Steve (dignitas country director) & tiffany (dignitas executive director) handing out new textbooks yesterday
when people make intentional choices to do so. if you don’t alread know, last year i co-founded a non-profit organization called the dignitas project. we work to help restore dignity that has been lost or taken away by and from children of impoverished communities. our first project is in a slum area in Nairobi, Kenya known as Mathare. we work with the community and help catalyze indigenous leadership that will help improve education and life for the next generation. it’s an incredible privilege to work with some of the most passionate leaders i’ve ever
Students Taking Home New Textbooks
encountered. everyday, these young leaders give everything they have and everything they are to the betterment of Mathare. they are constantly investing the next generation. it’s humbling because i typically serve/volunteer/give out of my excess rather than my core. though some of these leaders may look to me for leadership and insight, i have learned so much from my fellow leaders on the ground. i’m writing to let anyone who reads this know that this week our partner schools have received new textbooks. textbook ratios for our schools were anywhere from 40-100 students to 1 textbook. no, it’s not a typo and yes, it is completely unjust or downright wrong!!! how can we create change? how can we help fight injustice in this world? how can we change the future for children who are radically affected by poverty? by making intentional choices of getting involved. change happens when we change our current course and give ourselves away… take a look at our current cause. we are still trying to raise more money to provide more textbooks. help us change lives today!!! go to our site and blog to donate or check out our cause on facebook…
as everyone knows by now (or should know by now), this past weekend was wrought with tragedy in our city as four oakland police officers were killed. it’s been tense to say the least. as a city, we’ve had to deal with the bart shooting (where bart officer shot and killed an unarmed passenger) and now are mourning over the death of four police officers – all within the past 3 months. it’s a lot for a city to bear. combine all of this with a national economic crisis and you can only imagine the anxiety and tension that is stirring in our communities. i was reading this article this morning from the sf chronicle on the church’s response to this crisis (read it here) and i would love to open up the conversation and hear more response from the christian community. let’s talk about this…
as a pastor, one of the burdens of my heart is the prayer life of my church. so, in an effort to grow in this area, i thought i would teach our core team this spiritual discipline over the course of four weeks. when i began to think about how i would teach this, i had to ask myself an even more basic question: what would make me feel like my church was prayerful? unpacking this quite a bit, i realized that deep inside, there’s a need for people to pray like me. i wanted people to be eloquent (ok, i may not be that eloquent, but enough to pass in a group prayer), comfortable praying in public, and sharing their prayers. but, is this what it’s about? i thought about my own journey and remembered a season when i wanted to listen and hear God. I remember being at a prayer retreat trying to listen to God when a 1st generation korean woman (these women are true prayer warriors) came up behind me and told me that i needed to start praying. i thought in my head, “but i’m listening for God.” she kept pounding my back and egging me on to pray. so, in a moment of frustration, i shout out, “God, IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT FROM ME???!!! IS SHOUTING OUT TO YOU WHAT MAKES MY PRAYERS EFFECTIVE???!!! IS THIS WHAT MATTERS MOST???!!! THEN I’M TRULY LOST!!!” the woman looked at me said, “good… keep going…” i felt completely empty at that moment.
i realized that we enter into prayer in different seasons of life and in different ways because we’re in different places in our faith journey. i realized that we have different needs, different backgrounds, and different degrees of education. so would we or should we all pray the same? maybe as a leader, pastor, and teacher i’m called to help people find their voice in prayer. maybe i’m more of a barrier breaker than a method maker. maybe we’d all be more honest in prayer if it reflected who we are… have you found your voice?