Monthly Archives: June 2013

Do It Anyway

The majority of people I know who enjoy going on runs have a set running playlist they like to listen to as they run.

I’m quite the opposite. Instead, I like to have my whole ipod on shuffle and just let it play. It makes for a great surprise and good laughs when a random song from 15 years ago plays. Lucky for me the majority of the time it shuffles to a country song.

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The other day as I was running Martina McBride’s Anyway began playing in my ears. I know, I know not a typical pump you up, make you feel like you can run for hours type of song. Basically the song is about things that sound ridiculous to the rest of the world but we should do them anyway.

You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach & you know it might not ever come your way, dream it anyway

When I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should, but I do it anyway

You can love someone with all your heart for all the right reasons & in a moment they can choose to walk away, love them anyway

I sing, I dream, I love….anyway

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As I listened I began to think about myself.

What dreams have I given up on because they sounded crazy?

What miracles have I given up on asking God for?

What have I stopped praying about because God chose to answer them in a better way, instead of my way?

Who can I love better without the contingency of their love towards me?

I surprised myself with some of the answers. And wondered why I had given up on these things. Why was I not choosing to love better? Why was I not dreaming bigger and better things? Why wasn’t I asking for miracles?

I jogged down the final hill with my head and heart determined to do it anyway. Despite it being the harder, less popular option…do it anyway.

do-it-anyway

What dream have you given up on?

What person have you decided it wasn’t worth loving?

What miracle have you stopped asking God for?

Your reason isn’t strong enough. Whatever your excuse is, DO IT ANYWAY!

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Where are all the little girls?

Jollibee is the McDonald’s of the Philippines.
They sell chicken and hamburgers and french fries and yummy ice cream!
You know you are in a real city when you see a Jollibee.

In Malaybalay it’s on the main highway right in the middle of town.
If you need to go to the super market, you drive right past Jollibee.
If you go to the central plaza, you drive right past Jollibee.
If you want to buy fruit from the fruit stand, you drive right past Jollibee.
Basically I ride by Jollibee every day.
Whether I need to buy shampoo or go to church or stop by the bank I always pass the Jollibee first.
It’s the happening place to be.
The place everyone wants food from.
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And every day when I ride past Jollibee I see the same thing.

Boys.
Cardboard.
Motorcycles.

As soon as you pull up to Jollibee on your motorcycle they are there waiting on you. Little boys ranging anywhere from 8-16 years old wanting to put cardboard on your bike seat while you go inside Jollibee to eat.

If the sun is out (which it almost always is) the bike seat gets super hot very quickly.
The boys need a way to make money.
So the two go hand in hand.
The boys are there offering to make sure your bike seat doesn’t toast your bottom after soaking in the sun in exchange for a few pesos.
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But if you rewind on everything I just said you will notice I only said boys.

There are no girls putting cardboard on bike seats.

There aren’t even girls hanging out with the boys as they work.

The girls are nowhere to be found.

I could paint you a pretty picture and tell you that instead of working outside in the sun they are inside sewing. Or they are in school getting an education. Or they are working as a waitress in a local restaurant.

But if I told you these things I would be doing an injustice to each and every one of these girls.

Because the truth of the matter is there are 27 million girls who have been taken captive and are treated as slaves every day.
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This is a fact I’ve known for quite some time now. A number that has been in my head. But this past week the number became a face. Lots and lots of faces.

Maybe I’m wrong.
I desperately pray every day that I am.
Maybe that pretty little picture I painted is the actual truth.
But what if it’s not and you and I are doing nothing about it?

Every time I drive past Jollibee my heart can’t help but hurt wanting to know where the little girls are. Wanting to know if they are just around the street corner. Or if they are one of the faces that makes up that awful number.

This morning all I am asking is that you will join me in crying out to God for these little girls. It’s not the only solution to the problem I know. But it’s a place to begin.

Will you please pray for them with me?

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Band-aids on Gunshot Wounds

Over the weekend I became completely overwhelmed by the needs I see everyday.

                        FOOD                                                                     CLOTHING                

                                                                           SHELTER

                                        MONEY                                                                       JOBS
FAMILIES

The need has been right in front of my face and I have stood there wondering how in the world it is possible to meet them all. Where do you start? How do you alleviate the pain? How do you bandage a wound so it heals completely instead of putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound? How do you turn away when the needs are staring at you right in the eyes? How do you not get frustrated when you want to meet the needs but in actuality you are only putting on that small bandage?

For days these thoughts have consumed my mind.

It all started Friday afternoon when we pulled up at a local bakery to grab a piece of fresh, hot bread.
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As we parked the bike I saw two older women sitting across the street each holding a small child. By the time we got off the bike and were standing at the bread counter a little girl was right beside us. I knew she would be there. I knew the older women had seen two white girls pull up at the bakery and had sent her over there to us. She stood by my side using her hands to slowly motion for food. While waiting on our order I asked her what her name was. Nothing. No words. Just the continuous movement of her hand from her side to her mouth showing me she wanted food. She didn’t want to communicate. She didn’t want to tell me who she was. She only wanted food. We handed her the bag of bread and watched her run across the street to the two older women.

I truly wanted to buy this little girl and her family bread. In the moment that’s what she wanted. But she needs so much more than that. I wasn’t able to give her anything substantial. I gave her a piece of bread. I’m sure it lasted a total of two minutes. And then there she was again, sitting on the street corner needing more food. Along with a home. And money. And a job. In reality I helped her for two seconds. But nothing lasting came from it.

You may want to disagree and say that in the moment I gave her what she needed. But that’s not completely true. I am certain of this because as the little girl delivered the bread to her family and we walked back to the bike the older lady was right by our side asking for money. The bread wasn’t all they needed. The needs are plentiful. I was trying to put a band-aid on a gunshot wound. And we all know that just simply doesn’t work.

Less than twenty-four hours later I was sitting on the dock dangling my feet above the water watching kids splash around and play in the bay. They were laughing. I was laughing. It was fun to see them enjoying themselves so much!
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But as we sat there being entertained by the little boys and girls, a woman and her two children walked up. Their clothes were tattered. Their hands were dirty. They begged for food.

And the thoughts from the day before came racing back into my mind. How can I actually help this family?
The little boy drew my attention the most. He was shy and trying to hide behind his mother. But at one point she pushed him towards me so he would ask for food. As he stood there timid and looking afraid I noticed the shell of a plastic toy car in his hand. I wanted to play with him. I wanted to see him smile like the other boys and girls jumping around in the water below us. I tried asking him what he was holding. I asked if it was a car. I asked if he wanted to play with the car. A blank stare. No words. No smile. Definitely no laugh. Just the look of empty eyes staring at me. I tried showing him how to roll the car on the ground and make car noises with him. Still nothing. No movement or actions. Still no words.
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Leah walked up with bananas for the family and they quickly accepted them and walked away. Just like that they had food in their hands and they were gone.

In the moment they needed food. But what about in five hours when it’s meal time again for everyone else? Or what about in twelve hours when it’s time for everyone else to go to sleep? Or what about the next morning when it’s time for everyone else to take a shower and change clothes? Or what about the same time tomorrow when everyone else is at work? What do they do then? What good is a banana when they need a place to sleep and a job and money for the next meal?

How do you fix the real problem not just the momentary need? As Leah and I stood on the edge of the pier watching the sunset I just didn’t get it. I had the incredible opportunity of watching God create an array of colors in the sky while they are out there fighting for survival from moment to moment. It didn’t make sense to me then. And it doesn’t make sense to me now.
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How do I go from putting a band-aid on the gunshot wound to removing the bullet and properly bandaging the wound to where it heals completely?

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