"Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay."-Pslam 40:17
"AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT SERMONSPICE.COM (WORTH ALL SEVEN MINUTES!) - A powerful and moving, modern parable, based on the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25. Jesus taught much about giving to the poor, perhaps, none as pointed and plain as this parable. What we do, or DON'T DO, to the least, we've done or not done to Jesus. You will be moved by this story, and more importantly, moved to action"
Sharing Christ with the Poor
After encountering "homeless people" in the streets in the Twin Cities for many years, I decided to share my stories on my past experiences of sharing God's love. The most recent one was this past weekend (Saturday, May 10th of 2008). I was actually waiting for an oil change at Tire Plus along Snelling Avenue (a couple blocks south of Interstate 94). The "Tire Plus" guy told me that I really need to change my tires. After being told this same thing several times, I decided to do it since they were having a sale. It seem like God wanted me to wait there on that Saturday morning a little longer because He had a plan! I didn't realize this until after -until yesterday. That is the reason for writing this today (Monday, May 12th of 2008). Getting back to my story, I decided to call a friend of mine using my cell phone. As I was talking outside of the building, a older gentleman was walking by and just asked me-"Can you spare some change man?". I got off my phone and told him "hold on" as I smiled to him. After finishing my conversation, I was suprised to see this "older gentleman" still waiting for me. I thought to myself, this man really must be desperate! I then walked over to him and ask what were you asking. He was asking for some change to ride the bus. I then told him, to where? He mentioned the neighborhood and I told him it's along the way to my house. I told him I can give him a ride. He then told me that he needs to do some "errands" (e.g. go to the pawn shop). I started to discern that this guy wasn't really after my money for a simple bus fare, but something else. I smelled his breath and it was alcohol. The light bulb just went on, "this guy is an alcoholic"! He wanted to gain my trust in him to get me to give him some "change", so he shared his life story (He grew-up in Indiana, where he was a teacher for 2 years. Showed me a picture of his deceased wife. Got out his disability papers and other government papers he keeps with him. Etc..) with me. I told him that I would like to pray for him before I give him some "change". I notice he was walking with a cane, so I added in my prayer for God's healing on his body. I was laying my hands on his shoulder as I prayed for him right along the busy traffic of Snelling Avenue, which the environment where I was at really didn't move me at all. My heart was for this guy to get personally touched my Almighty God! After praying, I gave him some "change" (dollar bill with a Bible tract), which he looked at it and wanted more! I then told him, I would've gave him more if I didn't smell alcohol in his breath. He then broke down wimpering, "Man, I have to self medicate myself" and started to tell more reasons (e.g. death of his wife 2 years ago) for drinking. I told him, "I'm sorry about your wife", but there are other ways to deal with it. He was so saddened, that he walk right away without me telling him more what he can do. I just watched him walked down (south) Snelling Avenue with his head down and crying. I felt very bad to just let him leave "sad", which I prayed that the seeds of faith will just grow. I wanted to give him some food, but my car was in the garage of "Tire Plus". I pray that God will send others, like he did with me, to direct him (John Burch) to our Heavenly Father...In Jesus' name I pray..Amen!
This afternoon (Saturday, August 22nd of 2009), I was driving with my mom (visiting family for the weekend from Morris, Minnesota) from downtown St. Paul to back to her home. Along the way, we saw one of those folks on the corner (White Bear Avenue & I-94 West bound exit ramp), which I just felt I needed to approach him. I remembered a my church (Woodland Hills) flyer in St. Paul I was about to throw away while cleaning my car trunk, which I thought would be a perfect person to hand to. I wrote my ministry website on it, which I do with many Bible tracts. I told him to check it out as I ran back into my car before the light turned green. My mom and I went to Arbys for lunch and I still had that guy carrying that sign on my conscience. After lunch, I decided to buy some "lunch" (got the idea from KTIS 98.5 FM "Drive Thru Difference"-see GoodnewsEverybody.com Diet, Foods, Groceries, Beverage-Drinks, etc... ) for him, so I my mom and I drove back to the area where that guy w/the sign was at that corner. I told my mom that I'll be back, so I parked the car to a nearby parking lot (Davanis Pizza) and walked over to him. I approached him and introduced myself. I asked what his name was, he replied "Scott". I didn't want my mom to wait too long, so I did a quick share of my personal testimony. He shared his story after I asked him. He told me just "split" with his wife after losing his job-worked at a nursing home-due to hurting his back. The disability check process was taking too long, so he needed to find a way to get money. That is the reason why he was on the corner with a sign (asking money to help with his daugther). I then shared that I bought some food for him, which I went to Scripture that this food will last for a meal or day. I then told him that there is something-"living water" that will last him a lifetime. He told that he already accepted Jesus into his heart already after I shared about the opportunity to invite Him into his life. I asked where he is staying, which he replied-"Dorthy Day Center" in downtown St. Paul. I told him there is another great place called "Union Gospel Mission", which a firend of mine use to work there. I was trying to encourage him that what he's going through is just a season in life, which I shared a little of my personal testimony of "seasons". He mentioned that the church flyer I gave him is a church he's been to before, which I encouraged him to checkout it again. I told him there are many services this church offers to help him get "on his feet". I told him I'll be there this Sunday (tomorrow), which I hope to see him there too. Before I left, I actually felt I needed to pray for him. We ended up praying for healing in his back, so he can start working or find a better job where God can use his gifts and talents to make money. I then prayed for reconcilliation with his wife and provision for his family..in "Jesus' name..Amen"...Halleluah!
1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
15The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
16He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
17"I have no husband," she replied.
Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
19"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
21Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
25The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
26Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
"The University of Minnesota, Morris will host Soup and Substance on Thursday, December 3, 2009, at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Room in the Student Center. The event provides an open forum for members of Stevens County and the campus community to discuss issues of local, regional, national, and international importance. Everyone is invited to join the December discussion that will explore issues of housing in Stevens County and throughout Minnesota, including homelessness, the housing crisis, rental housing, and foreclosure.
Soup and Substance—named for the pairing of a delicious meal with meaningful dialogue—is open to all members of the community to share experiences and perspectives. The event provides a space in which all voices are heard, including those sometimes marginalized. People with direct topic experience facilitate the discussion.
The Office of Community Engagement sponsors Soup and Substance, a monthly campus event. For more information, contact student representative Sam Esguerra at firstname.lastname@example.org."
LCM for putting their faith into action this 2009 Holiday Season (Thursday, December 3rd of 2009). They (Student Leaders: Brynn S, Andie C, Alisha G, Sarah M, & "house residents also help who are involved with LCM or are just part of the ebb and flow of life at the Christus House. Christine H, Rebecca L, Angela L*, Michelle S*--asterisked names are of the women in the photo--and Sam Y helped in one way or another that evening" w/Pastor Kristine "PK") responded to my community request to "reach out" to the "underprivilege" this holiday season by cooking a meal for a family (student from my GEDclass I teach in the local school) that I recommended that's in "need". We talked about doing this again (not just once a year, but maybe throughout-especially during the "holiday season")-we hope this will encourage other area churches to sponsor a famiy "most in need" (especially the "unchurch" as the "church" bring God's love to "them")!
" 14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"[e] and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
"According to the 2006 Wilder Research report on the homeless, there are over 20,000 Minnesotans who do not have a place live.
It's National Homeless Youth Awareness month. Jill Fiery-Anderson is a consultant at West Central Minnesota Communities Action. She says the problem often goes unnoticed in greater Minnesota,”Most people see the homeless as people who are sleeping under bridges in dirty rags but that’s not what the homeless people in rural areas look like, they are families,children and veterans in need. They might have income or health barriers that prevent them from living in suitable habitation”.
According the 2006 numbers 45 percent of the homeless are under the age of 21.
West Central Communities Action has programs to keep people in their homes or give people a leg up to get into a home. A triple match savings program, bankruptcy counceling, and energy assistance programs will help individuals or families become self sustaining and more participatory community members.
If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness or financial problems call WCMCA at 1800.492.4805.
... is building a movement that unites the poor across color lines. Poverty afflicts Americans of all colors. Daily more and more of us are downsized and impoverished. We share a common interest in uniting against the prevailing conditions and around our vision of a society where we all have the right to health care, housing, living wage jobs, and access to quality primary, secondary, and higher education..."
*made known to me during the Republican 08' Convention in St. Paul (see GoodnewsMinnesota: Politics)
"GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (AP) ―
The United Way says the number of families using food shelves is up more than 40 percent in the Twin Cities in the first six months of 2009. (File)
Twin Cities-based food companies, nonprofits and faith-based groups are teaming up to discuss whether they can find a way to end hunger.
