Numbers and Values

50 collage

$50. What is that worth?  Its not a trick question.  The value of anything is what people are willing to do for it.  If you make $10/hour, $50 is pretty much a full-day of work.  If you make $100/hour, its only 30 minutes, and probably isn’t as valuable.  What if you make $2/day?  Then you’re looking at almost a full month of work.  $50 is very quickly worth a lot more.

13.  A number that is misunderstood.  There’s even a real phobia – triskaidekaphobia.  Elevators don’t have a number 13. Most high-rises skip from the 12th to the 14th floor. In Jewish culture it is the age of maturity when boys and girls demonstrate they are becoming men and women. 13 is just the between of 12 and 14.

I am at the intersection of 13 and $50.  I’m thirteen $50/month supporters away from being “fully funded” to return to Kenya.  For me that $50/month means being able to pay my health insurance bill, a third of my monthly grocery bill, a pair of glasses, a trip to the dentist, internet accessibility… Each $50 is very precious and appreciated.

Want to know more? Email me.  Want to partner? Click here.


Oh – if you’re into my brand of pondering, check the almost daily mini-musings at blipfoto.

Doing my part

I live in a borrowed land.  It is a land where the values of life are not weighed easily.  The mundane choices of each day cannot be simplified into “Do have a latte or a cappuccino?”  “Do I wear the brown shoes or the black ones?”

Instead the daily decisions of life here for many include questions like “How much must I sell myself for to buy food for the week?”  “Do I pay rent or buy something for dinner?”  And for some the question has been “Do I take the healthy children and find food & shelter leaving the sick behind, or do we all stay here and die together?”

No parent or person should have to make choices like this.  I believe that we all have innate value given to us by our Creator.  He desires more for us than this. And to that end. so that none will lack, He put us in community with one another.  We were meant to live in relationship with one another, passing on the blessings we have received so that others too may share in the joy of abundant life.

But we don’t, and we all have our reasons and excuses.  I cannot blame others for faults that I have myself.  Yet I hear statistics like “…22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.” (source) and I realize, I MUST be part of the solution.  But how?  It seems so large a problem, my little bit that I can do is not enough.

Then I am reminded of the story that the late Wangari Maathai told about the hummingbird.  It’s not about how much you do, its whether or not you did your part.  So I’m doing mine.  You can do your part by participating in the “Africa Response”.  If you text “ACTNOW” to 48510, you can donate $10.  Get 5 friends to join you and collectively you have fed a family for a month.

We use social media to invite people to a party, or share a funny story.  Let’s also use it to make a difference, and actively be the change we want to see.

Famine Relief

child victim of famineIf you don’t know that there is a famine in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia) then you must be living under a rock and are not reading this blog.  Anyway, most of the news has been focused on Somalia and their refugees fleeing into Kenya.  The Dadaab refugee camp is now the third largest city in Kenya. Shocking statistics I know, yet this is not the full story.

There is a famine because of a drought and lack of food.  This lack of food is causing food prices around the country to escalate at alarming rates and people are having to make some very hard decisions.  Do I pay the school fees or

food delivery to family

buy food?  It is a decision that no parent should have to make and it is definitely a foreign one to most Westerners (school is free for most of us). It is not only those on the evening news who are being severely impacted by the famine.  Here’s a news article that can help you understand.

So, in order to help people in our spheres of influence, DOVE Africa has been doing some relief distributions into some of the areas that are not in the media spotlight.  Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to accompany one of those distributions into some of the slums and poverty

fixing the flat

stricken areas of Nairobi.  We were able to deliver over half a ton of food (10 kg beans, 10 kg maize, 10 kg maize flour plus cooking fat and salt) to sixteen homes around the city.

Though we suffered a puncture, heard “how are you” and “Mzungu!” too many times tocount, we were able to see 15 families benefitted by the generosity of people in the West.  Yes we can help relieve some of the immediate suffering, but there still remains the question, how do we prevent from having to go through this again 10 years? 5 years? 3 years?  What are the long-term solutions?  I admit I don’t have all the answers.  Tree planting projects to help increase rainfall, borehole (well) projects help with irrigation, training of better farming techniques all have their place… Yet unless there is a heart transformation among people and government leaders all the behavior modification we try will ultimately fail.

We must learn to truly live by the axiom – do more for others than we do for self – if we truly want to learn how to live in harmony with each other and steward the world that our Creator has given to us to rule.

my delivery