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Entries from September 2009

I imagine...

manet-before-mirror I imagine Heaven, Paradise, life on the New Earth to be a place where people are human. Where they are raw, sincere, open, and free to be exactly as they are without judgement. It is a place where there are no secrets, no suspicions, no fear, no gossip, nor thoughts of others being quirky or strange. It will be a place where everyone is looking in a mirror and remembering his own reflection--  a place where one removes the specs from his own eyes...seeing one's self AS he really is. There will be no finger pointing in this place. Intentions will be obvious and secrets will be null.

It will be a place where a veil brought upon us by the first Adam is lifted, and we can no longer see the evil in others nor the good. Instead, we will only see people as people, without suspicion in our hearts or fear, without war or conflict. There will be no 'sides' to choose, no gangs, no clicks, no groups-- just people loving people. This to me is the way it will be. The way it SHOULD be.

kate head ~Kate


Muhammad Yunus (Guest Posting)

Muhammad%20Yunus

Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner (among many other recognitions) has helped millions of impoverished people; ninety-something percent of those helped being women.  He had the following to say concerning the battle against poverty:
 

I strongly believe that we can create a poverty-free world, if we want to.... In that kind of world, [the] only place you can see poverty is in the museum. When school children will be on a tour of the poverty museum, they will be horrified to see the misery and indignity of human beings. They will blame their forefathers for tolerating this inhuman condition to continue in a massive way.

... Invisible Berlin Walls must go. We are not even trying to make it happen. Whenever we talk about the people at the bottom or the poor people, our usual reaction is to write a cheque. Okay, take care of them, feed them, clothe them, give them some place to live. But we don't touch the wall. We simply say, let them stay on the other side of the wall, but feed them a little. What I'm saying they don't need your throw-away money, they don't need handouts. They need an opportunity, a fair deal.  They don't get a fair deal right now. Poverty is the denial of all human rights. I am talking about establishing their human rights. If we do that the walls will disappear. Poverty will go ...

If you think creating a world without any poverty is impossible, let’s do it.  Because it is the right thing to do.

We got rid of colonialism, we got rid of slavery, and we got rid of apartheid – everyone thought each one of them was impossible. Let’s take the next impossible, do it with joy and get it finished with and create a world free from poverty.  Let us create the world of our choice.

You can learn more about Muhammad Yunus at:  http://muhammadyunus.org/

-James Matthews


Clarifying

It seems that some people are not aware of the 'details' of what is what around here.

Some one asked me, "Is Christopher's House a part of A Future and a Hope?"confused

The answer to that question is YES.

I thought I'd clarify some things in simple form here in this article.

Our community, all the people being directly aided by your donations, is made up of 29 people (20 children and 9 grownups). To break it down so you can see who is where.... we have 12 orphans, 4 Kenyan team children, 4 Kenyan team Parents, 1 Kenyan grandma, 4 Brooks children, Johnny & myself, and 2 Kenyan staff members, plus LOTS of other peeps we help outside whom I could name by name as well but are not included in our numbers here.

One day, it is our desire to all live together on the same land so we can farm it together, and be more involved with our families, etc... but in the mean time, Ali, Virginia, their 2 children, 5 orphans, and Granny all live about 20 minutes away at our home for boys called 'Christopher's House' named in honor of our friend's brother who passed away.

Each of these children mentioned above go to private schools with the exception of our home-schooled bio-kids. Education, even on the primary level, is not free in Kenya. We, through your donations, fund everything for all of the families mentioned above:  Food, doctor visits, clothing, shelter, education, etc... We also manage to feed, aid, and care for many impoverished people in our community (not counting the above families).

I hope this clarifies things a bit.

NAMES and their meanings:

PC banner 
Pure Christianity is our idea of how we should live... we've thrown out all the 'extra' bringing our beliefs down to a pure core of what we feel is most important. The rest is all debatable.

 school shoes afaah 700x267
A Future and a Hope
is what we bring to people, whether in the community or our orphans.

 afaah hq
A Future and a Hope Head Quarters
is our personal home where we do most of our 'work' and where our GIRLS, Brooks family, and Ben's family live together.

 chrishouse
Christopher's House
is where our orphaned BOYS live with Kenyan parents Ali and Virginia and their family.

my brother's keeper
My Brother's Keeper
is Ben's ministry (we've joined him) to the community which he does through our funding (well, YOUR funding that we pass on to him).

~Kate


missing culture

Yesterday evening, I was at my computer with Butterfly (age 6) at my side, when a neighbor's house security alarm went off.

Butterfly said, "Mommy! I know what that sound is! I know the word for it in Kiswahili!... It's adulance. Wait, abulace.... no, it's adbulance. BT told me." (BT is an 8 yr old Kenyan who is part of our family).

I said, "Butterfly, do you mean 'ambulance?'"

"No. Abdulance."

"Butterfly, I think, the word you are thinking of is Ambulance and the girls just  don't know how to say it." I replied with a chuckle. "And actually, that's not the sound you are hearing..."

ambulance in the villageI find it funny that my six year old daughter doesn't even know what an Ambulance is! If there is an emergency in Kenya, most people take a Taxi, Matatu (public van), Tuk-Tuk, or taxi motorcycle, and sometimes even a 'boda-boda' (taxi bike).

Ambulances ARE around in Kenya, but they are far fewer than in the States.

My children are learning so much in Africa; however, they are missing much of their American culture as well. It will be interesting to see how they adapt and change as they grow.

~Kate


Mole Hills Can Be Mountains Too... (Guest Posting)

Big ant

When it comes to charismatic leadership or sports performance, I don't shine out as awe inspiring. In the workplace as well, I'm a "Jack of all trades and a master of none." This state-of-affairs often leaves me wondering what purpose and significance I have "out there" in the big world.  In sharing my frustrations with my wife, she reminded me that God makes heros of us in unexpected ways and contrary to often-times popular definition.

In my Virginia class of 19 students, we have a kind person and a mean person who happen to share a room. The mean person lost an important, work-related item and the kind person happened to find it. The kind person, after having endured weeks of antagonism from the mean one, let go of kindness and decided to throw the item away and and revel in sweet revenge. I handed the item back to the kind person and said "are you sure you don't want to take this chance to make peace," with a smile. The kind person actually agreed, took the item out of my hand, and looked happy to do the right thing. 

Our significance at home is more obvious when we look at our children and our spouse. But even in the wide world out there, we might not get fame, great wealth, or attract large followings with our leadership, but God uses even those like me (and you) to make a great difference in our world and in the lives of others.