General Mills, Cargill and Land O'Lakes are joining the United Way and a partnership of hunger relief agencies for a forum Tuesday evening at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley.... Connect with Poverty "United Way's Connect with Poverty campaign seeks to help you connect in whatever way you can: give, advocate or volunteer. Help put a face on poverty. Help yourself and others connect. LIVE UNITED."
"PLYMOUTH, Minn. -- We're less than a week away from Thanksgiving, and a lot of families are planning their big Thursday meal.
But right now in the Twin Cities, one in five families are struggling just to put food on the table.
KARE-11 hosted food drives throughout the metro on Friday in an effort to help fight hunger.
Many Minnesota families are struggling and going hungry, which is why there's an ever-lasting need for food donations.
"It's been a little slower than we'd like," said Dawn Louisana, a Mosaic food volunteer.
One of the drop locations Friday was at Schneiderman's furniture in Plymouth.
"We accepted non-perishable food items, also monetary donations. Canned vegetables, good stuff that will feed a lot of people," Louisana added.
Some donations around the metro end up at places like Interfaith Outreach. It's a food shelter feeding hundreds of families.
"We have a small budget to purchase food," said Liz Erstad-Hicks with Interfaith Outreach. "Having support from the community for the drives is so helpful to keep our shelves full for our clients."
Their shelves are stocked now, but because of Thanksgiving distribution next week. After the holiday, it's back to square one.
"Then as the winter comes, our needs again increase as heating bills increase," Erstad-Hicks said. "Food is one more thing that pulls from the budget. Our need is big. Things like canned meat, fruit. We can't keep it on the shelves."
These organizations and even the volunteers collecting want to prove that even though hunger is intolerable, it is solvable.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ―
Shay Kelley, a 24-year-old college graduate, has a very ambitious plan. She calls it "Project 50/50," which is her plan to travel to all 50 states in 50 weeks collecting goods for charities along the way.
A young woman has been traveling across the country all year on a mission to help the homeless.
Shay Kelley, a 24-year-old college graduate, has a very ambitious plan. She calls it "Project 50/50," which is her plan to travel to all 50 states in 50 weeks collecting goods for charities along the way.
"I just felt this is what God wanted me to do today. Right now. The time is now," said Kelley.
Kelley has lived her life this way since after recently losing her job, her home and her car.
On Tuesday, Shay Kelley pulled up to the Salvation Army's Harbor Lights in Minneapolis to give away all the clothes and food she has collected.
"Like a girl scout, knock and ask just present people with an opportunity to give and see if they will and actually they do," Kelley said.
Kelley says people in the Twin Cities have been really generous.
"Some of this stuff has actually come through social media. Like, I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, people find me on social media sites and if I'm in their community they will meet up with me," she said.
Kelley takes pictures of the people she has met and documents her trip on Facebook. She hopes the stories she tells about America's homeless will inspire others to help.
"I think it's important for other people to see that you don't have to own an organization or have a building ... you can have literally just yourself and your own talents and your own skills and use those to help other people," said Kelley.
Kelley says this journey has made her own uncertain future easier to deal with.
She has already" visited 25 states and hopes to reach her goal of all 50 before the end of the year.
"MINNEAPOLIS — Each day, millions of people in the United States and around the world struggle with poverty and its numerous conditions. Whether it’s lack of food, lack of resources to pay for rent or a mortgage or not enough money to pay the utilities required to live in a single-family dwelling, poverty strikes at the heart of families.
Yet we are also reminded of the thousands of churches across the country and the millions of people who attend those churches—eager and available to carry out Christ’s message of love and care for those in need.
The resources of the Church and the needs of those in poverty, however, sometimes requires a connector—something or someone to see the needs and connect those in need with organizations and individuals who can assist with those needs and help organize effective and Christ-centered relief.
That’s one of the main goals of Love INC, a ministry with the mission to “mobilize the Church to transform lives and communities in the name of Christ.”
Originally founded in Holland, Mich., 33 years ago, Love INC—the INC stands for “in the name of Christ”—was sold to World Vision several years after its founding and eventually became its own nonprofit organization.
Robert Odom became president of the ministry in 2001 and moved the national headquarters to Minneapolis.
Currently, the ministry has more than 150 affiliates in 30 states, with eight affiliates in Minnesota, including those in Alexandria, Buffalo, Chaska, Crystal, Delano, Roseville, St. Paul and Worthington.
In order to become an affiliate of Love INC, at least six churches from six different denominations must come together to agree to help meet specific poverty-related needs in their respective areas. Most affiliate networks represent between 30 and 150 local churches that partner together.
According to Odom, those affiliates represent “a network of more than 9,000 churches, 7,000 community-based organizations [and] more than 300,000 volunteers.”
All of those working together to meet more than one million needs a year.
There are five levels to the work of each affiliate.
The first level is Clearinghouse and Gap Ministries. The affiliate receives requests for help and then the affiliate determines how best to meet those needs and then follows through to make sure the needs are met.
The second level is Relational Ministry, which connects those in need with trained mentors from churches to help them with their deeper needs. This level emphasizes accountability and an incentive-based program.
The third level is Community Service and addresses community-wide issues, such as lack of affordable housing, healthcare and employment issues.
The fourth level is Comprehensive Campus Community. This include transitional housing and a full array of related services.
The fifth level is Love INC International and focuses on transferring this model to communities around the world.
Churches working together
Odom said it can sometimes be difficult to get churches to work together but once they do, “There is a feeling that you can get at a Love INC that you don’t find anywhere else—and that’s Christians coming together on behalf of the poor.”
"Love INC is simple but profound,” Odom continued. “All it does is ask Christians to live out who they say they are. When you find Christians living out who they say they are, then they can cross those barriers and they can work together in the name of Christ.”
Of Love INC’s core values, the first one is, “We are Christians. Everything we think, say and do is in the name of Christ.”
When churches come together to help those in need, they not only help meet those needs but many also notice something happening within their congregations. Odom noted that they have seen churches transformed and even grow after working together with other churches in a Love INC affiliate.
"The people who volunteer," Odom said, “probably get more out of it than the people they help.”
Churches and poverty
Poverty is not a new social condition. It has harmed people and prevented them from enjoying healthy and productive lives for a long time. Yet Odom believes Christians and the Church are uniquely positioned to help fight it.
"Millions of people cry out to God every night,” he said. “And God uses us to answer those prayers. So the Church not working together represents millions upon millions upon millions of unanswered prayers.”
Some argue that the government and other institutions have failed to effectively combat poverty. Odom believes the Church can do better.
"The Church is the only institution on earth that can deal with poverty. I just don’t believe that God is giving us anything bigger than His Church. And I know there is nothing bigger than Him."
ACTION BOX: For more information on Love INC, including information about becoming involved in a local affiliate or starting a new one, visit www.loveinc.org or call (612) 872-8008."
Programs train local churches to host homeless families-
Volunteers assist with transportation, job training, housing searches,
by Marcia Gandrud Published by Minnesota Christian Chronicle — December 2008 "
MINNEAPOLIS — Matthew 25:35 says: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
In accordance with the teachings of this verse, 41 St. Paul and Minneapolis area congregations minister year-round to families in need by providing food and temporary sleeping accommodations, as well as hospitality, within their own walls.
Arrangements are in conjunction with Families Moving Forward, an inter-faith social service organization serving homeless families in transition. The organization depends heavily on volunteers.
“When I train them to host homeless families, I tell the volunteers to take the love they feel from the Creator they believe in and pour it out on the families they are hosting by providing true, genuine hospitality,” said Leslie Frost, executive director of the organization.
Families Moving Forward provides daily transportation between their facility on Emerson Ave. N. in Minneapolis and churches, which each host the homeless multiple weeks each year. Three to five families are bused to host churches during the late afternoon/early evening and welcomed by church volunteers to partake of a hearty meal and social activities, if they so choose. Activities may include playing in the gymnasium, board games, bingo, homework help, and/or story time.
Afterward, each family spends the night in a private room. Volunteers are on hand at the churches overnight in case families need assistance.
Early the next morning, the families return to the organization’s facility in north Minneapolis, from which buses take children to the school they had been attending before they became homeless. During the day, in collaboration with other agencies, the adults receive assistance searching for a job and an apartment.
“We’re very successful in helping families find safe, appropriate, affordable housing,” Frost said. “Our goal is to help the families find independent housing, in contrast to ‘couch hopping,’ or staying with friends and/or family. Many of the families were forced to leave their apartment when the building was foreclosed and many have lost their jobs due to the state of the economy.”
In addition to arranging temporary housing, the social service agency also helps clients obtain appropriate clothing for job interviews and employment, and in some cases recommends sources to obtain cars.
To be eligible for the program, family members are screened. The family unit, which may span the generations, must have children under the age of 18. The average length of time in the program is 53 days but may be longer, if necessary.
Frost commented on the recent increase in homelessness. In October 2006, Families Moving Forward received approximately 50 calls a month for shelter and was able to help one family in 25. Last year, they received about 100 calls a month and were able to assist one family in 50. This year, they are contacted by roughly 300 families a month and are able to help about one in 100.
Dec. 14 to 21 Incarnation Church in Shoreview and Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield will be hosting families in their buildings. Karen Husu, volunteer coordinator at Incarnation, spoke of the outreach, saying the church is involved in mission work abroad and the Service Ministry Team decided to also become involved locally.
Classrooms will become sleeping rooms, furnished with inflatable beds and bedding, a television and clock radio with an alarm. Some people will prepare meals in their homes and drop them off at the church. Others will bring take-out meals such as pizza.
Peggy Turnbull, outreach coordinator at Hope Presbyterian, said the congregation has participated in the Families Moving Forward program for at least 15 years. Twenty-five to 30 volunteers will host this year.
Through Project Home, the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches arranges shelter for the homeless at area churches and schools. During the July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008 time frame, the organization coordinated arrangements to provide over 10,000 “bed nights,” defined as one person sleeping in one bed one night. This represented far greater demand than in any previous years.
Sara Liegl, program director, spoke of a family served by Project Home. The mother of four children had recently lost her husband to cancer. She had never worked outside the home, said she “didn’t do math,” and had no idea how to support her family.
The family soon moved to Emma’s Place, a Maplewood facility which houses large, homeless, single parent families. A year later, the mother called Liegl, saying she was employed as a certified nursing assistant and her daughter had graduated from high school and had been accepted into a nursing program.
“Project Home saved us at the worst time of our lives,” the widow said..."
"One box. One family. An eternal impact for God's Kingdom! Through your partnership this year, more struggling families can be blessed by the Gospel and the contents of the Box of Love. The cost for this strategy which includes food, training for churches, box assembly and follow-up; is $36.71 per box. This year our goal is 2,600 Boxes of Love for needy families in the Twin Cities"
Why We Give to Here's Life Inner City
"Here are just a few of the folks who give financially to Here's Life Inner City - Twin Cities. Visit www.hlictwincities.org for more information or https://give.ccci.org/give?Action=Vie...
if you would like to give "
".. mission trip. Students may spend all week at one ministry or switch between ministries during the week. Our goal is to partner with local organizations and programs that seek to address the very basic needs of residents. Students may serve at places like: Children’s Programs, Elderly Centers, Soup Kitchens/Homeless Shelters and Thrift Stores. We cannot confirm until all groups arrive exactly what ministries your students will be a part of during the week. We ask that you come with a willing and flexible spirit!.."
" Poverty is a lack of money or material possessions. Poverty is usually accompanied by debt obligations to others. Debt, whether or not associated with poverty, is a form of slavery. Following God's principles will break the hold of both poverty and debt...
First of all, you must commit yourself, your finances, your family, and your life to Jesus Christ. Agree to live by God's principles and seek to know what He has to say to you in your situation. Be absolutely honest about the faults and mistakes in your life, past or present, that may have caused your problem of debt. To escape trouble, you must know what put you there.
Second, do everything you can to understand God's principles. The Bible says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). There are many Christians who have no concept whatsoever of the principles of God's kingdom. They understand neither God's laws dealing with material prosperity nor their own privileges as children of God. So, for lack of knowledge, they suffer.
People in debt or in poverty especially need to understand a rule of God's kingdom that I call the Law of Reciprocity. This is a law of cause and effect, of action and reaction. In the area of money, the law is simple: "Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you" (Luke 6:38). When a person begins to give to God's work and to the poor and less fortunate, God begins to give back to him. Regardless of the debt burden, a person should give a very minimum of 10 percent of his income to the Lord. Even if you are at a poverty-level income, you have something you can give to God. Start where you are. Reach out in compassion to those less fortunate than yourself. As a first priority, get into a position to give love, time, energy, and money to other people even if it is only a little bit.
Next, set up a realistic budget. Most people do not have budgets, and their spending has neither plan nor control. Whatever your income level, you should set up a budget that includes one or more tithes (see Chapter Eight, Question Eighteen) plus offerings to the Lord, which may be in the form of aid to those who are less fortunate (see Malachi 3:10). After setting aside your tithe, establish a realistic plan to pay off your debts. Go to your creditors and obtain an agreement that they will accept your payment schedule. Make it understood that you cannot pay any more than a certain amount, and they will almost always accept your plan.
Once you have done that, you have to resolve in your mind that there will be no more accumulation of debt. You cannot go back to living beyond your means. Make a vow to God that you will not buy anything on credit, and that your lifestyle will be curtailed to fit your income. This takes a definite mental and spiritual commitment. It may take a year, or two years, or five years, but you are going to get out of debt.
It has been suggested by a very wise businessman that part of any budget should go for recreation. There should be some time each month when the family can get away from the pressures of life. Maybe it can be a picnic in the park, a fishing trip, or possibly a night away from home in a motel or resort. Recreation includes anything to get away from the constant pressure and to allow your mind to be recreated in God.
Along with recreation, I recommend a Sabbath rest. You cannot work seven days a week. There must be one day a week that is dedicated to God, to thinking about Him, praying to Him, studying the Bible, and resting. All of these things are necessary to prepare your mind and spirit to win the battle.
Then, with all of these things going for you, you need a renewed faith in God. He is the source. As you give to Him and trust Him, God will begin to take you from bondage to debt into His blessings. He will open doors for you and will give you concepts and ideas to help you overcome your situation. You must believe this and expectantly look for His answer rather than to some other person as your source. God is your source.
Every day, speak words of confidence. Say out loud that you are going to be free from debt and that God is going to put you in a different position. Memorize scripture verses where God says things such as, "He raises the poor from the dust/And lifts the beggar from the ash heap./To set them among princes" (I Samuel 2:8). Speak these words over and over again, confidently, knowing that God can do all things and do them well.
With that frame of mind, you should be on your way. It may take a year to pay off your debts. In the instances that I know of, the average was about eighteen months. But it may take three, four, or even five years. You will win the battle if you use the weapons that God has made available to you! You can be debt free!"
"WASHINGTON — Louis Gill doesn't like to turn anyone away. The director of the Bakersfield Homeless Center in California has taken to laying out cots and mattresses between the shelter's 174 registered beds to cope with the rush of homeless families the financial crisis has brought to his doors.
"Last year, we saw a 34 percent increase in homeless families and a 24 percent increase in homeless children," he said. "Why do we go beyond capacity? Because in a just society, a child should not have to sleep outside or in a car."
Gill is a frontline witness to the change in the makeup of the country's homeless. The stereotype of a homeless person as a single man no longer applies. A resident of the Bakersfield center is far more likely to be a young mother with a "good, solid job and a mortgage that she just couldn't pay."
"They're like folks you know and that you've worked with," Gill said. "Maybe the work's not there right now. Maybe they got behind on their payments. But the idea of a typical homeless person has changed. We're seeing individuals come in that have never had to access the safety net before."
Government figures support Gill's experience. The ravages of the recession, including a surge in foreclosures and unemployment approaching 10 percent, have driven thousands of families onto the streets.
Although the number of homeless individuals remained relatively stable from 2007 to 2008, the number of homeless families rose 9 percent, and in
rural and suburban areas the number jumped by 56 percent, according to a report released last week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Homelessness is still concentrated in urban areas and among adult males; 20 percent of homeless people live in Los Angeles, New York and Detroit. About 1.6 million people used an emergency shelter between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008, including 516,700 people in families.
Women make up 81 percent of adults in homeless families, according to the report. And unlike homeless men, who usually are middle-aged, homeless women tend to be younger than 25 with children younger than 5. "The life of a homeless woman is particularly fraught with danger," said Suzanne Wenzel, a community psychologist and professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. "These young women are at much greater risk of being victimized when they have no stable home. It can be more difficult to obtain needed services. For anyone in this situation, it is destabilizing and extremely stressful. That's why these new figures are horrifying."
Some case studies collected by the department's Homelessness Pulse Project suggest that rural and suburban areas were particularly ill-equipped to cope with the new wave of homeless. And many of the states that experienced the largest increases in homelessness are predominately rural.
In Mississippi, the number of homeless increased 42 percent last year; in Wyoming, 40 percent; in Montana and Missouri, 23 percent; and in Iowa, 22 percent."
From Homeless to Harvard: Kris Crocker talks with Liz Murray
"Hundreds of women packed the Spokane Convention Center Monday for the annual Women Helping Women luncheon where this year's guest speaker was Liz Murray, who went from being homeless at the age of 15 to being a Harvard graduate."
