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Fighting Hunger Can Be Awkward

A simple Google search for “main causes of food insecurity” pulls up a list of some things that one might expect. Drought. Pests. Poverty. Climate change. Conflict. Corruption. And so on.

Most people are aware that many people around the world are hungry. We see non-profits raising awareness about hunger issues, hashtags about ending hunger, and celebrities fighting for causes.

If many of us took a minute to ask ourselves why people are hungry, I’m sure we could come up with some of the answers that Google gave us. All these answers are very true.

The Temptation of Comfort

Strolling along the seaside town of Sai Kung, Hong Kong recently, I had a significant conversation with two of my wife’s cousins, both in their early 30’s. I have been visiting Hong Kong with Yee Lam since the handover of the colony from British control back to China in 1997, visiting with these girls since they were young. We used to visit every two years, but four years have gone by since we last were in Hong Kong. We were talking about how much has changed in both our countries, and our hearts, since we had last talked face to face.

Praying for North Korea

“You’re Korean? I fought in the Korean War.”

Students at Calvin Seminary are taught the ABCs of writing and preaching sermons that are biblically grounded and theologically Reformed. They are also given the option to put their education to use by providing pulpit supply to CRC congregations all throughout West Michigan and beyond.

The Dignity of Work for Refugees

He came to us in dire straits.

Joseph wasn’t the name his mother gave him when he was born in Darfur—it’s the name he took on when he was baptized after coming and receiving medical help in this Middle Eastern country. His story as a refugee is full of twists and turns, starting with his flight, as an injured university student, from the authorities he was protesting.

His story as a refugee is full of twists and turns.

And the end has yet to be written.

From the Chains of Trafficking to the Ties of Christian Community

In March 2018 a bold decree was made by Oba Ewuare II, the traditional ruler of the kingdom of Benin (located in southern Nigeria). Oba Ewuare II was upset that his beloved kingdom had received negative international press regarding the high numbers of women and girls who are coerced into trafficking and sexual exploitation and “bound” to their traffickers through voodoo juju rituals, so he decreed that all victims of these rituals are free.

“Now we are part of a community”: Youhanna, Yosra, & Abeer

Youhanna and Yosra, and their four adult children Martin, Alen, Aiden, and Abeer are from Qaraqosh, Iraq. In 2014 they were forced to flee their home when ISIS invaded and destroyed their predominantly Christian area. After spending several years in asylum in Lebanon, they had the good fortune of being sponsored to come to Canada by Harvest Bible Chapel. Martin arrived in September of 2017 and the rest of the family arrived in January of 2018.

Confronting My Silence

I wish I had taken a vow of silence. But I haven’t. Far from any overtly noble rationale, I simply went quiet. For the past 11 months, I’ve hardly done any writing, I’ve only read two books, and I’ve been abnormally disengaged from the urgent crises and conversations of the past year. And I don’t have a good justification for doing so.

More recently – and more substantively – however, I’ve started to recognize three different themes that have impacted my lack of writing this past year.

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Jesus' Take on Family Values

We’ve been hearing lots of talk about family lately.

In the USA, the nomination of a new Supreme Court judge has prompted talk of family values. The detainment and separation of migrant families has done the same. In Canada, the announcement of compensation for those harmed by the Sixties and Seventies Scoop has raised questions about Canada’s treatment of Indigenous families. And then, of course, there is the more banal talk of family vacations and weddings that each summer brings.

Finding Hope in 2018

As we sat in the fireside room at A Rocha’s property, Sir Ghillean Prance, a small group of volunteers and I (a stay-at-home mom) we felt a sense of awe that this man, who had been knighted by the queen for his work as a botanist, was so down to earth and hope-filled. One thing he said has stuck with me. When asked what gave him hope over his long career –he knew about and was working towards combating climate change already 20 years ago – his answer was: “Christ’s resurrection and human ingenuity”. 

Hospitality Builds Bridges

I had the opportunity to study abroad this past semester in Amman, Jordan. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous about living in a foreign country for four months and attempting to learn the basics of a challenging language, while learning the ins and outs of a culture so opposite of mine in many ways.  

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