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A call to pray for the persecuted church

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Today ISIS released a video depicting the horrific murders of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.

Our brothers were beheaded, murdered for their faith. 

This is happening. Right now, all around the world, God forgive us for becoming numb.

The men were accused of being “People of the Cross” in the film: their indictment and their honour.

And according to Scripture, their blood is precious to our Saviour.

Overcomers, each of them. Read their names (via @spulliam)

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It feels small to pray, I know. But the prayers of the saints – whether offered in our safe places or in places of great risk and danger – are never small or ineffective or useless.

So if you would, please join me in prayer tonight?

However you pray, simply pray. Light a candle, read Scripture, sit in silence. Pray for the martyrs by name, pray for their families, for their communities. Pray for the days ahead and for the leadership of the world. Let’s pray for the persecuted church.

Let’s join our prayers together with those praying all around the world.

And then, God have mercy, may we learn to embody our prayers, to pray with our voices and our souls, our hearts and our minds, our feet and our hands.

Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy. Marantha. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Continue Reading · social justice · 104

Maybe there is despair – but there is also hope in Haiti

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Photo by Scott Wade, provided by Help One Now

 

Haiti makes Walter Brueggemann make a bit more sense to me.

The Bruegg (as I affectionately and irreverantly think of him) is the theologian who has been wrecking building my life over the past few years.  In The Prophetic Imagination, he writes that real hope only comes after despair. Only if we have tasted despair, only if we have known the deep sadness of unfulfilled dreams and promises, only if we dare to look reality in the face and name it for what it is, only then – can we dare to begin to imagine a better way.

Hope is subversive precisely because it dares to admit that all is not as it should be.

And I thought: Of course….Haiti.

Today, we mark the fifth anniversary of the earthquake. Five years. 

There has been despair.

There is despair.

We see life before and after the earthquake – the poverty, the gross domestic product, the politics of a developing nation, and so on – and we know it isn’t right. This isn’t what God intended for us.

But because of our Jesus, our hope sees with new eyes, with Spirit-eyes, and imagines a better way. We see the goodness. We see the health. We see the holy. We see the strong communities, we see Pastor Jean Alix, and Pastor Gaetan, and Rosena, and St. Cyr with Help One Now, and then there’s Troy and Tara, Beth and John, and everyone at Heartline and all of the ways that heaven is breaking through right in the midst of it all.

Maybe there is despair – but there is also hope.

Hope cultivates the seed of the Kingdom that is already growing wild and free.

Hope comes alongside of each other, in friendship, and says, let’s do this. 

Hope is an act of faith.

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from my most recent visit to Yahve Shamma in April 2014

 

Since my own story intersected with Haiti, I have had my eye out for that subversive hope. We’ve made friends and we’ve built a school together, we’ve started a preschool and rescued kids from trafficking. I’m late to to the party perhaps but for the past five years, Haiti hasn’t let go of me even here from my life in western Canada. The world is small, neighbour.

Together, we are holding out for, working for, listening, creating, prophesying, and living into something better. For the Kingdom to come, for oaks of righteousness to tower, for leaves to blossom for the healing of the nations, for swords to be beaten into ploughshares, for joy to come in the morning, and for redemption.

Light a candle for Haiti today.

Say a prayer.

Make room to remember Haiti’s complex story.

And, if you can, perhaps send a bit of money to Help One Now projects in Drouin, Port Au Prince, and Ferrier village or to Heartline Maternity Centre which not only delivers babies but empowers women to raise their children. You can trust that your money makes a difference right on the ground in real lives with these two groups – they’re the real deal.

Also, all of the profits from the Jesus Feminist collection go to support these two worthy orgs.

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Continue Reading · Haiti, social justice · 2

Introducing the Jesus Feminist Collection!

Jesus Feminist Necklace

Five Amazing Things about the Jesus Feminist Collection:

1. The products were created in partnership with Imagine Goods whose work, particularly in Cambodia, focuses on ethical, just, and sustainable production practices to support employment for vulnerable and marginalized people. You can read more about them here.