Elizabeth "Liz" Murray (born September 23, 1980(1980-09-23)) is an American inspirational speaker who is best known as having been homeless in her youth, and as having overcome her hardship to achieve success." Homeless to Harvard, movie
Homeless to Harvard part 1
"WASHINGTON – More than one in seven American households struggled to put enough food on the table in 2008, the highest rate since the Agriculture Department began tracking food security levels in 1995.
That's about 49 million people, or 14.6 percent of U.S. households. The numbers are a significant increase from 2007, when 11.1 percent of U.S. households suffered from what USDA classifies as "food insecurity" — not having enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.
Researchers blamed the increase in hunger on a lack of money and other resources.
President Barack Obama called the USDA's findings "unsettling." He noted that other indicators of hunger have gone up, such as the number of food stamp applications and the use of food banks. And he said his administration is committed to reversing the trend.
"The first task is to restore job growth, which will help relieve the economic pressures that make it difficult for parents to put a square meal on the table each day," Obama said in a statement....
"for more stories & Food News: http://cookingupastory.com
Part 1.Did you know that around 40% of the food we produce gets thrown out? A whopping 40%! How did that come to be? I know we're considered to be the 'throw-away' society - if it breaks, tears, or tarnishes just buy a new 'one' - but food? "
Feel free to share your ideas below in the "blog" or contact me...
"That may be the motto for a group of Baylor University students working to open a “Campus Kitchen,” in which unused food from the school’s cafeterias and local restaurants is prepared and served to local underprivileged populations, rather than tossed into the garbage...
"..Ame Rettig, manager of JAMA Food Services, Inc., a franchise that owns a total of four Little Caesars, including one in Lehigh Acres and one opening soon in San Carlos Park, decided to donate pizza and extra food after reading stories in The News-Press about the hunger crisis in Lee County.
"The Good Samaritan Law changed everything," she said.
Before she read the Summer of Hunger series that described an unprecedented need for food for children and their parents, she didn’t know caterers and restaurants could donate food and be protected by Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act if someone becomes sick by or has an adverse reaction to the donation.
Little Caesars had been routinely throwing out food because it was considered wasted after 30 minutes, Rettig said...
"Each year, more than 700,000 free meals are served to the hungry in Spokane, according to the director of a nonprofit agency that gleans leftover food from area restaurants and distributes it to charities.
"Even those of us in the business weren’t fully aware of the extent of the need," said Maurice Smith, of Feed Spokane, who started keeping track about three years ago of who is feeding the poor and who is being fed.
Smith estimates unused food from the casino may provide 1,000 meals a month...
"AMES, IOWA (ANS) -- There are times in our lives when we face situations that are overwhelming. Whether it is everyday difficulties or other challenges that are financial, emotional, or physical, these challenges can isolate us and keep us from realizing our potential and our goals. That is why a program called Beyond Welfare, originating in Ames, Iowa, and its sister program, Circles4Success, in several cities and towns throughout Iowa, believes that shared values can support a common vision.
Jenny and John Schinker waving goodbye to the church crowd as they get ready to ride in the Flag Day Parade in Atlantic
This article would like to highlight the work Circles4Success does throughout the state of Iowa, while focusing on one group in particular in Atlantic. For the past year the Atlantic group has been coordinated by Melissa Stark who has a background in Social Services and “backyard missions.” The group will have been in existence going on three years this July. During this time they will have completed four community projects.
You may be asking why a group known for coming “beyond welfare” is doing community projects. Let me explain, and in doing so give insight into our vision, mission and purpose.
The vision of Circles4Success is to create a community where everyone has enough money, friends, and meaning to fulfill their dreams and potential in life, by contributing their talents, time, experience, strengths, and hopes. This creates the mission of building circles of support that will eliminate poverty by bringing together a constituency to address systemic barriers that hold poverty in place.
In order to accomplish the vision and mission, Circles4Success is therefore dedicated to recognizing and supporting the voices of those who have been marginalized by poverty. In doing so, it has been necessary for us to support the development of learning relationships across all lines: class, race, and gender, as well as divisions which develop between the “helped” and “helpers,” (the human services delivery system). We also work at relating to one another first as human and do away with the labels that divide and separate us. Therefore we “make friends on purpose.”
Those involved in the program believe that the problems of poverty and other social problems are held in place by our separation and isolation from one another. So, in order to effectively build a constituency for social change we must “cross the lines” and relate to one another as equals with mutual respect, reciprocity, and the spirit and practice of interdependence.
In relating to one another, we are also motivated to support one another in ways which will secure the family unit and create a thriving community where the safety of our children is a high priority shared by all. In doing so, Circles4Success believes it is helping to build a community and statewide network led by the consumer, in partnership with other citizens, which will improve the quality of life for Iowans regardless of income and status.
In helping to build a better community in Atlantic, the Circles4Success group has completed four projects and is currently working on its fourth. Briefly, the four projects included:
* The “Book Basket.” The group purchased and accepted donations for sets of 15 different children’s books and distributed them to 10 locations around town where children were known to be.
* The “Coat and Tote Drive.” The members of the group collected and donated money in order to buy gift cards for five area schools so they could purchase needed winter coats and school supplies for children in the community.
* The “Cedar Park Renovation.” There was a need to renovate a park in one of the town’s older communities. The group took the old park and turned it into a beautiful park where families could take their children. The park now includes picnic tables, benches, a large sand play area with toys, a gym play-set for the children, and a picnic shelter with benches and barbecue.
* The “No-Budget Wedding.” In planning the wedding for John and Jenny, Circles4Success was joined by another community organization, JEL (Just Eliminate Lies), a youth Tobacco Awareness Group, which the couple’s daughter, Jessica, is a part of. John and Jenny and their two daughters had become a part of Circles by first attending its Community Christmas Supper.
At a meal in February, Jenny mentioned that she and John had wanted to get married for many years, but didn’t have the resources to put a wedding together. At the next Circles meeting, Melissa mentioned this desire to the group. It was a unanimous decision to give them a wedding.
Jenny, John Kelsey and Jessica after the wedding
It turned out to be a community event with people donating their time, treasure, and talent. Various individuals enjoyed the opportunity to provide the photography, videotaping, music, wedding cake, punch, food, decorating and serving at the reception. Another person and her daughter had great fun going to the after Easter sales to get a fancy dress for the younger daughter, Kelsey. The wedding weekend was provided by a bed and breakfast near Atlantic.
The motto of Circles4Success is, “What we can’t do alone, we can do together.” The group says that if a need is made known to them, they look for a way to help and get the community involved.
The Circles4Success program includes a larger Community Leadership Team Meeting (CLTM), which meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month where a meal is served and childcare is provided. The group invites the community to work together, share ideas and develop stronger relationships within the community.
If you wish further information about the Circles4Success and Beyond Welfare programs, contact: Melissa Stark at712-243-7550 ext. 3308. For information about the JEL Tobacco Awareness Program, please call Karla Akers at Karla Akers at 712-243-8006 ext. 3380. Both programs are part of Cass County Memorial Hospital, Home Care/Hospice.
'Home' for one person here in Albuquerque, NM, close to I 40.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS) -- A United Nations special investigator has accused the American government of pouring billions of dollars into rescuing banks and big business while treating as “invisible” a deepening homeless crisis.
Writing for Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Chris McGreal reported that Raquel Rolnik, the UN special investigator for the right to adequate housing, who has just completed a seven-city tour of America, said it was shameful that a country as wealthy as the US was not spending more money on lifting its citizens out of homelessness and substandard, overcrowded housing.
According to her UN biography, Rolnik is an architect and urban planner, with more than 30 years experience in planning and urban land management. “She has a large experience in the implementation and evaluation of housing and urban policies.”
“The housing crisis is invisible for many in the US,” The Guardian reported she said. “I learned through this visit that real affordable housing and poverty is something that hasn't been dealt with as an issue. Even if we talk about the financial crisis and government stepping in in order to promote economic recovery, there is no such help for the homeless.”
The Guardian said she added, “I think those who are suffering the most in this whole situation are the very poor, the low-income population. The burden is disproportionately on them and it's of course disproportionately on African-Americans, on Latinos and immigrant communities, and on Native Americans.
Rolnik toured Chicago, New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Wilkes-Barre, a Pennsylvania town where this year the first four sheriff sales – public auctions of seized property – in the county included 598 foreclosed properties. She also visited a Native American reservation.
The Guardian reported homeless advocates say that more than 3 million people were homeless at some point over the past year. The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children, often single parents. On any given night in Los Angeles, about 17,000 parents and children are homeless. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, about 5,000 children are reportedly homeless.
Los Angeles, which The Guardian said has been described as the homeless capital of America, has seen an 18-fold increase in housing foreclosures. Evictions from owned and rented homes have risen about tenfold, with 62,400 people forced out last year in Los Angeles county.
