services were not needed after we chose a company. When we were not able to processs donations, we lost our contract. 3d Cart representatives were interested in discounting our donation services and noted that extra code was added to our item processing which stopped donations from going through. We also purchased identity theft protection and also struggled to keep the contract when we were not able to protect my son’s identity, which was a part of the package and benefit offered by the company, but did mysteriously manage to regain access to a lost email account after also making police reports for the safety of children’s information associated with the account. We lost the identity protection when we could not collect online support. We lost our bank cards after a hacking and security incident, which made it difficult to pay for the online services, but fortunately another service was offered to accomodate the loss of that. We have a discounted Photoshop subscription, but are mysteriously charged about $2 extra per month. Photoshop is necessary to protect the images and identity of the people we serve. We do not have social media pages at this time associated with this blog, because of the difficulty in monitoring false accounts and due to the overpricing and underserving of advertising charged to our company bank accounts by Facebook, as well as disturbing messages on profiles and comments. We do not use Amazon because pinging made our important expenses bounce. To be fair, several people clicked on the links to donate, and complained when they couldn’t. On the first day that we accepted subscribers we had databases full but then subscriptions somehow seemed to become disabled and never received a subscription again to our knowledge. Our paid gallery services by Supsystic seem to work mysteriously every other time they are opened. We were informed by others about legal threats and dissolving of assets letter that we were never able to read as soon as it looked like we might have gotten this human rights project off the ground after receiving a generous product grant by Google. We are aware that our posts are screened for medical advice and drug-information as well and have agreed not to share medical advice as professionals on our blog, as advised by Google. One of our trusted volunteer developers was offered a huge deal by another company at the same time as we were getting ready to start this blog and did the work ahead, and then could not collect from the company, causing him great financial distress and leaving less time for volunteer projects like ours. We entered a grant contest for a web-development grant opportunity, but did not get approved or chosen. Sometimes the cursor goes crazy on the edits and the writing of posts, and we lost about three weeks of content when we upgraded our hosting account, that the children put a lot of effort into. Media on WordPress takes a generous amount of time to load, and sometimes there are grammatical mistakes that might take an hour to fix just because of the revolving gears on end for no good reason. We have been unable to fund any developers, and struggled to sort through several mixed messages as soon as we referred to online sites for web development, so please bear with us as we are learning and doing the best we can to share projects and ideas that will benefit human rights in third world nations, and are struggling to present content that will hopefully be able to somehow support us eventually.
We are grateful for all of the services that are available for use, and just don’t know how to explain how sometimes those services don’t work for us the way they do for other people and pray to have the same respected rights someday, soon.
She sat with her hand in the air, in the quiet sanctuary.
“They’ve already taken questions.” Explained a woman a few columns away from her. “You can put your hand down.” And another nodded over her shoulder, pleadingly.
The girl didn’t speak out loud, but didn’t take down her hand either. “I think they need to know that I have a question.” She whispered back to them.
Older women shepherd the younger women in the church – fearing their own voices might not be respected – if they don’t respect the forces that silence their gender.
People around the girl’s raised arm shifted uncomfortably, and the people on stage turned away. She couldn’t tell if they couldn’t see her – if her question was too much in the shadows of the awning – or if they felt like her question had already somehow been previously represented.
She knew she wasn’t the right form of personality to demand attention, but she also somehow did not feel unnoticed.
The people around her who cared about her were holding their breath, and the ones that huffed were the ones who would keep her silent and unknowing forever if they could.
It was like God wouldn’t let her take her arm down. Too much leadership training, and being the primary caregiver of so many little babies from all over the world kept her arm in the air. Did they know what they were doing?
Above them had hung a vision – which was as ugly as a black man hanging on a Southern Baptist Cross.
She looked at the faces of the white men on the stage – and realized they didn’t see the demon in it. The stained glass shone brightly behind them over the ill-fated sample of hopeless impossibilities.
She was going to try to keep my question short, God-willing.
“Can you put that picture back up for a moment, please?” She wanted to ask them. They wouldn’t have expected her to make a request like that, but the graphics guy was high-tech, and probably wouldn’t have refused either.