2.  ALL (yes, all, as in 100% of the) profits from this collection will be donated to Help One Now and to Heartline Maternity Centre in Haiti. Both of these organizations are grassroots justice work, staffed by people we personally know, love, and trust who reflect so much of the heart and passion of Jesus Feminist.

3. These items are beautiful. Seriously gorgeous design work. Andrea Levendusky designed the shirts and the prints, I need say no more.

4. The necklace alone makes my heart sing: it’s made from recycled bombs. Hello, swords into ploughshares, meet bombs into jewellery that will continue to do the work of justice. Can you even stand it? I want to cry every time I think of it. I imagine we’ll sell out of that one pretty quickly and I’m already planning a re-order. Then the t-shirts were made by survivors of trafficking in Cambodia. Every purchase helps people on the front end AND on the back end of production.

5. If you’ve read Jesus Feminist, you know my heart for the small grassroots efforts towards justice and shalom. We saw this as a way to not only support people we love and know, but also a way to begin to create a bit of employment. And so my husband, Brian, took this idea and connected with Aiyana at Imagine Goods then Andrea for design, and he did all the legwork for every piece to create this shop. It’s Brian’s baby but I have loved collaborating with him on all of it. My heartfelt thanks to him and to Aiyana, in particular, for creating this collection and being open to my ridiculous ideas like, hey, let’s give away every cent we make! (<— for real.)


 

 Voilà! the Jesus Feminist Collection!

(Clicking the link will take you to Imagine Goods to purchase the item.)

Jesus Feminist Necklace 2Jesus Feminist Necklace

This simple circle necklace stamped with “Jesus Feminist” makes a statement with class. Made in Cambodia by disadvantaged artisans of brass recycled from old bombs, and hanging on an 18″ brass cable chain, it arrives in a 100% recycled jewelry box—perfect for gift-giving!

$42

 

 

 

 


 

Unisex Jesus Feminist T-shirt“I Am a _____ and I am a Jesus Feminist” Unisex Fit T-Shirt

This unisex t-shirt is cut of soft cotton with a slight stretch (95% cotton, 5% spandex). Made by survivors of trafficking, your purchase empowers women and their families to live changed lives!  The artwork echoes a community based photo project from the book’s release – you can grab a white marker and fill in the blank however you like!

$30

 

 

 

 


 

 

Jesus Made a Feminist out of Me decal

“Jesus Made a Feminist Out of Me” Decal

“Jesus made a Feminist out of me” laptop decal is made of high-grade vinyl with UV coating and a crack-and-peel backing. Measures 3″x3″.

$8.00

 

 

 


 

Jesus Feminist t-shirtJesus Made a Feminist Out of Me” Women’s T-shirt

This women’s fit t-shirt is cut of soft cotton with a slight stretch (95% cotton, 5% spandex). Made by survivors of trafficking, your purchase empowers women and their families to live changed lives!

$30.00

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Outside Jesus Feminist Print“I want to be outside with the misfits” print

After a reader poll, this is one of two prints that you requested. Full quote: “I want to be outside with the misfits, with the rebels, the dreamers, second-chance givers, the radical grace lavishers, the ones with arms wide open, the courageously vulnerable.” Print measures 8″x10″.

$12.00

 

 

 


 

Rest in your God-breathed worth - Jesus Feminist Print

“Rest in your God-breathed Worth” print

After a reader poll, this is one of two prints that you requested. Full quote: “Rest in your God-breathed worth. Stop holding your breath, hiding your gifts, ducking your head, dulling your roar, distracting your soul, stilling your hands, quieting your voice, and satiating your hunger with the lesser things of this world.” Print measures 8″x10″.

$12.00

 

 

 


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And of course, make sure you pick up Jesus Feminist to include with your gift!

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

Chapters Indigo/Coles

our local Abbotsford bookshop, House of James, has it, too!

and almost everywhere books are sold.

 


 

Giveaway!

You knew I wasn’t going to end there, right?

I have one signed copy of Jesus Feminist and the “I Want to be Outside” print for one lucky commenter! Just leave a comment below telling me your favourite item in the collection, make sure your email address is included, and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll do a random draw from the comments in a week and send it along to the winner.

 

 

Continue Reading · Jesus Feminist, social justice · 87

Christmas is for family, Christmas is for Drouin

It seems nobody loves Drouin. It’s a sequestered, hot, poor, and isolated spot in rural Haiti, far from the TV cameras, the decision makers, and the big NGOs. The earthquake left them largely untouched but they suffered mightily in the cholera outbreak and continue to navigate the fall-out from rice subsidies which put them largely out of work.

This community of proud and hard-working Haitians captured my heart precisely because they are a bit on the margins of the rest of the world’s love, resources, compassion, and consciousness.

Even now, out of all our initiatives in Haiti, the kids in Drouin are among the last to be sponsored.

I’ve always loved to root for the underdog though.

Christmas is traditionally a time for family. We gather together for worship and celebration, for meals and for gifts, for parties and to make memories. Whether our families are together by birth or by choice, Christmas is a time for gathering and connecting with one another in beautiful ways. We make time and spend money and tell stories with our families, Christmas gathers us together.

And in Drouin, that is exactly the value that guides our work: family.

Our work in Drouin is all about keeping families together, empowering parents to raise their children, ensuring that these kids don’t ever end up in an orphanage because of preventable economic reasons. 

Orphan prevention is a key part of orphan care.

Too often, we show up after the crisis when the holy work can also be found in making sure that the crisis never happens. 

If Christmas is for family, then Christmas is also the time for Drouin.

 

A Tale of Two Josephs

On the day that I wrote about Drouin when I was in Haiti last April, my mother was prompted by the Spirit to participate in redemption’s story here. She decided to sponsor an older boy named Joseph. She saw his picture on the website and some part of her heart just knew that this was the boy she could focus her bit of good and prayer and resource onto in Drouin – he shares a name with her only grandson, after all.

That night, my mother emailed me in Haiti and told me what she had done. I was sitting on my bunk, sweat running down my back like a river, enjoying a brief moment of wifi connection when I read her email and then I wept.

Because Joseph was a boy that I knew. I knew his name and his face right away. I get overwhelmed in large crowds of strangers so I typically find just one or two people to talk to in a bit more depth. On this hot day in Drouin, it was Joseph who caught my eye and became a friend for the day. Earlier, we had sat together under a tree and talked, we ate together. Out of all the kids at that school, I hung out with that kid, I had pictures of him in my camera phone, and of course that was the boy my mother felt lead to sponsor.

These are the ways of the Spirit, aren’t they? Just those little kisses from heaven to let you know you’re not alone and we’re in it together and it all matters.

This Christmas, our family story includes two Josephs – my Joseph here in Abbotsford and another woman’s son named Joseph in Drouin.

My mother is making sure that Joseph stays with his mother.

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This Christmas, we will love Drouin

As you prepare and budget for Christmas, would you make some room in your family for Drouin?

Look through the website here and pray, ask God which one of these kids belong with your family Christmas conversations and gatherings this year.

Click here to sponsor a kid in Drouin for Christmas.

From our corner of the Internet, I believe we can sponsor 20 kids. That’s not outrageous, but it will have an outrageous and lifelong affect on 2o families.

With your sponsorship, you’ll ensure a child receives one good hearty meal a day at school. You’ll contribute towards paying for the teachers at the school as well as supplies, towards childcare for the younger children so their parents can find work in peace and remain confident that child-traffickers or predators have no access to their unattended children, and also towards community development funds to improve roads, build homes, water, and finance farming initiatives.

All of these things will keep families together, you see?

That’s a happy Christmas, indeed. I can’t imagine a better gift for your family and for the families of Drouin.

Together, with Drouin, let’s celebrate family this Christmas.

Photos courtesy of Help One Now.

Continue Reading · Haiti, social justice · 4