Posts Tagged ‘jesus’

adventI wonder if the world has always been as messed up and broken as it is right now or are we just hearing about it more now because of the internet and social media? In my 0pinion, it has always been this messed up and broken, but now we know about it instantly.

This is a gift to us from the Lord. Really, it is. Back before social media and instant news through the internet we would hear about issues of brokenness and injustice during the 5 o clock news or in the next days paper. Now we hear about brokenness less than a minute after it happens.

This, though a gift to us comes with it a huge responsibility, the responsibility to act, to do, to respond. So many times in my life I have looked back and said “oh man, I wish I had of done something about that issue of brokenness and pain.” If I had only known sooner I could have responded. Well guess what, now we do know about it sooner, like right away.

How are we dealing with this as followers of Jesus and advocates for equal and universal human rights? My prayer is that we are dealing with it by responding. There are a few ways we can respond:

  1. Pray
  2. Give
  3. Share
  4. Go

We should at lease be doing one of these things every time we hear about the brokenness in our world. In the past month there have been many ways to respond, unfortunately. There has been:

  1. Refugees coming over from Syria
  2. Mass killing in Paris, Lebanon and Nigeria
  3. ISIS

We need to respond. lets never look back with regret saying “I wish I had done something more.” It only takes a few seconds to pray, a few minutes to share and a few dollars to go. Lets do something.

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ReCreateI like coffee, I like good chocolate, I like soft t-shirts and I like justice. I also work for a non profit organization and raise all my own support, so I am very conscience about money and what I spend it on. We all live by faith, faith that we won’t lose our jobs, faith that our jobs will still be there tomorrow, faith that (I’m my situation) my supporters will no lose their jobs so that support continues to come in. As a result of this, I used to spend minimal dollars on things that I need/want, like chocolate, coffee and soft t-shirts.

Lets go back to the first sentence where I wrote ‘I like justice.’ Justice is a right relationship between God, man and creation. Justice is giving that which is due, injustice is the abuse of that. When I purchase goods at the cheapest price there is a good chance I am not giving that which is due, but actually doing an injustice. When I purchase something that is fair or direct trade then I am (to the best of my knowledge) giving that which is due and doing justice.

I used buy the cheapest things, and sometimes still do. To be brutally honest I am hesitant to spend a lot of money because I am cheap. I live in the space that if I  buy the cheaper brand I am being a good steward of the money I receive, when in reality I am actively living in a way that I hate, unjust.

I have been challenged lately with my view of God as father and provider. Does God care about justice? Yes. Does God want me to do justice? Yes. Is God a provider? Yes. So if God cares about justice, if God wants me to do justice and if God is a provider then why in the H would I purchasing the cheap goods at the risk of doing injustice? I should be purchasing goods that are ethically made, pay a living wage and provide jobs and life for the farmer growing the coffee, cotton and cocoa that I buy?

Do I have enough faith that God will provide for me if I spend more money on items that I know are giving life to others? This is my hope and prayer. I have faith in a God who does justice, yet I struggle with the thought of “can I buy this as I am not sure how much money I will have next month.” I am not talking about consumerism here, I am talking about using our money to give life to others and in turn meet a desire that I have.

Finally (for now) buying ethically made goods taste better, last longer and make you feel better about yourself in the long run, which is all around a beautiful thing.

Check out a few places doing great things:

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Sitting in the airport waiting to board my flight home. The time is Cambodia was life changing. New friendships were made, lives were changed and there is no turning back. