Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Oxfam’ Category

vans2.jpg

Yesterday was an awesome day.  I got to work with Oxfam on their Farm Bill Campaign.  We had a booth at the Vans Warped Tour.  The Warped tour is a collection of bands you’ve rarely heard of unless you are part of the subculture.  Half the bands were thrash-metal and sounded pretty good musically but I really had no idea what they were saying.  The average age was probably eighteen, a good mix of male/female.  The average person wore black, had a tattoo(s), a piercing(s), and looked like they were there to be seen.  None of which is a slam because I saw Jesus in the midst of these people.

Because I was working for Oxfam, it was my job to talk to these people about extreme poverty. In almost every instance, they were just like me.  Real people.  But there was also a deep sense of pain and longing for acceptance.  One girl I met had a brand on her arm with marks from where she had been cutting herself.  One guy I met had large amounts of piercings in his face.  One girl had a fishnet stocking shirt, and a see through bra that exposed her large breasts.  Most of the guys were there to stare at the girls, nod their head to the beat of the music, and think about what it would be like to talk to the girl over there.  And the overwhelming sense I got was that this was a collection of kids who had banded together because they had been rejected.  They didn’t fit in.  These were the kids that would likely scare the average church goer on Sunday.  And in the process, they are typically sitting outside the church.  I was reminded of a book I read in college, “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?” by Beverly Tatum.  They did so for protection.  They did so to find some sense of collective support because they were the “different” ones.

Walking around the park, I kept getting a sense that somewhere along the way they believed the message that they weren’t worth it.  They were the rejected.  And the images they were projecting were almost exlusively about death.  A lot of the posters for the bands had something to do with gothic imagery or rejection (All Time Low, Desperation Squad, Bad Religion, Total Chaos). And in the process they had banded together and celebrated that rejection. They were wearing their rejection on their sleeve. And I kept wondering how we as a church could find a way to transcend our expectations of what someone looked like  so that they could find a true sense of restoration that Jesus was offering.  How do we “be” love for these people.  Not in a way that says, “You’ve gotta lose that hair, son.”  But in a way that would just be love to these people.  Because the reality is that these kids are just as important to God as I am.

How can we as a church show these people love so that they may know they are worth it to God?  How do we transcend our own fears and bridge that gap that exists between us.  If we really believe in a mission of restoration, how do we show these group of kids they are loved.

Again, your thoughts are appreciated.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

This is a letter I received from Oxfam President Raymond Offenheiser. Maybe this is our opportunity to experience loving someone.

——————————————————————
Darfur has been on our minds for far too long.

Despite the world’s attention, the situation continues to deteriorate. Violence is mounting, making relief work more dangerous, and the sheer scale of the crisis is almost incomprehensible – four million people now rely on outside aid.

But Oxfam’s help is getting through. We are assisting 530,000 people, providing vital clean water, building latrines, and distributing water buckets, soap, ground sheets and blankets. Your immediate support will enable us to meet the growing challenges in Darfur and Chad.

Click here to make a donation and allow us to step up our response to the Darfur crisis.

I want to give you a picture of what’s happening on the ground, where Oxfam’s relief teams are struggling against violence to provide immediate aid.

Darfur has become more lawless and volatile than ever. In the first two months of 2007, more than 80,000 more people fled the ongoing violence. Many of these people have had to flee for the second, third or even fourth time as they desperately seek refuge and protection.

Humanitarian workers and operations are being targeted on an almost daily basis. Vehicles are being hijacked and robbed; staff assaulted and intimidated while carrying out their work; and offices broken into and looted.

Oxfam is one of the few aid agencies working in all three states in Darfur and in neighboring Chad. The violence means we need your help more than ever – you can still make a difference.

And in addition to providing immediate lifesaving supplies like water and shelter, Oxfam is there for the long haul. Our hygiene education and mosquito spraying programs are helping prevent the spread of disease in the crowded camps, and we are introducing new stove technology that is reducing the time women need to spend at the dangerous task of gathering wood. Meanwhile, we are advocating for increased pressure on all parties to the conflict to stop attacks on civilians, stop targeting humanitarian workers and operations, and make meaningful efforts to return to the political process.

Much has been given, but much more is needed. You can help. The more donations we receive, the stronger our ability to bring aid to the innocent people who desperately need it.

Please donate to the Sudan Crisis Relief and Rehabilitation Fund now.

We can’t forget our promises to the people of Darfur. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Raymond C. Offenheiser
President
Oxfam America

Read Full Post »

Oxfam’s Farm Bill Action


This is a reprint from the ONE.org site. It was originally posted by Tim Fullerton of Oxfam.

It’s incredibly tough to be a small farmer these days. From Mali to Mississippi, family farms are struggling just to stay afloat. Meanwhile, huge industrial-sized farms in the US gobble up small farms, and poor farmers across the globe struggle to survive on just a dollar a day.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. This year, Congress will debate a new Farm Bill, which for five years will set policies that could either help small farmers at home and abroad – or keep them struggling.

Join Oxfam’s Farm Bill Action Team and help pressure Congress to support hardworking farmers around the world.

We need you to make sure this year’s Farm Bill lets small farmers compete and make a living. The last bill included billions of dollars in handouts for gigantic farming operations – while leaving family farmers across the globe struggling to make ends meet.

This is one of those touchstone issues where your actions can have a huge impact. Rural communities are devastated when small farmers lose their livelihoods. The results: Poverty and hunger skyrocket, the young move to cities, and unsustainable farming practices deplete the land.

As part of the Oxfam Farm Bill Action Team, you’ll be given easy ways to educate your friends, Congress, and the media about how our tax dollars shouldn’t go toward subsidies that hurt family farms both in the US and in poor countries.

Help us cultivate change to make our world a better place. Join the Farm Bill Action Team today!

—————————————-

Please take a moment to help out.

Read Full Post »