Word of the Week

Not Just News Headlines Anymore

Kenya mall bombing dead toll reaches 60

7.2 Earthquake hits in Cebu, Philippines

Malawi president sacks cabinet over corruption scandal

If you are like me, news headlines especially those from far away so easily go in one ear and out the other. We might have  a moment when our heart rises in compassion or pity or the feeling of "thank God that isn't me." But then we move on. We get back to life that is right in front of our faces. Even if we want to, it is hard to feel connection to events happening completely outside our realm of experience.

But since I began connecting my life and ministerial calling to the international work of Feed The Children, watching the news is an entirely new experience.

When I read news headlines like those written above, I pause (not because I'm suddenly holier) but because I've come to see these stories as gifts to keep up with my friends and the hardships of their lives.

Over the past couple of months I've thought a lot about these things:

I've worried about my friends in Kenya-- wondering if any of the FTC staff was near the mall where the shooting began. Last month, I looked at a lot of maps of Nairobi trying to figure out how close the Westgate Mall was to FTC headquarters there (and it was very close). I talked regularly by email with my friend Seintje about the three days of mourning in the country.

I've had a lot of questions about my friends in the Philippines-- wondering how many houses of our staff there were destroyed and what the rebuilding effort might need in the future. Just this week, I've waited for daily updates from my friend, Becbec who runs FTC operations there.

I've prayed for my friends in Malawi-- hoping that they are feeling hopeful about their leaders and future as a nation. I've thought a lot about my friends who told me last year when we visited how difficult the oil crisis was on their livelihood.

Feed The Children has given me so many gifts of connection with a global community. Most of all I am glad that it has helped me be more aware.

And though my US friends might tire of me texting them in crisis mode because of an earthquake a continent away, I am so thankful that the gifts of friendship and shared work has gotten me out of the closet of apathy-- a least in a couple more corners of the world.

I want to think as Henry Miller has said: "The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware."

I also hope that by following this blog, I live out my responsiblity to help make you as readers just a little more aware too. We live in a vast world with brothers and sisters not only near but far away too.