Wednesday, February 22, 2006
How I know I Jesus loves me ... because I see the way Kristin loves Mitu.
I think Jesus loves us like Kristin Keen loves Mitu. He loves us into freedom. He loves when we can not imagine the new life he has to offer us; he loves us when we decide that we want the life he has to offer us enough to go after it with His help.
Kristin loves Mitu like Jesus loves us. She loved her before she wanted a new life. She loves her enough to be continually pursuing her. She loves her now that she wants a new life enough to ask for it. Kristin loved Mitu into a new life. She loves her enough to celebrate Mitu’s new life with cake. She loves her when she quits enough to go after her…to tell her she can do it. She loves her enough to tell her. She loves her with her heart and soul…worrying, crying, praying and laboring in love on Mitu’s behalf. Kristin loves Mitu like Jesus loves us. Everyday she wonders how she can help Mitu succeed in her choice for a new life…to uphold and encourage but not disempower. She loves her enough to give her a shove in the right direction and still not lead her by the nose. She loves her in her new life and she loves her if someday soon she quits….and if she quits Kristin will pursue her and love her back again.
There is a red light full of women and Kristin pursues the little one who is most lost…like Jesus who will leave the 99 sheep for the one that was lost. Jesus loves us like Kristin Keen loves Mitu. Kristin Keen loves Mitu like Jesus loves us!! I have rarely seen God’s love so beautifully manifested in the flesh in the tangible example of my friend Kristin Keen. It really is amazing!!
Monday, February 20, 2006
We have also been able to hire one more lady part time to look after aroti's small little girls and help us out with cleaning the center --she said she is 80 and is not really able to sew but is desperate for a job. She is a sweet presence and acts as a mother to the ladies and i am thankful to be included as one of her daughters!
Two of the ladies will not be able to continue to afford their rent at the end of training and they start work full time...so we need to pray for new places for them to stay!
And for those of you who have been praying for you...i am much, much better...still got a little hanging on but almost at 100 percent!!
more on Sari Bari as it happens :) !!
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
today sari bari had it's first interviews and 3 women from the kalighat red light area came and will all start training next week on monday...this is an amazing gift. the meeting went really well and i am really encouraged. so that makes today even more amazing--sari bari is starting and will be apart of bringing freedom to 3 women.
and about yesterday...sometime just talking through a few things relieves the pressure...so i feel not so alone today. thanks for praying.
Monday, February 13, 2006
This is how i feel sometimes...like these stair twisted upwards but still twisted. I feel so full of holes and probably not ready to stand up to the weight of the next person who wants to engage me. Living in community is hard. Today i kind of feel like i want to give up because i feel like there are no easy relationships in my life. Everything is hard. From a simple request to the most complex discussion things are hard. Now i am probably just venting here because in general things are good....but i am feeling quite alone and isolated...afraid to take the next step up because i fear the backlash, i fear being alone, i fear being rejected. i guess this is a little vulnerable for a blog that alot of people read but right at this moment i do not where else to vent.
so i guess if you read this pray for our community here. pray for me to be humble, gentle and willing to submit my own desires for the benefit of the community.
Asian News International
Lahore, February 6, 2006
In a startling case of organised women trafficking that has come to light, Pakistani and Indian girls aged between 11 and 13 are being smuggled to the Middle East countries for being forced into prostitution there. The girls, who are shown as aged between 20 and 22 on their passports, are brought to these countries on the pretext of getting them attracting jobs.
Over the years the trade has been flourishing, as there is great demand of virgin girls in these countries since the rich Sheikhs love having sex with young girls. The traffickers use blood capsules on the girls' bodies in order to "prove" their virginity.
The case came to light after a human rights activist Ansar Burney rescued some minor girls from the Middle East, and he came across some horrifying facts regarding the flesh trade going on in the region. "The blood packed in capsules used by human traffickers to show that girls are virgin, could contain viruses and can spread AIDS or other contagious diseases," Ansar Burney warned.
According to The News, the girls revealed that most of their companions belonged to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Russia.
"Most of the victims are between the age of 11 to 13 years and are smuggled to the Arab countries where they are forced into prostitution in Middle East and Arab countries," the paper quotedone of the victims as saying. She added that on the passports, ages of these girls were shown as 20 to 22 years old.
She said the human traffickers promised a beautiful and bright future and respectable jobs in the Middle East and Arab countries to lure young girls and after reaching abroad these girls are forced into prostitution.
"The traffickers forced the young girls to show themselves as virgins because most of their clients demanded young girls," another victim said adding, "after arrival and clearance from the airport the traffickers took her passport and forced her physically to do what she was told."
The "agents" use tools like informing the police and of telling their families against their sex slaves, said the paper. One of the rescued victims said that threats of violence kept the victims in line and in some cases these threats became reality. Many girls were forced to have abortions and were forced back to work within weeks, she said and maintained that beatings and forced abortions were common in the life of the sex slaves.
"Some of the rich people in these countries like sex with young girls," she revealed.
Ansar Burney urged Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to direct the concerned department to take stern action against those who were involved in trafficking of young girls for prostitution. "I urge the concerned governments, their leaders, the United Nations, UN Human Rights Commission and other international human rights groups to come forward and help the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust International to save the world before it is too late," he added.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006
The first good and amazing thing is that we will are starting, I guess I should say finally starting Sari Bari. For those of you who do not know, Sari Bari will be a employment opportunity that will offer the women and girls freedom.