Welfare payments are not enough to meet the rent, let alone food and other necessities. A single person on welfare living in Los Angeles receives $221 a month – an amount that hasn't changed in a decade. The rent for one room is typically nearly double that.
The Guardian reported that Rolnik said while she saw difficult conditions in all the places she visited, the worst was on the Native American reservation of Pine Ridge in South Dakota.
“You see total hopelessness, despair, very bad conditions. Nothing I have seen in other cities compared to the physical condition of the housing at Pine Ridge. Nothing compared to the overcrowding. They're not visible, they're isolated, they're far away. They're just lost,” she said.
The Guardian reported Rolnik said that one of America’s greatest embarrassments is that the US has the resources to provide decent housing for everyone.
“In the US, it's feasible to provide adequate housing for all. You have a lot of money, a lot of dollars available. You have a lot of expertise. This is a perfect setting to really embrace housing as a human right,” she said.
The Guardian said Rolnik has given a verbal report to the US state department, which has a month to respond to her observations. She will submit a final written report to the UN human rights council early next year.
With 27 years experience of helping the homeless, I believe that while Rolnik has some good observations, she dramatically oversimplifies this very complex issue. It is unrealistic to expect the government “to provide adequate housing for all.”
People of faith in particular, and community members in general, have an equal, if not greater, obligation than the government to reach out to the needy in their communities. Let’s pray they begin to accept that responsibility. "
Pastor: Government can't solve poverty
Added On September 18, 2010
Max Lucado says poverty can be erased in America and globally if individuals make the effort to help one another."
"" 'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."
50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. 51 Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous by all these things you have done. 52 Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.-Ezekiel 16:49
"..They are already forclosing on cardboard boxes, that stuff is recycle material! Many states are passing laws making it illegal to be homeless. Las Vegas now has a law making it illegal to help the homeless, which could soon be you or me. If you are caught giving food to the homeless in public there, you could face fines and even jail time. "Please do not feed the homeless, they are there for your amusement only!"..
"The USA Patriot Act, in the name of fighting terrorism, allows the government to find out which books and Internet sites a person has seen. It lets investigators secretly search homes and monitor phone calls and e-mail. Now, officials in the wealthy New York City suburb of Summit are using the law to justify forcing homeless people to leave a train station _ an action that sparked a $5 million federal lawsuit by a homeless man.
Richard Kreimer, who filed the lawsuit in March after being kicked out of the train station, said the Patriot Act defense makes no sense.
"Unless they've been smoking those funny cigarettes, I can't see how my civil lawsuit has anything to do with the Patriot Act," said Kreimer, 55, who is acting as his own attorney.
But Summit officials argue they are protected by a provision regarding "attacks and other violence against mass transportation systems." Town attorney Harry Yospin, who did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday and Wednesday, has used the law as one of more than a dozen defenses in the case...
This clip speaks for itself -- literally. The Columbus Dispatch discovered a homeless man along Ohio's I-71 claiming to have "the God-given gift of voice," and what began as your everyday viral video has exploded into a life-changing experience for one man. Yesterday morning he was a panhandler; today he's the most in-demand voice personality in the world, thanks to offers from countless radio stations, voiceover gigs and even the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His name is Ted Williams, and he's an ex-radio announcer according to the note he scrawled on a piece of cardboard that he used to solicit change from drivers. And wow, does Williams ever deliver for a dollar. Williams tells the Dispatch about his struggles, but thankfully "alcohol and drugs and a few other things" haven't diminished Williams' velvety vocal cords, and he says he's two years clean now.
"I have a god given gift of voice. I'm an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be greatfully appreciated. Thank you and God bless. Happy holidays," reads Williams' roadside sign for help.
[Video: Homeless man hailed as hero for good deed]
Like Williams, the radio industry has fallen on hard times in the past decade, but given the viral power of this video, Williams was quickly approached by more than a few morning show appearances. In fact, Reddit reported that Ted was tracked down by Columbus area radio show the Morning Zoo and appeared on this morning's program, and even found time for an interview with CBS' "The Early Show":
"As evidenced by Williams' new haircut, what a difference a day makes. A mere 24 hours after the video went viral, Williams says he's already been offered a bunch of employment opportunities, including one that's a Ohio citizen's dream job. "The Cleveland Cavaliers just offered me a full-time job and a house," Williams revealed. The Cavs will reportedly have to compete against MTV, the NFL and likely countless more suitors for Williams' services.
While Williams' sudden and lucky twist of fate could bring any man to tears, he gets most choked up when discussing how an invitation to do the gamut of TV shows in New York has opened the door for him to visit his 92-year-old mother in Brooklyn for the first time in years. "One of my biggest prayers that I sent out was that she would live long enough to see me rebound," Williams said. "There's so many words. I've already been compared to Susan Boyle... I'm just so happy.""
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Life-Meaning, Natural Gifts-Talents-Skills, Plan, Purpose?
Golden Voice Hits Jackpot
"Added On January 5, 2011
From felon to "phenom," the homeless guy with the "golden" voice has a promising future. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports." Man With a Magic Voice "Added On January 4, 2011
Homeless guy with golden voice strikes gold. CNN's Jeanne Moos says listen to this!"
"(CNN) -- By now, millions of Americans have heard from Ted Williams.
He's "the homeless man with the golden voice," a panhandler whose stunning vocal skills were recorded for an impromptu video that's netted at least 4 million views on YouTube.
But what about the good Samaritan with the video camera?
What made him stop for Williams on a dreary, overcast day when scores of people ignored the African-American homeless man during the peak of the Christmas season?
It turns out that Doral Chenoweth III, the man who filmed Williams, has a story of his own.
Videographer has played this part before
Five weeks ago, Chenoweth was driving to Lowe's with his wife, Robin, when he spotted a thin man with wild, unruly hair at an intersection. The man held a cardboard sign that read, "I have a God-given gift of voice. ..."
Chenoweth stopped and talked briefly with Williams, but he couldn't stay long because he had company at home. He returned, however, a week later.
"Hey, I'm going to make you work for your dollar," Chenoweth said as he rolled down his window and took out his flip camera. "Let me hear you say something."
What comes out of Williams' mouth is startling. It's a rich, baritone that doesn't match his craggy exterior at all. His enunciation is crisp, his tone smooth as suede.
Williams isn't holding that cardboard sign anymore.
After Chenoweth posted the video, it went viral. Williams did interviews on national television and radio. He's received several jobs offers, including one that comes with a home. A reunion with his 92-year-old mother is being arranged.
But the other character in this contemporary parable had played this part before.
"The first time we dated, he stopped and gave a blanket from the back of his car to a man who was homeless," said Robin Chenoweth. "I thought to myself, if he has this kind of compassion for a man on the street, he's going to make a great husband and father."
Chenoweth is paid to notice people. He's a multimedia producer for The Columbus Dispatch newspaper in Ohio. He said he stopped because he thought Williams might make a good video.
Still, he wasn't so sure after the filming. He said he sat on the video for five weeks until he finally decided to use it because it was a slow news week. Then he watched the video take off.
"I never anticipated this," he said. "A week ago, he was living in a tent behind a station in the middle of December, and now he's being flown to New York and his video is everywhere."
Looking through the lens of faith
But the reason Chenoweth stopped goes deeper than his job.
It's "standard operating procedure" for him, he said, to stop and talk to people who are homeless, whether he's carrying a camera or not.
"It's part of my faith," he said after some prodding about his motivations. "You may not be able to help someone with money, but you can at least say hello, how you doing, and look at them."
About 14 years ago, Chenoweth said he was assigned to photograph a homeless ministry at New Life United Methodist Church in downtown Columbus. He was so impressed by the ability of the 50-member congregation to help the homeless that he and his wife joined.
The church's pastor said that Chenoweth routinely invites people who are homeless to the church for meals and medical attention. He's also photographed people on the street and displayed their photographs to emphasize their humanity, said the Rev. Jennifer Kimball Casto, New Life's pastor.
When asked if she was surprised by Chenoweth's action, Casto said: "Absolutely not. Doral has a special heart for people who are homeless and in need."
Chenoweth's concern for people goes beyond Columbus, and even the United States. His wife said they are regular Habitat for Humanity volunteers. They've also taken seven trips to Africa with their two children, Cassie, 12, and Kurtis, 10, to serve impoverished communities. Chenoweth has documented many of the trips on his website.
"He's taken me all over the world," Robin Chenoweth said. "He's a fabulous husband. It's the best decision of my life to be with him."
Chenoweth sounds thrilled to see where the new-found fame will take Williams.
He had a reunion with Williams after their video went viral. A local radio station interviewed Williams, and Chenoweth was there for the interview.
"We had a big hug and shook hands," Chenoweth said. "He almost cried when he saw me."
Chenoweth was watching a local radio station interview Williams when he saw something that touched him.
