Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rwanda Countdown

We leave in 8 days - to say I'm pumped is an understatement!  Tomorrow I start taking the typhoid and malaria pills (maybe slightly less pumped about that).  

I've heard it said that the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century with almost a million lives lost in only 100 days, but the recovery and reconciliation and growth of Rwanda is shaping up to be one of the greatest triumphs of the 21st century.  Right now, they're in the land between.  I don't really know how to prepare for a trip like this, but I'm guessing there will be tears of sadness mingled with tears of joy, moments of hope and moments of realization of how much there is to be done.

Check out this story put together by People of the Second Chance - 

POTSC - Emmanuels Story from TK on Vimeo.

I hope I get to meet this Emmanuel in Rwanda.

I know I will meet Emmanuel in Rwanda.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Need a Little Help for Mother's Day?

Every year you ask your mom what she wants for her birthday and/or mother's day.  And every year, you get one or both of these responses:

"Nothing," and "I just want to spend time with you."

It's so frustrating!  Here's the deal, I've been a mom now for almost 2 1/2 years and I've realized something - my mom was telling the truth!

So, this mother's day, try listening and giving your mom what she really wants.  And then take it a step farther - honor her by sharing the love she poured into you.  Here are some ways to do it:

1. Give a gift to Safe World Nexus in honor of your mom.  More than 24,000 mothers and their babies will die in Haiti this year.  Safe World Nexus is an organization committed to changing that number by building a highly functional maternity center in Port-au-Prince.  Go here to check them out.

2. If you live in Summerville, SC, give a gift to the Dorchester Children's Center and help them continue their incredible work in our community to care for abused children and provide parenting classes to help end the cycle of abuse.  Check them out here and find out all the ways you can help by visiting their wish list here.

3. Do you know anyone trying to adopt?  It's expensive!  But with millions of orphans in our world today in addition to the thousands and thousands of foster children in our nation, we need to get on board and care for these kids.  Maybe God is calling you to adopt or foster, or maybe this mother's day you can give someone else a little help in the process.

Okay, that's it from me.  If you're a mom, what's the best gift you've been given?  What are some other ways we can all honor our moms this year?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Guys, We Need You

I spent this morning sitting on the floor in the guidance department at Ashley Ridge High School crying with counselors and students.  Last night the call came that an 18-year old young man, 14 days from the end of his hard-fought journey to graduation, had been shot and killed less than a half-mile from my house. His killer - a 17-year old who got in a fist-fight with him and then resorted to a gun to end the fight.

It's tragic on so many levels.  Tragic that a young man will never get to realize what he could have become.  Tragic that a mother will spend this mother's day burying her son.  Tragic that another young man will spend the rest of his days behind bars.  Tragic that there wasn't a father around to teach these men what true manhood is all about.

I read a book a few months back that I highly recommend called "Generation iY" by Tim Elmore, and in it, he provides the statistic that over 50% of kids today are growing up without a father in their home.   Shocking, right?  Absolutely.  And the effects of that statistic are visited for generations.

Guys, we need you.  We need strong, Godly men to step up and mentor these young men.  

So, here's the deal.  This isn't just a blog post of me expounding on the fatherless crisis in America.  This is a challenge to every guy out there who reads this and who knows other guys.  Every one of you needs to be pouring into the life of at least one other young man and challenging other guys to do the same.  Do it as a father.  Do it as a brother.  Do it as a coach.  Do it as a small group leader for 4th and 5th grade boys.  Do it as a youth leader.  Do it as a neighbor.  Do it as someone who know The Father and as such has love to pour into another.

These boys need you.  We all need you.  Guys, step up.  Please.