Sari Bari exists to provide women caught in the sex trade in the red light areas of Kolkata, India freedom by providing alternative employment and income. Sari Bari Imports (USA) markets and distributes the handmade textiles of Sari Bari India in the minority world while educating and empowering consumers to join in the pursuit of justice and redemption on their behalf.
The name "Sari Bari" comes from two symbols: a sari is the traditional clothing worn by Indian women. In India, saris represent the essence of womanhood. The word "bari" in Bengali means "house or home". Our hope is for Sari Bari to be a safe home where women, who have been exploited in the sex trade, can have their dignity as women restored. By providing a way out of selling their bodies, we believe that these women will have the opportunity to find healing and freedom and to experience the Jesus in a tangible way.
The women will be paid a “fair” wage that will sustain them and their families. Eventually, we hope to be a “fair trade” organization but until we will be seeking to follow fair trade pratices.
Sari Bari has been in the dreams and visions of our community for some time now and the dream will become realized on February 20 when we start our first training. The women train three days a week or a month or two and then they will be hire full time. We will have our first interviews this coming Tuesday and hope to see 2-5 women make the choice for freedom. We will be starting in a different red light area partnering with another organization. We will share space with this organization and work with their girls but this is just the starting point we hope to see production units in all of the city’s red light areas…offering hope, dignity and freedom to the women so long hidden and held down without a way out.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you want to be involved by offering us some of your business expertise!! We have a USA distributor so we just trying to get all the details ironed out.
Second in the amazing catergory is that we are continuing to see girls come out of the trade and freedom and hope with our friends in another buisiness project. So far 9 women have left and 7 are still moving forward into deeper transformation. The most recent girl left yesterday and started her first day---we are so excited—check my wmf co worker kristin's blog for more on her story
And the third and final amazing thing this last week is that we might have finally found an apartment—no only a place to live but a place that could meet all our needs and the needs of Sari Bari in Sonagacchi which is only delayed by not having a place for it as we have so many women interested. It is actually a 2 story building with 8 rooms and courtyard. It is very poor and run down—actually only has a water pump in the courtyard—not running water in the house (we can fix this don’t worry). It actually is very similar to a brothel which strangly enough is exactly what we want…and the landlord will allow the women to come into the building. It is in poor area and we would be able to live with those who we are seeking to serve. The building has so much potential as a place for Sari Bari, a place for us to live incarnationally and be safe—but only a five minute walk from the gach, and it has the potential to be a half way house for some of the young girls coming out of the trade. Please pray, pray, pray for this and for us as we meet with the landlord this coming week on the 15th. We having been waiting and praying for something like this and this really seems to be the right place.
Oh and the last thing is that we are having a lot of fun…fun being with the girls, fun doing literacy training with a business that employs the girls, fun having an eighties party and then a swiss national party—yes these things do happen here check out the eighties party pics!! I mean the side pony tail is about the best we can do with what we have as far as costume goes with a little blue eye shadow !
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
National Prayer Breakfast,
So fast-forward 2,000 years. That same thought, grace, was made incarnate - in a movement of all kinds of people. It wasn't a bless-me club... it wasn't a holy huddle. These religious guys were willing to get out in the streets, get their boots dirty, wave the placards, follow their convictions with actions...making it really hard for people like me to keep their distance. It was amazing. I almost started to like these church people.
But then my cynicism got another helping hand.
It was what Colin Powell, a five-star general, called the greatest W.M.D. of them all: a tiny little virus called AIDS. And the religious community, in large part, missed it. The ones that didn't miss it could only see it as divine retribution for bad behaviour. Even on children...even [though the] fastest growing group of HIV infections were married, faithful women.
Aha, there they go again! I thought to myself judgmentalism is back!
But in truth, I was wrong again. The church was slow but the church got busy on this the leprosy of our age.
Love was on the move.
Mercy was on the move.
God was on the move.
Moving people of all kinds to work with others they had never met, never would have cared to meet...conservative church groups hanging out with spokesmen for the gay community, all singing off the same hymn sheet on AIDS...soccer moms and quarterbacks...hip-hop stars and country stars. This is what happens when God gets on the move: crazy stuff happens!
Popes were seen wearing sunglasses!
Jesse Helms was seen with a ghetto blaster!
Crazy stuff. Evidence of the spirit.
It was breathtaking. Literally. It stopped the world in its tracks.
When churches started demonstrating on debt, governments listened - and acted. When churches starting organising, petitioning, and even - that most unholy of acts today, God forbid, lobbying...on AIDS and global health, governments listened - and acted.
I'm here today in all humility to say: you changed minds; you changed policy; you changed the world.
Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives.
God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. "If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places."
It's not a coincidence that in the scriptures, poverty is mentioned more than 2,100 times. It's not an accident. That's a lot of air time, 2,100 mentions. (You know, the only time Christ is judgmental is on the subject of the poor.) 'As you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:40). As I say, good news to the poor.
But the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back to Washington, is because this is a town that is proving it can come together on behalf of what the scriptures call the least of these.
This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith.
'Do to others as you would have them do to you' (Luke 6:30). Jesus says that.
'Righteousness is this: that one should...give away wealth out of love for him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives.' The Koran says that (2.177).
Thus sayeth the Lord: 'Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard.' The Jewish scripture says that. Isaiah 58 again.
That is a powerful incentive: 'The Lord will watch your back.' Sounds like a good deal to me, right now.