She needed them to put the ugl-y-ness back on the screen, to call it out, and get it from hanging over their own heads – unaware of what they were talking about – there was a second layer to the visual aid that hadn’t crossed their experience. What – wasn’t being said – was more dangerous and looming – than the silent speakers which loomed over the heads of the musicians – and which blocked the rainbow prism on the floor.
The picture was a devil’s reasoning – with devil’s images. How much suffering went into the production of cane sugar? Only if you’ve ever worked on cane would you know how it shreds your hands and beats your body, how it burns and glazes – to get the ‘perfect’ ‘pure’ refined product that destroys your body, causes dislike to the sweet taste of fruit – and ruins your teeth, your appetite – and your words. There was no hope in any of their reasoning or their chosen representation of the church.
It was like an infant Jesus was lying in a manger and Herod himself was leaning over looking with doubt – and premonition – upon the child – trying in a worldly way to wonder what was so special about this little holy creature – and wouldn’t it be better to starve him or exile him – than find out? To decide whether the rumored child could be allowed to live – or serve – by easy identification of his parts – or much more difficult to see inside of – spirit? The only way Herod could maintain control was to trouble Jesus by creating blockages – like laws, which were the only commands within Herod’s power. You could argue with Herod all day long – but Herod wasn’t meant to give the permission they were meant to demand the freedom of their neighbors, it wasn’t by dis-invitation, but rather by love that the church was meant to be solidified and purified in the presence of the holy -one- a holy solidified one.
Fortunately, the glass was above it, and it wasn’t the slavery – or supremacy that the panes were representing.
On the picture were four scenarios:
“So, this is what they fear.” The girl thought to herself.
And the speaker explained with fine language the destruction of all four scenarios.
The Progressive, Non-Compatible-ists want to break – – think inclusion is worth fighting for – so much so – that they would break – to be included. There were only a few grains scattered amongst them, but those grains would change the color of the group if added, like the rainbow shards in the window, they were already in pieces. Next to them was a sugar packet that was broken open as if it were somehow impure.
The Progressive-Compatiblists wouldn’t break to include them, they want the church to be united. Next to their – was – a broken sugar packet packet. They were not whole until they decided to leave or stay – or would break individually – or at least, that’s what the devil convinced them was their scope of decision.
The Traditional-Compatiblists wouldn’t leave to break, but they wouldn’t stop others in the church from accepting promises from the people to God in front of their congregations, but they wouldn’t unite them in holy matrimony – either – which was the same as not inviting them to the Christ vision as God created them to be. The former categories besides theirs – were also broken open.
And… Herod… didn’t want to come, didn’t want to live that way, and threatened to leave if he couldn’t look under the sheets and ensure in all of the worldly commands his mortal power and reign for the future. But Herod sent emails disguised from every good person he convinced to leave with him – which were painful to the pastors, because – they were invited and loved the same community, too, to maintain Herod’s privileges and power, and didn’t know of a better way. The leadership had to make the decision isolated because the crowds weren’t presenters when – they did not feel welcome, but needed to be included.
“That cannot be the vision of a church that calls themselves united and is supposed to be a representation of the Kingdom of God on Earth.” She wanted to say. “The people from every option are all bleeding and they are not united – some merely because they are wishing for permission they will never receive from Herod, but – like Ruby Red Slippers – have always had it – in Christ. There are so many references in the green-background of the black-and-white example – to slavery and supremacy and oppression – that’s spiritual assassination any way you go. That is only a vision that the devil would want you to believe. Each projected possibility is… bleeding – white.”
“There are fourteen percent that wouldn’t be able to move forward if we let these people in.” Said the speaker. The girl imagined a geriatric ward trying to roll their way out of the church if the balances of the youth were allowed in the door. Most of that division would probably stay and enjoy the company, and not notice any major differences in their worship anyways.
Those fourteen percent would still be invited. And the people who were being fought for were already welcome and loved.
How could they be so confused? She wondered.
