Showing posts from November, 2010

Our Little Whanau Update!

This is our attempt to give friends and family a little update: especially our loved ones far away in the beautiful land of Aotearoa. We also wish you all a very merry Christmas. Enjoy some warmth, beaches, fish ’n chips, sausages and mussels for us, as we enjoy the up-coming snow, Christmas lights, turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie for y’all!

Our family has had many blessings this past year; most significantly we managed to move into our new room on the day of Beth’s 40th birthday. It was a long and difficult project, as we converted 2 small rooms into a large disjointed room. We would not and could not have got this done without the help of many close friends who possess the required skills we don’t. A big huge thank you to the unceasing motivation of David and Debbie Baumgartner who put in very long hours and were determined to get it done by Beth’s birthday. Miraculously it happened. We only moved down the 2nd floor hallway (from #239 to #226), so we are now connected to Muriwai’s …

A Beacon of Hope this Festive Season

Thanksgiving and Christmas is such a confusing season. It is supposed to be the season of joy, celebration and happiness, yet many are struggling to see even a glimmer of hope. To those who are homeless, precariously housed, isolated in a SRO or institutionalized, this time of the year is often a season riddled with guilt, regret and grief.
• Guilt over not being able to provide meals or gifts for their families. Guilt over having to rely on organizations and churches. Guilt over the mystery of estranged children and the whereabouts of family members.
• Regret over relationships that have been destroyed and need to be repaired. Regret over the decisions that were once made and now having to suffer the consequences. Regret over not having a home to call their own.
• Grief over what could have been, but isn’t. Grieving over their reality of alienation and rejection. Grieving the lost of those loving family members that once invited them in. Grief over the reality of isolati…

Rising Victorious

As I rest I observe.....

the beauty of humanity
the generosity of the poor
a divine love forever shining

I see a man who has nothing
give a man who has less
his one and only coat

I see a man weak and crippled
carrying a stroller up the stairs
helping the mama with her kids

I see a man of many sorrows
hugging a grief stricken man
ignoring his own present fate

I see a man victimized by injustice
hearing another man's beckoning cry
fight for his dignity and justice

I see a man forget his fears
cling to never-ending faith
and provide hope for others

I see a man rejected by all
embrace another lonely lost soul
and create loving community

I see a man beat and bullied down
rise victorious with a raised fist
offer love continually to his neighbor

I see a community of rejected orphans
lovingly accepting each other's pain
while together rising triumphantly

We know the Man who had it all
painfully sacrifice everything
to raise victorious......

Raising poverty stricken mortals
giving them…

Pavement Sitting Rebels!

San Francisco has a new law; people cannot sit or lie on the sidewalk during the hours of 7am until 11pm! If they disobey this law, they can end up with a fine and even jail-time. Yes, it's true; pavement sitters can spend a month locked up in a cage for simply sitting down!

I realize this law came to pass, because the majority deemed it as the right thing to do! I'm sure most people read the proposal and thought, "I don't want to have to see people sitting or lying on the sidewalk as I go shopping: they make my city look dirty, they devalue my property and they just need to loiter somewhere else!" Most people probably had good intentions when they voted; thinking they could sit or lie in a park, that the city will create places to congregate or they just need to hang out in the shelters, community rooms or their own apartments! I'm also positive, good propaganda techniques were used to "clean up the city, create business and attract tourists", whil…

True Love

True Love causes conflict....
True Love freely defies rigid laws....
True Love does not allow fear to reign....
True Love embraces our neighbors, our enemies, the least of these....
The revolutionary picture of True Love is the Crucified Lamb who rose victorious!

Chaotic Corner

As I stroll down Wilson crossing Broadway, I gaze at it's uniqueness! This run down corner has so much character. The pain and struggle is a picture that interchanges into joy and community. It's violence transforms into peace, while hatred and indifference are strangled by love and forgiveness! Ugliness disappears and a confusing beauty reigns.....

In my confusion, I smile as i see Jesus humbly loving, sitting, conversing and embracing.....
the schizophrenic man juggling golf balls while glaring and shouting at whoever he sees
the cigarette man yelling at the schizophrenic man for potentially reducing his sales
the drunk man stooped over ignoring the passing world oblivious to the growing tension
the busy passing men and women avoiding eye contact with all the chaotic mayhem that has embraced this small unknown corner

.... and the corner's ever-changing nature forever changes, while God's grace and love remains constant!

Innocently Colourblind Kids

My kids are colourblind! I love that they can roam around innocently colourblind! Naively colourblind! The good thing is: most kids innocently walk the streets and go to school naturally living colourblind lives!

But children become teenagers who become adults....

Society claims to be colourblind. We now have a black president. We use politically correct language. We punish public figures who slip up and use racist terms. Yet, as we use the correct terminology, we lock up black and brown men at unprecedented rates for non-violent crimes. The war on drugs (especially marijuana) seems to target people of colour. When we look at poverty; all facts, figures and statistics show racism is alive and well in the "Land of the Free!"

Need I mention terrorism and all the stereotypes that accompany this word?

Stereotypes govern our modern day colourblind society! The media believes the hype, thrives off it and promotes major fear of "the other". Fear, a silent fear, an underg…

Early Morning Mourning

He sat there weeping. I put my hand on his shoulder and gently squeezed it. He wiped his eyes, but that single trickle continued to roll down his cheek. I was so surprised! I had never seen Jorge display any emotion before and now he quietly could not stop blubbering. Embarrassed, he keep saying, "I'm sorry Jeremy, I'm sorry!"

No one would have guessed or seen the way Jorge wept that morning. Jorge was a rock! A strong tower! Steadfast! He quietly plodded through each day, minding his own business and obeying the shelter's and life's rules. But this morning, a stick hit the rock and it gushed forth with water!

That stick was me!

I have known Jorge for almost 10 years and he has been homeless for over 24 years. Jorge was going through his morning ritual, sitting quietly by himself, eating grits and sipping coffee. I sat down next to him and started chatting. We had often spoken before; it was always nice and relatively shallow, but this particular morning our …