Still Giving Birth Like Mary
Religion News Service, December 21, 2017
Marie’s* contractions started early in the morning. As the contractions progressed, she did her best to get comfortable and prepare for her first child. She wished her mother or a midwife were with her, but her mother had trained her how to deliver alone. So many women do that in her country already. She instructed her husband to find cloth to wrap the child in and water to clean both her and the coming child.
Reposted on San Antonio Express News on December 22, 2017
Reposted on Times Union on December 22, 2017
Faith Leads the Way: Family Gives Up Life of Privilege in U.S. to Spread Hope in Haiti
Dallas Morning News, December 21, 2017 (online) and December 24, 2017 (print)
David Vanderpool was 15 when he first questioned his privileged childhood.
At the time, he was a student at St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas. His father was a successful surgeon. The family lived in a beautiful home, drove the nicest cars and dined at the fanciest restaurants. They also traveled the world for mission trips.
Vanderpool found himself in Nazareth, Israel. He was talking with a local girl his age who'd taught herself English.
The girl asked Vanderpool what he wanted to be when he grew up. He shrugged. With his family's wealth, his opportunities were endless.
"I'll probably be a doctor," Vanderpool recalled saying. "What about you?"
The girl seemed offended. She was female, not to mention a Christian in an Arab land.
"I will carry water and have babies for the rest of my life."
Vanderpool was stunned. He felt embarrassed. Here was this intelligent girl who could've done anything with her life, but in the circumstances she was born into, she had no options.
Why was he the one with privilege?
LiveBeyond Christmas Catalog Encourages People to Give Beyond
My Social Good News, December 16, 2017
As Christmas gift-giving time approaches, a faith-based non-profit working to improve conditions in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, has some unique gift suggestions in its annual Christmas catalog. Each year, LiveBeyond determines the greatest needs among the people it serves and invites Americans who really have no need of another thing to gift something desperately needed on behalf of their loved ones. This year’s list features a unique set of gifts that will provide great meaning to those who give it and those who receive it in Haiti, improving their way of life and expanding the Kingdom of God.
What to Get for the Person Who Says They Don't Want or Need Anything This Christmas
Faithwire, December 14, 2017
Christmas is a time of remembering the joy that Jesus brought to the world when he was born that starry night in a manger over 2,000 years ago. The best way we know how to celebrate that is to sing Christmas carols, watch Hallmark movies, drink hot chocolate, and spend hundreds of dollars (sometimes even going into debt) on presents for people that they won’t use for very long.
Does that seem right?
What's Important About World Soil Day
Christian Post, December 5, 2017
It ain't just dirt.
Playing in the dirt is typically reserved for young children and pigs. But getting down and dirty is more important than you might think. It is estimated that 95 percent of our food is directly or indirectly produced on our soils. This includes everything from grains such as wheat and rice to vegetables and fruits and even the meat and dairy animals that depend upon soil-grown plants for their food too. Healthy soils produce healthy plants which help feed healthier humans.
Soils serve many purposes.
On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Here's a Story of a Remarkable Boy
Fox News, December 3, 2017
When I first saw Chinyelo, he was covered in dirt and mud, walking on his hands through his village in Haiti. His T-shirt was ripped. He was hungry. He was not well-cared for. He had never been to school. We don’t know exactly why his legs have never worked, but our best guess is that he had some sort of traumatic injury at birth.
I am sharing Chinyelo’s remarkable story now because Sunday is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, created by the United Nations in 1992. It is a day to think about people who don’t get the attention they deserve.
World AIDS Day: Christians Need to Take a Stand
Christian Post, December 1, 2017
HIV is a virus just like the common cold, influenza, or plantar warts. But ever since its discovery in the 1980s, a stigma has been attached to HIV/AIDS, classifying carriers of the disease as "unclean." This is primarily due to the nature of transmission: sexual transmission or infected fluids. Globally, close to 37 million are infected with AIDS, so this isn't an issue that will be going away any time soon.
Happy Thanksgiving from LiveBeyond!
Why Today is World Toilet Day
Christian Post, November 19, 2017
World Toilet Day seems like an excellent excuse for a plethora of bathroom humor memes. How can toilets, of all things, be an exciting topic worthy of its own day? But according to the United Nations, approximately "4.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to a household toilet that safely disposes of waste." That's 60 percent of the world's population. So perhaps toilets are more important than one might think.
When There's No Logical Reason for a Teeny, Tiny Baby to Survive
CharismaNews, November 17, 2017
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year. Among those that survive, many suffer from lifelong health problems like cerebral palsy, developmental delay or sensory loss. March of Dimes estimates that nearly 1 in 10 children in the United States is born prematurely. Thankfully, the creation and use of neonatal medical technology has significantly increased the potential for American babies to have a fighting chance. But what happens to babies in the developing world, who don't have access to such life-saving technology?