Then she remembered the comment about the emails – and knew how the devil would make them think that they were kicking out those who were blocking the gates – not guarding them. If leaders only speak to leaders, nobody leads and everyone fears. Those emails don’t represent the opinions of the future. Is that what they are taught to believe – that the complaints of one who takes the time to twist a heart for love – is the one that matters more than 100 people who quietly huddle in support of the rejected whose voice is denied? The ones who short of laying their loved one’s naked bodies out on the stage and publicly shaming them – could only represent them with confusing metaphors – loving them like mothers, when they needed to be loved like neighbors. Anyone who’d ever changed enough diapers – around the world – would have been able to know that diversity works – and can only be explained by God. A wise spiritual teacher wouldn’t disrupt those blessed partnerships when they come – they would celebrate them. Isn’t that what God made clothing possible for? God has no problem with nakedness – but men have problems with judging – and shame for what they don’t understand. Not enough men change diapers, and not enough women are allowed to speak in church to make up the difference in their knowledge, babies are innocent, and cannot represent themselves or their differences – the same as these children of God.
Did the church belong to the intentionally rainbow-faced Christ in the window? Or did it belong to the vision of the impending spiritual-assassination below them?
“Can you raise the image of the Book of Discipline?” She knew that even when they raised the book, it was still going to appear below the Christ figure.
“What was the most important rule we were given?” She wanted to ask. “If the text doesn’t honor that, then why use it to judge anyone’s freedom of actions? Wouldn’t it be more dangerous to our faith to keep them out – than to allow them in, and to make and keep their promises to their partners, their children, and to their creator, Himself?”
Did we need to divide in order to make a space for these people? No, the beauty of their representative broken-ness was already represented in the face Christ above them. Nobody would be forced to stay, but all were welcome.
“Where is the hope in this situation?” She wanted to point out that it could not possibly be contained possibly be contained in the starch-white slavery-produced sugar packets – she had been to enough leadership conferences to know that the hope was in the fused shards of above them. Four broken sugar packets could not possibly be God’s hope for the world.
The leaders seemed to need permission from each other – or some silent non-present presence – more than they needed permission from God.
Yet, it was a brave Pastor, who turned to the others, and explained, “I’m kind of in fear for my mortal soul… [if we don’t let these people in]”
She waited for someone to be brave enough to say – “Nobody left. Everyone’s welcome. That’s the way it always was. Can I introduce you to my neighbors? And remind you how we all fall short every day? And these are not the promises they made to the pastor – these are the promises that the pastor recorded in their community that they openly made to each other and God.” Was what she felt like the true representation of Christ would say in regards to the Herod’s that would keep them out. Thank God there was a pastor who understood how important this issue was.
The girl was looking up at the shards that made the rainbow in the holy face above the leaders.
But they wouldn’t accept her hand, and the light from the glass protected her heart from their rejection.
It is the colors in the glass that will protect the church and enable it to make the right decisions. Were they really discussing this on the raised platform where the people sing,
“Nothing can separate – even if you ran away – cause your love never fails.”
A celebration of diversity is what this sanctuary was meant to stand for. The healing of the broken fused together into a vision everyone is welcome to participate in. All of those little shards of glass that want to be neighbors and be treated with the dignity and respect with which they were created ought to feel invited to come to Christ’s church. None of them are perfect as a whole – but together and baptized by fire they fuse into a spirit that fills the room – and is meant for a greater kingdom with fewer boundaries and more freedom.
God already made those design decisions – of what would be beautiful when he made the people by the head of the hair. Do you want stained glass when you go to church? Or are you trying to fit your faith inside of a paper packet of slave sugar, hoping that someone will serve you disproportionately?
It was never the church’s decision. It was the God who designed them fearfully and wonderfully. Their inner workings and chemistry were never meant to be judged by a crowd – only celebrated by their goodness and promises kept, and loyalty to values which allow others to be accepted and blessed as well.
She had about as much ease in leaving the sanctuary as she did taking her hand down.
It was a question that needed to be asked, the same kind of spirit that caused her to fail a college ethics class years ago. (Subscribe – I might have a chance to write more about that, later.) She felt like her question could not be answered – until it was asked in a more supportive atmosphere where light could enter.
