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Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

So I learn this from a movie and often remember when looking at stars in the night.

“Star light, star bright

First star I see tonight

I wish I may

I wish I might

have the wish

I wish tonight”

I have so many wishes but for tonight I pray that life will be kind, that goodness may come to all the people I care about, that children will not go hungry at night, that fearful people will find courage, that voiceless people will be able to speak, that those in poverty will understand that worth is never tight in to currency, that restless souls will find peace and quietness, that mothers will always have strength to care for children, that countries will seek peace instead of domination, that world resouces will find even distribution, that children will know that they are loved, that those who are broken will know that they are not alone, that every tear drop will be heard, that people will learn that life is much bigger than who they are, that there will be more smile and laughter in the world, that mothers will be blessed with more sticky kisses from their children.

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I do not recall the last time I felt hungry and if I did it was not because I did not have access to food. It was because my work kept me busy or I was busy doing other things. I could not imagine what it is like to feel the hunger and not knowing when the next meal may arrive or to live with hunger over extended period of time. I used to make it a requirement for my class for students to fast a meal and give that amout of money to a needy person. And while the students were all so willing to give, they would complain of how hard it was to go without a meal, to be hungry. My complaint has only been overeating. And we are spending our time trying to loose weight. Yet there is another reality out there. Check out this link. Hunger

 

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I usually like to ask students if they believe they have completely fulfill their moms’ expectations. The usual response is between 30 to 40 percent of the class. The humanity of mom is so basic to the core of who we are. My mom is no exception. I know she has done her best. I know that while she is proud of us, I’m not certain if there are disappointments as well. Actually I know she has disappointments at some level and wishes for us, from the goodness of her. So last Friday I took her to a new Chinese buffet and I listened to her concerns mostly about her life and her feelings. And one of the concerns is finance. I asked her, “It is not because you do not have enough as much as there is not enough for you to give to others right?”  My mom and I are so different in our theological and religious and cultural perspectives. And while sometime it is hard to sit and talk to her about these things, I found myself deeply moved by how much she cares for others and how willing she is to give up her possessions for others. She saves most of her monthly income for others.  And more than half her retirement is given to charity.  There is that moment in our lives where sacrifices stir the depth of our humanity.

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I noticed numerous inquiries through my search engine on the issue of hunger.  As I was browsing through various websites I came across some very helpful information from the UN World Food Program.  Here are some facts that you may find beneficial as you seek to understand the issue of hunger in the world.  

1. Malnutrition prevents children from reaching their full development and cognitive potential.

2. Almost one billion people regularly suffer from hunger; most are women and children.

3. One child dies every six seconds from hunger-related causes.

4. More people die of hunger every year than from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. 

I gathered information from this website:  http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/liaison_offices/wfp185786.jpg

You can find more helpful information from WFP website.

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A number of years ago I went with my colleagues (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) to a small remote Hmong village in Tak Province to build toilets and provide medial care for the villagers.  Before we returned a villager brought his 6 year old son and asked if we could take him to Wat Sa Keow in Ang Thong, central Thailand.  I did not know anything about Wat Sa Keow at the time.  A couple of Hmong kids jumped into the back of the pickup truck.  The little boy was all by himself.  I noticed how sad it was for him to leave his family.  His parent informed me that this was his only chance for education.  If he were to stay back, it would be much harder for him to obtain his education.  We left the village and about 6 hours later we arrived at Wat Sa Keow.  I got down from the car.  A few Hmong kids that came with us ran to meet their friends since there were here before.  This little boy did not know any one.  He was all alone by himself in this orphanage with thousands of kids.  I watched him walked by himself with a few tear drops in his eyes toward the main building with a little bag in his hand.  It was hard to explain the emotion, but I was deeply moved with grief for this little boy.  I just came across a reference to Wat Sa Keow again not too long ago and thought, it will be nice to visit and do some volunteer work at this place during my next visit to Thailand.

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Facts

A military official in the delta township of Labutta estimated 80,000 dead there alone, and many families there told an AFP reporter most of their relatives had been killed. “Houses collapsed, buildings collapsed, and people were swept away,” one man said. “I only survived by hanging on to a big tree.”

Around 5,000 square kilometres (1,930 square miles) remain underwater, and more than a million homeless need emergency relief, a UN spokesman said.

Shari Villarosa, US charge d’affaires in Myanmar’s main city Yangon, said there could be more than 100,000 dead in the Irrawaddy delta, where 95 percent of buildings were reported to have disappeared. Food prices in Myanmar, already one of the world’s most impoverished nations, have soared. A bag of rice now costs 40,000 kyats (35 dollars) in the commercial hub Yangon, up from 25,000 last week.http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hab-iTARKHbjNiLxhHLBSaK9dOLg

 

Prayer

Dear God, please help me find the words that my heart would like to express.

Receive the souls of those who have passed on.  

Help these people who have lost their homes from storms. 

Guide the survivors with your light to a better day.

Give them patience and hope to endure the lonely and difficult times.  

May peace become yours soon after this terrible disaster.  

Help us to trust that you provide.  Amen.

http://www.sunsetparkcc.org/wp/?p=10

 

Action

For those who wish to help, please go to www.adra.org

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I have been reflecting on the issue of human trafficking, particularly the stories of children involved in the sex industry in Thailand, for more than a decade.  When I hear their stories, I feel that pain.  The more I explore this issue the more I come to realize that while we need all the policies and projects and funding to really help these young women, there is an area we often over look.  We often fight poverty by looking at monetary increment which is very important and explore job opportunities.  Sometime we fail to realize that poverty is also a concept, an idea, a very powerful idea carefully constructed for the purpose of control and profits.  While I certainly hope that we can plan more programs, provide more funds, write better policies to help ease the pain I certainly hope that we will also address the core value that fuels the ideas behind prosperity and poverty.  I hope that at some level we can also realize that importance of simplicity as key to reframing how we understand the meaning of being poor.  In some way we need to disengage ourselves from paternalistic masculinity that defines  success through capitalistic economy.

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