Archives for category: hope

This post is the second in a series about our church community’s recent trip to India in partnership with Justice Ventures International.

The first city our team visited was Chennai, India’s fourth-largest city with a population between eight and nine million people. As a board member with JVI, it was a great joy to be able to visit the staff in Chennai personally and see the office in which they work.


Slavery Today

While in Chennai, we had the incredible privilege of visiting a village of former bonded slaves who had been freed, in part, through the work of JVI. We might imagine slavery as history, something we read about in school from which we’ve moved on. The brutal reality, though, is that there are millions of people enslaved today. Read the rest of this entry »

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I just returned from visiting three cities across India in ten days with a team from my church community here in San Diego in partnership with Justice Ventures International, on whose board I serve. Putting into words all that we saw and experienced is extraordinarily difficult — in each city we visited, each day felt packed with a week, and the overall impression was a sort of “everything all at once.”

In this series of posts, I’ll share a bit about what we did, but more importantly, highlight people and organizations on the ground who refuse to be overwhelmed by the evil of slavery and human trafficking but, rather, hold fast to hope and continue to fight on behalf of those being crushed under the weight of sin.

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

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This summer, I will be going to India with a team from our church community in partnership with Justice Ventures International. I’m so excited for this convergence of my worlds (I’m one of the pastors at United and a board member with JVI), and I deeply appreciate your prayer support.

For a glimpse of the amazing work JVI does in India, please read this quarterly update. JVI works to rescue women, children, and men from slavery and to empower the vulnerable with legal resources and training.

Here is a quick glimpse at our trip:

The Idea Camp tribe has been so life-giving to me over the last couple of years.  This amazing group of compassionaries has inspired, challenged, and partnered with me in ways that have changed me and compelled me towards concrete action for good — to demonstrate the reality that God has not given up on the world by becoming better expressions of God’s love for the world.

I loved being a part of #Ideation11, even if it was only for a day. While the Ideation Conference is not strictly faith-based, this gathering of amazing idea-makers, creatives, and doers from both the nonprofit and business worlds moves powerfully together for good. A huge thanks to Charles Lee and the team for bringing together such an incredible gathering.

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Our trip to Delmas, South Africa was a beautiful whirlwind.  There is nothing like joining in the redemptive work of God in the world, whether close to home or far away.

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The Idea Camp, which has just launched a new site today!

On September 27-28, 2010, The Idea Camp will be hosting an important conversation about sex, the church, the world, and ideas for good.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m uncomfortable talking about this topic. However, it is simply too important for us, as the church, to look the other way.

I love the heart behind #ICSEX (the Twitter hashtag for this Idea Camp):

The issues related to human sexuality are too often misunderstood, ignored, or avoided in far too many churches. The Idea Camp will facilitate a safe and transparent environment of learning, sharing of insights from the respective fields of focus, and practical insights and examples of holistic care. As a faith-based conference, there will be an on-going focus on the importance of living as God’s loving expressions of grace and hope to the world through tangible acts of care in this area.

During the weeks leading up to #ICSEX, different bloggers will be hosting conversations around a topic each week.  The first week has already wrapped up, and there have been many honest, challenging reflections already.  Upcoming topics will include sexual abuse, gender, and slavery.  I’m looking forward to hosting one of these discussions here at headsparks* in September.

Being part of The Idea Camp tribe has been so life-giving to me: nowhere else have I found the friendship, collaboration, and inspiration I have found from this diverse group of like-minded people.  This time, what happens in Vegas could transform the church and change the world!

July 12, 2010 marked the six-month anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed over 200,000 people, leveled countless buildings, and caused billions of dollars worth of damage.

In March, I wrote a review about Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God’s People by Scott Sabin, executive director of Plant With Purpose. PWP is a nonprofit working to alleviate poverty by addressing deforestation. From their website:

By reversing deforestation, Plant With Purpose helps the poor restore productivity to their land to create economic opportunity out of environmental restoration. Since 1984 we have helped more than 100,000 people in some 230 villages lift themselves out of poverty through our holistic approach to sustainable development.

PWP has worked in Haiti for thirteen years, and continues to help in the rebuilding process after the devastating earthquake.  From The New York Times:

(PWP) has so far hired some 2,200 workers to plant more than 170,000 trees to protect communities. The extra available labor has allowed him to scale up Plant With Purpose’s operations, constructing more than 260 miles of soil erosion barriers to protect farmland from hurricanes and tropical storms.

There is still much work to be done.  Visit the Plant With Purpose Haiti Relief page to contribute towards rebuilding hope for Haiti.