You don’t have to be black to care about civil rights in your world and nation. You do not need to be a woman to care about women’s rights. And you do not have to be LGBTQ to care about their rights – or inclusion either. You do not need to be Jewish to uphold their religious freedoms, or be Muslim to care about their well-being – or old to care about the young. Or respected as a leader – in order to feel the call to lead, and protect spiritual values unapologetically. Some of the most powerful advocates in the justice movement – are not the people who are oppressed in our societies – but the people God called to love, protect, and support them.
I feel like everyone in the world who wants to live as Christ commanded us to live – should be invited to our church and given the choice to be fully-embraced members.
And everyone – in the world – who prays for social justice – should feel like neighbors, there.
And so does our Pastor.
(I’d feel a bit rude to post the picture of the sugar packets but I modified it – so it’s legal, but I’m going to try to get permission of the artist – to be fair, although I need to point out that the speaker didn’t seem to take any pride in the example and it does seem to accurately present the fears of each group. The speaker was using the permitted example that someone else synthesized down into a visualization that explained the groups and the topic on the church’s table. The Elders felt like the visualization accurately described the arguements of all sides – and the future of the church. The elders approved and raised this example of their condition – without seeing the demon in it, or their responsibility to change it. It describes what they see and understand. The Elders couldn’t build a monument or a Sistene Chapel to attract the youth of the world, based on green posterboard with black and white scenarios where everyone dies, so they wanted this poster to be carried around the world as an example to raise over the heads of the church leaders – to let them know what kind of thoughts they are willing to consider. Small churches may only face one or two in a generation – but the point of having united church is for the world view, wisdom and perspective that a far-reaching and wide congregation of believers is supposed to be able to provide. I’d feel the freedom of Christ to boldly post the making of the face of Jesus in the window – without permission, with a link to the creator.)
Pinteresting Against Poverty is a Human Right’s Blog Teaching Readers How To Become Better Advocates For International Mission – uniting the world through fun projects and meals. This post is categorized under human rights, discrimination, justice and faith.
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When good seeds are added to the blessings of natural environmental compatibility, one eventually learns that there are many types of food and nutrition that are not available in an area — which could be made available — if the people knew what they were, and how to produce them.
Hence, the term ‘introduced’.
During a trip, far, far away from our usual dust —
I saw celery for sale in a grocery store.
Confused — it occurred to me —
If this food is here — someone grew it — here. The celery had to be produced nearby. Surely no one flew it in, for refrigeration is a challenge in the developing world, and water-intensive veggies don’t fair well without it.
That led me to the question, “Why don’t I see celery growing the village?”
During the rainy season, the conditions would have to be near perfect for this anti-cancer, immunity-boosting — anemia-annihilating vegetable — that needed to be grown —
— near the children — who can benefit fromit.
Celery has natural properties which fights both viruses, and influenza.
Not only that, celery seed is often sold — as a spice — in many world markets. That said, in traditional Chinese medicine, or Ayurveda, celery, celery seed, and celery seed essential oils are used as treatments for both gastric ulcers, and influenza – as a massage oil, and aromatherapy, as well as ingested in soups, teas, and other meals. If you are feeling under the weather, give this Skinny Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe (celery included) a try from Gimme Some Oven.The children make a similar meal, even in the village.
We decided to attempt growing celery during the rainy season.
Nearly a year after the first initial planting experiment, one of our kind staff members chewed on a stick of celery, claiming the wonderful merits of this good and flavorful food that the people crave.
As soon as people in the village became familiar with the plant, which they could recognize by the leaves, they began to integrate it with their supper. “Oh!” Exclaimed on special widow, touching the leaves lovingly, “I just really like the flavor of the leaves, and the smell of it, when it’s cooking.”
We’ve found that the people crave the foods their bodies need to reverse their malnutrition.
If they crave it, they need it. If they crave it, and can identify and produce it, then they can heal their bodies with it.
Inspired by the Pinterest ads for ‘Foods that Re-Grow‘ we picked up some whole celery on our next trip to the capital city.
They really regrow. The children and staff huddled around our little experiment one afternoon, looking at the new chutes growing out of the old bulb. We knew how to do this much now. The same celery stalk could feed us again and again if we were careful with it. It was a good feeling to see the new little shoots coming out of the plant without any further effort.