"He still has my business card," Chenoweth said. "He's been carrying it the whole five weeks since I gave it to him. He was carrying it right in his fingertips."
Filming a visual parable
The Rev. Tom Long, a professor of preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, watched the video of Chenoweth's encounter and saw a visual parable unfold. It reminded him of Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan.
In the parable, a Samaritan stops to help a man wounded by robbers after two Jewish religious leaders -- a Levite and a priest -- pass the man by. The story was shocking because the hero was a villain -- Samaritans were a group of people hated by many 1st century Jews (imagine the parable of the Good Crack Dealer).
Chenoweth didn't see Williams as "visual white noise" to tune out, Long said. "He sees possibilities others don't see and acts on them and, wow, here we go," Long said.
Long said there's more to the story than the importance of treating people in need with compassion because miracles may happen. "His (Chenoweth) experiences expose what is already true about people, that even a homeless person who doesn't have a golden throat is nonetheless a child of God."
Casto, Chenoweth's pastor at New Life, said Chenoweth taught another lesson with his encounter with a panhandler.
"We are all broken in some way, but we are also gifted in some way," she said. "Mr. Williams is a perfect example of that."" Homeless Man with Golden Voice Has Criminal Past
By Dahvi Shira
Thursday January 06, 2011 06:55 PM EST people.com
Ted Williams Update & Interview with Mother - Inspirational Videos
"....About one-third of the adult homeless population are veterans....Roughly 56 percent of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 12.8 percent and 15.4 percent of the U.S. population respectively...
Homeless Man Quiety Rescues Old Glory
Added On July 5, 2010
Surveillance video shows a good samaritan saving an American flag from blowing away in a Texas rain storm. KFOX reports."
" Poverty is a condition in which a person or community is deprived of or lacks the essentials for a minimum standard of well being and life. An absolute poverty measure was developed in the mid 1960s as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on poverty. Based on this measure, the poverty line is set at approximately three times the annual cost of a nutritionally adequate diet. It varies by family size and is updated yearly to reflect changes in the consumer price index.
Currently roughly 13% of the US population fall below the federal poverty threshold. There is however some controversy regarding the federal poverty line, arguing that it either understates or overstates the problem of poverty. The poverty rate in the United States is one of the highest among the post-industrialized developed world. It should be noted that poverty rates only provide a snap-shot of the percentage of persons who are currently poor. Poverty in the U.S. is cyclical in nature, with individuals rising above and falling below the poverty threshold from time to time; as a result, far more than 13% of the population fall below the poverty line at some point over a given period of years."
"Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." - John 6:35
"For 14 days we traveled through the south in a bus that ran on used cooking oil. We picked up hitchhikers and listened to the stories of the homeless and those who devote their time caring for them. We survived on the street skills that Brandt Russo acquired form the time he spent on the streets of Houston and hitchhiking throughout the US.
"psalters does not officially endorse this film, and is not receiving any contributions from it. Psalters music is public domain and is free to be used by anyone however they wish."
-Captain Napkins "
Reviews: Homelessness, Tuesday, November 3, 2009 john1135jesuswept.blogspot.com "I recently was invited to see a documentary about homelessness and what the church should do about it. It is called Adopt A Jesus. It was about a guy who became an ordained minister at the age of 19, he is 25 years old now. He became frustrated at how the church doesn't do a whole lot about the poverty in the USA especially with homeless people, so he gave up all he had and went and lived among the homeless for a while ministering to their needs. One thing that he said that struck home to me is that homeless people don't necessarily need money, they just need someone who cares about them, so he challenged us to give ourselves to someone and get involved in their lives...
Related Sites: Weary Saints: brandt-russo-interview, from blogspot.com Homeless Jesus: Reflections from Brandt Russo, a dumpster-diving evangelist
Posted in adventure by Brandt Russo on 12/4/2007 adventure.wrecked.org "Brandt Russo is 23 and a native of southern Louisiana. He lives on the streets dumpstering food, feeding the homeless, and teaching local church people to do the same via his vegetable oil bus. You can follow his journey at his myspace site or WheresBrandt.com." "Adopt A Jesus" Outtakes - A night out with Brandt Russo, from youtube.com Rock in Love Tour
May 2, 2008 from mariettaam.com "..According to Brandt, he grew up in a Christian home and attended Texas Bible Institute. But it was during his time traveling and working as a âservantã to others that he began to understand his calling to serve to poor, the homeless and those in the most need. "All the money I receive I redistribute to those in need. There are no class lines in the Kingdom of God," he said. ..
"31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter
Dwayne’s Story - Once Homeless, He Now Gives Back to Those In Need
By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service Wednesday, December 2, 2009 " ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS) -- I don’t hold much stock in coincidences, but I am a firm believer in divinely arranged meetings.
With that in mind, I regularly ask the Lord to direct my day in such a way that I will be open to where He wants me to go, and whomever He wants me to meet. Doing so takes a lot of frustration out of difficult days and replaces it with an excitement about the next experience for me on God’s Agenda.
A few days ago while at the Albuquerque Convention Center for our annual Pre-Thanksgiving Day Feast, I just "happened” to be introduced to Dwayne. He was there as a volunteer helping serve hundreds of hungry people.
But not so long ago, Dwayne was himself homeless and staying at Joy Junction. I asked him to tell me a bit of his story.
Formerly homeless on the streets of California, Dwayne ended up at Joy Junction. I asked him how he felt when he first arrived. Dwayne said as a result of his homelessness and other issues, he was in despair.
He added, "I was hopeless when I first got there, and Joy Junction gave me the tools I needed, (such as) Bible study and ... a little bit of hope.”
I asked Dwayne if he met Jesus while he was staying at Joy Junction, or if he knew Him prior to living at the shelter.
He said, "I knew Him before, but I got more intimate with Him there, because I got to see that I just wasn't the only one needing help. There were more people like me ... I didn’t feel ... quite as alone. Because there's other people, as I looked around, that were in the same situation I'm in.”
I asked Dwayne what he believed helped him most during his stay at Joy Junction.
He said that the Bible study and the “mentoring” by some of our staff gave him hope. It’s been my experience that many of our guests feel pretty hope “less” when they arrive at Joy Junction. I think it’s a combination of being without a home, and the emotionally and physically debilitating situations that landed them in that sad predicament. I was so glad to hear that our staff had encouraged him.
Dwayne didn’t want to say what issues specifically landed him at Joy Junction, and I never want to press people to share anything with me that they’re not comfortable saying. However, he was willing to say “hard times” in his life resulted in his homelessness.
He elaborated a bit. “I come from a family of nine,” he said, “and we didn't have much, you know, all my life. I was in foster homes and group homes, and foster homes and boys homes, and I just (had) ... a hard time."
However, good news was on the horizon. Since leaving Joy Junction, Dwayne now works at a local hotel, has a studio apartment and attends a church where he said he also volunteers.
He said, "I'm just giving back because the Lord has blessed me so much.”
I asked Dwayne what advice he would have for someone maybe in the depths of despair perhaps wondering if he or she could come to Joy Junction, or enroll in a recovery program wherever they may be.
He didn’t hesitate, responding quickly that no one should stay in despair – because of the existence of Joy Junction and many other programs.
"And don’t give up because there's a living God out there," Dwayne said. "He loves you, no matter if your family (doesn’t), if your brother (doesn’t), if your teacher (doesn’t). Jesus loves you so much.”
Dwayne added, "I was hopeless all my life because nobody ever loved me. I come from the projects in Los Angeles; South Central. There was no love in those projects, just drugs, alcohol and all that stuff. (But) you know what? I know now that God loves me. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me ... You can't get that kind of love (anywhere) on this earth."
He added, "There's nothing else like it. You might search and search all around the world, trying to find the love in people and materialistic things, but there's no love like the love of Jesus Christ."
I asked Dwayne if he had a message for the many volunteers and donors who helped make his recovery a reality.
He encouraged them to keep helping out, adding that to do so "makes you feel wonderful (inside), and plus, we're doing the Lord's work. And that's what it's all about. Give because there's so many people out there that are in need, especially at Joy Junction. They take care of hundreds of women and children, (so) ... we need to give to Joy Junction."
The Lord touched my heart as I heard Dwayne's story. That’s what we’re all about-being used as vessels so His restorative love can be poured out both spiritually and physically upon those in need. I hope that Dwayne’s story will encourage you to support this now two-decades-old-plus ministry of compassion. "
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty"-John 6:35
"Grammy award winning Bebe Winans and Grammy winning Saxophonist Dave Koz perform the song "I Can". Inspired by Chris Gardners "Pursuit of Happyness". Both Chris Gardner and Producer Mark Clayman were WELL DONE AWARD recipients, honoring them for their efforts for those in need and the work made to see the film come to life.
