Friday, February 22, 2008

Play pumps & Sustainable giving!

Last night at our house church (Injera) we watched an interesting movie

Here is the video we watched:

The premise of the video was that there is a real problem in Africa's drinking water. There are very few uncontaminated sources and many people have to walk for hours carrying the water just to get it back to their homes. The video above demonstrates a new round-about (merry-go-round) play pump. It is designed so that children playing on the merry-go-round are actually pumping water from below the ground - which is then pumped out and collected. This takes the "work" out of a task that has to be done, and provides the community with safe drinking water.

After watching the video, I did some more searching online and found out that WE CAN SPONSOR OUR OWN PLAYPUMP!

Sponsor a PlayPump Water System
Start your own group to join together and sponsor a PlayPump Water System.

Setting up your own group is a great way to get your entire classroom, family, youth group, university or community involved! It’s easy to set up and it allows everyone to contribute to the goal of sponsoring a pump. Everyone can contribute, recruit more help and track your progress towards the goal! Get started! By signing up you get:

* Your own customizable "Sponsor a PlayPump" page
* See all donations to your group
* Download resources to help you spread your word

The cost of one play pump is $14,000. I believe that we really could do this. What would you all think about me signing Bridgeway up for one sponsorship & pooling our creative genius to figure out ways that we can raise money?

Would you be in?


The article we read and discussed by Robert D. Lupron really spoke to me as well. I really felt as though it was almost an answer to my previous post - how to make giving and going more personal and authentic. The article's purpose is to guide "would-be helpers" toward effective and sustainable giving. If you're up for a new challenge - check out the article Here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

sunny reminder

Hey everyone! I went to the dermatologist yesterday to have some moles checked out. I just wanted to remind everyone to keep an eye on your skin and use sunscreen and remember to check for moles that look irregular in size, shape or color. The PA told me that skin cancer can also present itself as something that looks like a small rash, irritated skin or a small pimple that just won't heal.

I don't have my results back yet, but the doctor didn't seem overly concerned, so neither will I!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

tastes like chicken

For lent - I've given up meat.

This is going to be difficult for me. I didn't realize how much meat I actually eat, but almost everything has some meat in it.

Christie - thanks for the information - that's part of the reason I made the decision to do this -

"Producing 2.2lb of beef generates as much greenhouse gas as driving a car non-stop for three hours, it was claimed yesterday. Japanese scientists used a range of data to calculate the environmental impact of a single purchase of beef. Taking into account all the processes involved, they said, four average sized steaks generated greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 80.25lb of carbon dioxide. gas pump
This also consumed 169 megajoules of energy. That means that 2.2lb of beef is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions which have the same effect as the carbon dioxide released by an ordinary car travelling at 50 miles per hour for 155 miles, a journey lasting three hours."

Here's a link to the place I got the above info. They have several articles substantiating the details about meat & how not eating it will help save our ozone. Crazy stuff!

When I do this - I'll also be thinking of and praying for various countries around the world where lack of food is a problem. How can people starve while the West gets fat? It's so sad. This will be challenging and humbling for me for sure!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Africa on my mind...

So, house church tonight got me thinking. I've talked with Clint about this a little bit, and he told me that I should blog it out. My concern is that it would make me look like a horrible person - but he said that it is honest and real, which is what I expect from others - and that many other people are probably struggling with these same feelings/thoughts.

I've prayed to be given a heart for Africa. I definitely see a need - there is no way to deny the NEEDS there. My problem is that I feel like if I were to serve there I would be going for the wrong reasons. I realize that perceptions change dramatically based on experience, and I have never experienced Africa first-hand. That being said...I have this warped image of Africa as being somewhere between the Sally Struthers "Feed the Children" sobumentaries where people are so destitute that they lack all hope and the homeless of the U.S. - who many although they don't have much are choosy about what they will accept.

Part of me wants to package up EVERYTHING and ship it to Africa to help several people. Part of me thinks...why would they want our stuff - it's not new and that is selfish. Clint argued that it was a bit selfish of me to think that they do not want/need my "stuff". He asked me if I would send my used tire? I said - no, I don't think I would. He asked "Why - that one used tire could provide shoes for 50+ people." I said...because that is demeaning - why wouldn't I just send shoes? He challenged me by saying - are you saying that their needs are not big enough to warrant your items that you are not even using? Believe me- I would not withold a tire if I knew it would help that many people - I guess part of me just doesn't want to be insulting to them - or demeaning. I guess Clint's point was that we as American's don't fully realize how great the need there is. This is definitely true of me. Why withhold something that will make a difference to someone else. Clint took it to the other extreme and said "What if you had a brand new pair of Prada pumps and you were faced with the choice - would you send those? I said - I guess so but What? They don't need $600.00 shoes - or pumps for that matter - that could feed 60 people or more! His point was that sending designer shoes to a village is nice, but doesn't really meet the people where there need is. If they need water and I send designer shoes - do they really appreciate that any more? no! You can't really rationalize just have to open your heart up to be willing to give....willing to serve....and get over your own inhibitions- not worrying that what you have to offer isn't good enough and not letting your perception of your socio-economic differences get in the way.

The other problem I'm encountering is the exact opposite of the other problem I just mentioned. I'm think at times that I do tend toward feelings of benevolence regarding Africa. I somehow separate myself from Africa's problem. I'm not sure if this is a result of being an American with little real experience with Africa, but I'm afraid that if I were there I would feel that way...and I hate that feeling. I know Africa deserves more than my pity. They deserve my heart.

I am a compassionate person - as I mentioned earlier I do think it would be impossible to ignore the needs in Africa - and I have heard compelling stories that really draw me to Africa - that lead me to pray for Africa's people, but so much of Africa is still a dream or a myth to me....lions, giraffes, wilderness, tribal life....these are images that come to do I move beyond this - beyond feeling so separate - to truly feeling connected?

I am praying for Africa - and I am praying for God to continue working on my heart. I am also praying for an opportunity for experience. To take me close enough to realize that Africa is more than a story....that it's not far from me...that it's people are real and in need and I can help.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


So, last night I got out my sewing project while Clint and I watched The Godfather. We've been making our way through the top 100 movies on the IMDB. I had just told Clint how cool the cutting tools were that are round and look a little like a pizza cutter - and Clint said - "Yeah & dangerous. Make sure you don't cut through the carpet" and I said..."I'm being careful" - famous last words. I proceeded to cut around my fabric and batting. When I pulled the fabric up...I discovered that as I was moving the cutting board along, I had accidentally scooted it under Jonas' blanket and sliced through it along with my fabric. We had to throw it away. I felt awful. Needless to say...I'm saving the rest to work on later. This project just got a little more expensive! ;)

On to more pleasant things...

For those that own a house & live in the house they own in Oklahoma. I just wanted to make sure you all know about Homestead Exemption - which can save you up to $1000 on your home's assessed valuation & reduce the taxes you pay. Homestead exemption will also provide you some protection from creditors- in the state of Oklahoma. You can file only if you have owned your home and resided in it from Jan.1 on...and you have to file by March 15th.

Here is the definition of Homestead exemption on Wikipedia:

You can get the form from the Oklahoma County Assessor's office Here

The deadline is coming up. I just wanted to let everyone know in case this is something that might be useful for them.