“I did not know that it could be that easy.” Stated one man, shaking his head, who looks out for many children in the village.
If you know of anyone working on projects in tropical areas — encourage them to pick up some celery seed for the rainy season. It helps.
Questions or Comments?
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The other day, I was passing by one of my favorite market areas in a small stateside city. The refugees were selling black cherry heirloom tomatoes.
I purchased a small basket full of the wine-colored fruits in order to bless their labor. Several weeks ago, we wrote a post about slave-free tomatoes. Buying heirloom tomatoes from local refugees while attempting to garden tomatoes in an area with several severe human rights violations – brought me to wondering…
What is the difference between the mindset of a slave… and a refugee?
Is a refugee someone who refused to BE a slave? Or, is a slave simply a person that hasn’t ever been given an opportunity to – be free?
I started typing out a post about the differences that I’ve seen in working with people – who could be considered both – and hope to share it soon.
In the meantime, please keep reading below to understand our thoughts on slave-free tomatoes:
“So, let me get this straight…” I asked, continuing hesitantly –
“you mainly eat corn, onions, tomatoes and dark leafy greens.”
“Yes.” Said the widow.
“And you drink tea.”
“Yes.” She said.
“You know how to grow the corn, and the onions yourselves.”
“Yes.” She said sternly.
“Do you know how to grow the tomatoes?”
“Where do the tomatoes come from?”
“I don’t know where they come from.”
“How do they get to the market?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you allowed to grow tomatoes?” I asked finally, trying to make sense of this situation.
The widow shuffled. And hesitated. “There are many things which we have not been taught to do properly. They do get angry at those who grow different things from time to time.”
I knew from my food biology class that tomatoes were needed to fill the nutritional gap from the glucose in the corn. The children would become quickly malnourished without the vitamins and nutrition present in a plant they were not able to produce for themselves.
Meaning — they had to have money in order to be healthy.
“Do you know what the seed to a tomato looks like?” I asked.
There had to be at least twenty seeds in every tomato we purchased.
Twenty seeds that could produce 20 tomato plants.
Twenty tomato plants, that could yield about 15 pounds of food per plant.
Why were these people afraid to grow what it would take to keep their children from dying of hunger?
“Okay. We are going to have to figure out how to grow tomatoes in pots.”
The people agreed.
-Check back in with us soon, we may have more posts and pictures of our tomato project, which is currently in progress:
On a trip, far, far away — further than I could walk,
— a trip that happened after a long walk — in a luxurious contraption called a motor car,
— I found a Chilean plum, in a grocery store.
The color was delightful, and I purchased one…
–to bring back to the village — and feed the children a taste.
After taking a few videos and pictures with the beautiful fruit —
–we cut it into small pieces, and set it out as a treat for a four-year-old’s birthday, passing the dish around.
The fruit was soft, and juicy, and sweet.
We were careful — to save the seed.
Hoping to see — if it might be possible — to grow something similar in the village.
We all knew that if we could get something like that seed to produce — like a good “Jack and the Beanstalk” story, the fruit could generate income, and fill nutritional gaps — for the orphans and the widows.
Something as simple as a good seed could also house, clothe, and educate the widow with the green thumb — or — the struggling young student with the internet connection.
On a different continent, a few weeks later — I went to a grocery store.
I smiled when I saw the same little plums on the shelf. My hope — was that the little barefooted children in the far off village where these fruit were produced — were able to go to school by the cost of their produce.
Some may think that someone as far away as a fruit picker in the subtropical nations doesn’t have an impact on their well-being or daily lives —
— but the fruit was just one glowing example of how far the efforts of their simple labor were able to reach.The cheery little fruit was brightening the produce baskets in three different corners of the world.
It’s a wonder to me, that people can walk past the fruit in their grocery stores, and really not know the lands or the people they come from. The fruit has a shorter lifespan, and yet travels further, than most people do.
Read more about human rights and how we are fighting malnutrition with our Rainbow Garden!
Coming Soon: How to prepare the plum seed from the fruit. Subscribe to read the story: