Tag Archives: Virginia

only when necessary

st francis of assisi:

One of the messages scrolling across the digital signboard of Forest Road United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia proclaims:

“Your life is the only Bible some people will ever read.”

Hopefully, the message those people read is one of faithfulness and love, where the grace and compassion of Christ is freely given and available to all.

The Trump Way

This photo taken in Mumbai, India is worth far more than a thousand words. And it is extremely timely, as well.

On his very first full day in office BLOTUS began  with an egocentric presentation at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia attacking the press. It was his normal “more lies than truth” routine. At issue was the size of his smaller than average hands inauguration crowds. (Obviously, size does matter for our country’s new Liar-in-Chief)

Then, only hours later his press secretary gave a five minute press statement again attacking and denouncing the press while repeating the BLOTUS lies. Naturally, none of the press were allowed to ask questions.

The Trump Way is to lie about the lies he lied only hours or days earlier. He castigates the press because facts are not his friends.  I stand with the press. We must not give in to the bullying and intimidation of BLOTUS. We must not tolerate the “gaslighting.” We all must hold him accountable for ever lie he spews forth, large or small.

The Trump Way is the way of dictators and despots throughout history. But, it is not the American way. And it’s certainly not my way.

 

Well Done SHN SA!

The end of my trip is at hand. Early this evening I am scheduled to leave from Johannesburg and fly to Atlanta and then on to Raleigh. There I will pick up a rental car, go to the Stop Hunger Now office for a couple hours to debrief and catch up on some back administrative chores. After that, I have a 3 hour drive back home to Lynchburg.

It’s going to be a rather long trip, but what makes it worthwhile is all the good work that has been accomplished during my brief time here in Mozambique and South Africa. In Maputo, Mozambique I helped celebrate Ma Machel’s 70th birthday as we packaged 70,000 meals for malnourished school children.

That event was also a milestone for Stop Hunger Now South Africa. It was the first meal packaging event they organized outside of their own country. And the Minister of Education  for Mozambique, who attended and spoke at the event, has already requested that more meal packaging events be scheduled.

Here in Johannesburg I have had a delightful time meeting new staff and new board members. I have also been able to help with some fundraising and to give an official thanks to some of SHN South Africa biggest corporate and faith-based partners.

It’s been a whirlwind of events, meetings and dinners, but I will head for home more proud than ever of the great work being accomplished here on behalf of the hungry. Stop Hunger Now South Africa is our first international affiliate, and it is leading by example. Saira Khan, our Executive Director, and her entire board and staff are demonstrating that we can end hunger in our lifetime. Kudos and “Well Done!” to all of them.

exciting stuff

Our entire United Methodist VIM team has now made it safely back home with one exception…me. I am still in Raleigh for meetings, but I hope to be home in Virginia by early evening.

The trip home from South Sudan was uneventful (brutally long, totally exhausting and sleepless, but uneventful). And that is about all that can be said for it. For future reference, however, having an 11 hour layover in Entebbe after our first flight really makes the remainder of the trip seem much longer. And having a middle seat for the 19 hours of flights afterward doesn’t help much either.

But after a long hot shower and a night’s rest I cannot wait to begin working on the next steps on all the possible projects we discovered. The need is so great. But the need is matched with tremendous opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands.

We can help transform the future of those living in poverty and hunger in South Sudan. We can help change the history of a nation. That’s exciting stuff.

Our trip is now officially over. Now the hard work begins: translating the vision of what is possible into a reality that is reflected in a transformed world.

I cannot wait to begin.