WELL DONE AWARDS were held May 30th 2007 at Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo, CA, with the goal to give back and honor so many that have accomplished Kingdom Assignments around the world.
Kingdom Assignment - What's yours?"
Donnie McClurkin song with Will Smith clips
Reviews: IMDB "In 1981, Chris Gardner was a struggling salesman in little needed medical bone density scanners while his wife toiled in double shifts to support the family including their young son, Christopher. In the face of this difficult life, Chris has the desperate inspiration to try for a stockbroker internship where one in twenty has a chance of a lucrative full time career. Even when his wife leaves him because of this choice, Chris clings to this dream with his son even when the odds become more daunting by the day. Together, father and son struggle through homelessness, jail time, tax seizure and the overall punishing despair in a quest that would make Gardner a respected millionaire. "
*see GoodnewsUSA: California Will Smith resolviendo el Cubo Rubik en 55 segundos, from youtube.com
Chains of Poverty: Introduction
"The first entry of my reflections on wearing chains of poverty."
Candido Gonzalez worked for the City of New York for almost 19 years before he was laid off in October 2007. After six months without a steady paycheck, he could no longer afford to pay his rent and found himself in a situation he had never dreamed possible: he had no savings and no place to live.
Gonzalez, a 48-year-old divorced father of two, represents the often unseen human toll of the Great Recession. He was laid off during the first wave of New York City budget cuts -- making him one of the more than 100,000 municipal workers nationwide that have lost their jobs during the recession, according to a recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Today, Gonzalez lives and works at The Bowery Mission, one of the nation's oldest rescue missions, which houses 82 men and serves 1,000 meals per day to the homeless. Bright, articulate and hard-working, Gonzalez was given a job at the front desk (hence the bluetooth headset glued to his head during his shift). Since arriving at the Mission in September, he has been cheerfully greeting the homeless men who come there each day. Yet, despite his positive disposition, Gonzalez has had little to smile about over the past couple of years.
"It's been a hurdle both emotionally and psychologically," Gonzalez says. "My family, my pastor, my children – all of that has been a key factor in pushing me forward. And of course my faith in God has been a key factor in me making it.".."
"I visited Smoky Mountain a few weeks ago which is the trash dumping ground for metro Manila here in the Philippines. The actual dump site has been moved three times over the past 30 years, as the sites reached maximum capacity and so the entire Tondo area of Metro Manila is affected by this dumping.
After my visit to the trash dump and slum inside, I and was completely numb and shaken for days after. I was also offline and the following week when I could look at this video on my computer, well, I can remember every emotion I felt that day and it’s hard to share with you, the world. Hard because where do you even begin?
But it’s a crucial story to tell. Poverty is at its worst when children can’t even be in school because they are needed to help earn money for their families to eat. The conditions of this slum were the worst I have ever seen. This video is just a small window into the pain my heart felt seeing children scavenging through trash, covered in mud and dirt, surrounded by mounds of smoldering garbage and others scavenging trying to earn at least $1 a day.
How did I end up there? It’s not-Kiva related, and it was my day off and I went by myself. I can only say my curiosity is insatiable to see first-hand all I can about the poverty that exists in the world and continue to reflect on my place in helping make the world a better place.
One day I heard about it passing from someone I met very briefly, the next day I asked around to my MFI about it (most of them have never been and in fact most Filipinos have never been – people have since been shocked that I went there and went alone). The next day, a really great staff member of ASHI helped set me up with a visit to Young Focus International, which operates a day care center within the dumping ground and could host me for the morning. They have scheduled feedings for the babies who live there and are malnourished and I could help feed the babies and then walk around the dump site.
When I first got to Tondo and the Smoky Mountain trash dump, they gave me (actually require) knee high rain boots to wear, and I wouldn’t have made it very far without those. The trash and muck and dirty water was over ankle-height. I wasn’t wearing socks and the boots were too big and the sweat inside caused a sucking sound with every step and I was sure I’d lose one with every step deeper in the dump.
Upon walking into the area, it hits you like a smack in the face. Garbage trucks passing me one by one with small children in the back already having climbed inside kilometers from the entrance to get a hear start on the scavenging for plastics and bottles, the sound of babies crying, the sight of skin problems and sickness from people as they walked by, the smells of decaying trash, the sounds of crushing and crumpling trash under the wheels of the trucks, the heat and sweat just pouring down your face – the whole thing – I had three immediate thoughts:
Celine Dion - So This is Christmas (lyrics)
"Frohe Weihnachten zusammen " Celine Dion happy christmas with lyrics, from youtube.com "...And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The war is so long
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
"Poverty is the state for the majority of the worldï¿½s people and nations. Why is this? Is it enough to blame poor people for their own predicament? Have they been lazy, made poor decisions, and been solely responsible for their plight? What about their government? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? Such causes of poverty and inequality are no doubt real. But often less discussed are deeper and more global causes of poverty.
Behind the increasing interconnectedness promised by globalization, are global decisions, policies, and practices. These are typically influenced, driven, or formulated by the rich and powerful. These can be leaders of rich countries or other global actors such as multinational corporations, institutions, and influential people."
"Descriptions of material need, typically including the necessities of daily living (food, clothing, shelter, and health care). Poverty in this sense may be understood as a condition in which a person or community is deprived of, and or lacks the essentials for a minimum standard of well-being and life. These essentials may be material resources such as food, safe drinking water, and shelter, or they may be social resources such as access to information, education, health care, social status, political power, or the opportunity to develop meaningful connections with other people in society.
" Rebecca St. James takes you to Rwanda to discover how Compassion releases children from poverty in Jesus' name. Also, watch as Compassion sponsors tell how child sponsorship has changed, not only the lives of children in need, but their lives as well. Listen for the opportunity to join Compassion sponsors in their mission to help children living in poverty."
Poverty - Children - Compassion International
"View this powerful video from Compassion International and educate yourself on the plight of children living in poverty around the world. Visit http://www.compassion.com/childadvocacy to learn more" Seeing Poverty
, from Godtube.com "
Poverty is not being poor or not having enough, poverty is when you feel like you don't matter. Watch as two womens lives are touched by the children they sponsor as they meet for the first time. They see first hand what that little amount can do to change the lives of children. Go to http://www.Compassion.com to change the life of a child!
"NAIROBI, KENYA (ANS) -- On Wednesday, the United Nations declared a famine in parts of southern Somalia. Across the region, 11 million people are facing a hunger crisis caused by several years of severe drought.
Now, an airplane from the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) program in South Africa is flying to Kenya to reinforce the mission organization’s response to the famine in the Horn of Africa.
Over the past week, MAF has flown leaders from relief and mission organizations, as well as ambassadors from several countries, into the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya to assess the situation, according to a media release.
MAF says the organization is also experiencing increasing demand for flights into South Sudan following the country’s independence earlier this month.
“MAF is in contact with a number of relief organizations working in the area,” said John Woodberry, MAF manager of disaster response and security. “We are ramping-up our capacity to respond should the need for relief flights continue to grow.”
With this additional plane, MAF will have seven aircraft in Kenya. To maximize flight capacity, MAF crews have been working into the night so that planes are ready to depart early each morning.
Mission Aviation Fellowship (www.maf.org ) is a family of organizations with a singular mission: to share the love of Jesus through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed. Serving in 32 countries with more than 140 planes, MAF supports the efforts of some 1,500 Christian and relief organizations.
A significant part of this global network, MAF-US is headquartered in Nampa, Idaho. In addition to its aviation services, MAF-US also provides communication systems and learning technologies to share the gospel and improve the quality of life in remote areas of Africa, Asia, Eurasia and Latin America.
"... from 3950 Southpointe Drive #414; Orlando, Florida 32822-USA & Jesus the Anointed One (JA1-Full Gospel) in Kumintang Ibaba, Batangas City, Philippines; tel. nos 723-1170;723-0035.."
Manila's Most Disadvantaged Communities
"Uploaded on Aug 20, 2007
Philippine Christian Foundation works with some Manila's most disadvantaged communities-- "scavenger families" who live and work on garbage dumpsites and families living among the tombs in public cemeteries.
Smokey Mountain Philippines
Water for Haiti
By Jim LePage in Featured, News & Events November 23, 2010 whchurch.org
We can all recognize that our society has built up enormous spending traditions around Christmas. Many of us buy more than our budgets can handle, and the constant barrage of advertising fools many of us into believing that this is how Christ’s birth should be celebrated.
This Christmas, consider a small change.
Instead of following the patterns of our culture, we want to encourage each other to take a small step in a different direction. Gift-giving and generosity are certainly Christlike, but we want to provide an opportunity to be generous to people in our world who have extreme needs. For most of us it’s not realistic to completely ditch Christmas presents for loved ones. But we CAN make a small change and begin a different kind of tradition.
We’re asking you to sacrifice some of the money you’d normally spend on gifts. Instead, offer that money towards a four-week campaign that we’ve launched called Water for Haiti.
This means we actually have two goals: spend less on your family and friends (who probably don’t need much anyway!) and instead, give a gift that will provide water to families in great need.
We feel called to respond to the water crisis in Haiti.
Only 30% of Haitians have safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. This has led to the current outbreak of cholera, which is predicted to result in over 200,000 cases. But even before this latest crisis, Haitians - especially children - frequently die from malnutrition because of parasites and bacteria in their water that prevent nutrients from getting into their bodies.
We know we can’t solve the water crisis for the entire country, but we can make an impact and help the people God has connected us with. We plan to do just that through Water for Haiti.
Our goal is to raise $21,000 during the four weeks before Christmas and give the money to our partner ministries in Haiti. If we reach our goal, we’ll be able to provide funds to dig a well and establish clean water distribution in the village of Lougou. We’ll also be able to provide clean water for thousands of families in Cite Soleil for four months.
Even if it’s a small amount, please consider joining us. We can’t create new Christmas traditions overnight, but this year we can all take a small step together!
Donate now or check out our FAQ.
*see my local church->GoodnewsMinnesota.info- St. Paul: Woodland Hills Church
Haiti Water Project PSA
Water for Haiti Now , from youtube.com "Help us get 1 million filtered water bottles to Haiti. These bottles are equipped with a filter that removes up to 99.99% of the waterborned pollutants, chemicals and viruses found in water supplies. Just one Aqua Filter King can provide up to 100 gallons* of great tasting, clean water." Safe water, the key to battling cholera in Haiti , from youtube.com
Around the world, people are tackling issues of urban poverty with determination and ingenuity. The people of Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa, are finally putting themselves on the map and improving the infrastructure in their community. In South Africa, an architect teams with an engineer to devise a better way to build with local materials. And in Medellin, Colombia, a visionary team reinvigorates the city with cable cars and spectacular architecture."
Cooper-Hewitt: Design for the Other 90%
"Uploaded by cooperhewitt on Apr 22, 2011
Designers, engineers, students and professors, architects, and social entrepreneurs from all over the globe are devising cost-effective ways to increase access to food and water, energy, education, healthcare, revenue-generating activities, and affordable transportation for those who most need them. And an increasing number of initiatives are providing solutions for underserved populations in developed countries such as the United States.
Encompassing a broad set of modern social and economic concerns, these design innovations often support responsible, sustainable economic policy. They help, rather than exploit, poorer economies; minimize environmental impact; increase social inclusion; improve healthcare at all levels; and advance the quality and accessibility of education. These designers' voices are passionate, and their points of view range widely on how best to address these important issues. Each object on display tells a story, and provides a window through which we can observe this expanding field. Design for the Other 90% demonstrates how design can be a dynamic force in saving and transforming lives, at home and around the world.
On view at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum through September 23, 2007.
Evensong Rising Performs "After The Storm"
"Chris Sorensen(vocal, acoustic guitar), Jason Foster(bass), Satoya Foster(vocal), Tyler Bussey(Electric & Acoustic guitar), Tim Newton(drums), Garnet Walters(Keys), Anna Leinbach(vocal, violin) "
"WASHINGTON D.C. / NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (ANS) -- Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad, is forming a new partnership with the Christian band, Evensong Rising.
Ahwiyah Records worship band Evensong Rising is teaming up with Bread for the World, an advocacy organization whose work has resulted in billions of dollars spent for hunger and poverty-fighting efforts. This is Bread for the World's first exclusive partnership with a band and for Evensong Rising with an advocacy organization.
A new kind of worship band, Evensong Rising's mission encapsulates much more than just music.
"Several years ago we founded a non-profit called The Rising Group," says the Rev. Chris Sorensen, lead singer for Evensong Rising. "The steadfast goal of The Rising Group is to bring about spiritual awakening and humanitarian activism."
Evensong Rising is the music of The Rising Group, an ecumenical Christian organization that aims to bring spiritual awakening and humanitarian activism into the lives of students. The band was established in 2001, to lead worship at a church, in Greenwich, CT. In 2003, the Rising Group was founded and Evensong Rising began touring.
Evensong Rising's story began in 2002, when Sorensen and a group from one of the nation's oldest and most historical churches got together to re-think what church and worship could be. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based Stanwich Congregational Church, a church that predates the American War of Independence which is now over 275 years old, has become ground zero for a worship revolution where the ancient and future coalesce, ushered in by the music and ministry of Evensong Rising.
Since then, the band has been doing "Rising Events" all over the northeast, raising thousands of dollars that go directly to the band's Rise Up! outreach programs to aid impoverished people around the world. The band will be promoting Bread for the World's advocacy as a part of their Rise Up! programs.
"With lyrics that reach back in Christian tradition and music that makes them relevant to young people today, Evensong Rising's music matches our movement," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "This partnership will help Christians deepen their discipleship by advocating for hungry and poor people."
"We are tremendously honored to work with Bread for the World," said Sorensen. "For decades, Bread members have fought relentlessly on behalf of hungry and poor people here at home and around the globe. By changing the policies that keep people in poverty, they are providing help and opportunity to hungry people all over the world.
"Our music challenges people to be the hands and feet of Christ, and this partnership with Bread for the World will provide our listeners with concrete opportunities to express this passion."
The focus of the partnership's advocacy efforts is Bread for the World's annual Offering of Letters, where church members across the country write personal letters and emails to members of Congress on issues affecting hungry and poor people. The 2008 Bread for the World Offering of Letters is focused on urging Congress to pass the Global Poverty Act and to increase federal funding for poverty-fighting efforts by at least $5 billion annually.
"We have a remarkable record of success in Congress through these annual Offerings of Letters," said Rev. Beckmann.
"Since 2000, the United States has more than doubled funding for effective programs that help developing countries in Africa and other poor parts of the world and strengthened national nutrition programs like the school lunch initiative. This would not have happened without the persistent advocacy of Bread for the World members. We're glad Evensong Rising is joining with us."
"Evensong Rising is a perfect match for our movement," says Beckmann. "With the powerful messages contained in their music and their commitment to serve hungry and poor people through their work, they make the perfect partner for our efforts to end hunger and extreme poverty."
As an advocacy organization, Bread for the World encourages and helps organize Christians to unite as one voice to speak to our nation's decision makers, urging them to end hunger at home and abroad. Bread for the World was a founding partner in Bono's ONE Campaign in 2005 to fight the emergencies of extreme poverty, hunger and disease in the developing world, as well as the Jubilee campaign for debt cancellation in developing countries.
Bono says of the organization and their mission, "We saw that together, we can be voices for the voiceless. If you're looking for God, look for the poorest, the most vulnerable people. That's where God hangs out."
With a deep and abiding respect for the heritage of the early church, Evensong Rising fuses the energy and passion of diverse contemporary influences with revered, time-honored hymns of the ancient church. The result is an atmosphere that invites worshipers to step outside the here-and-now and encounter the God who inhabits not only today, but yesterday and tomorrow.
In September 2008, Evensong Rising will release a new album and begin a national tour in churches and colleges across the country. During the tour, the band will introduce advocacy-reaching out to members of Congress and other decision-makers-as a part of Christian calling.
Evensong Rising's self-titled album will be available on Ahwiyah Records, in partnership with Infinity U, and distributed by TAG Artist Group. For more information on Evensong Rising and their new album, visit www.evensongrising.com .
Bread for the World (www.bread.org ) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, Bread members provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities where they live. "
" is a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization backed by more than 2 million people who are committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Cofounded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African policy makers and activists.
"Join the OptINnow movement today by funding a small loan to help end global poverty. Faster. Whether you want to put your faith into action, or you just want to help end global poverty. If you OptINnow you can empower someone to start working their way out of poverty - and that is just the beginning"
2003 Mother Teresa TV Movie
"A wonderful film on Mother Teresa, I have watched many times and enjoy it each time that I do. actress Olivia Hussey has spoken of her delight at being chosen to play Mother Teresa of Calcutta in a new television series for Italian TV, produced by Lux Vide. It was shown around the time of the beatification of the world's most famous nun, October 2003.
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Asian-Indian
"Dr John Dickson uses Australian statistics to ask why we don't give more to the poor"
*see Public Christianity
"Volunteers are the life-blood of many organizations and businesses. If you use volunteers, you depend upon their passion and commitment to get much of your work done. But utilizing volunteers is much more than making an appeal and then giving assignments to those who show up. They need to know they are a valued part of your business or organization. And they need to be appreciated and cared for, even as you appreciate and care for your staff.
This book offers you 101 ways to show appreciation to your volunteers - that's part of keeping them. We also offer tips on recruitment, placement, management, and retention of these very special people."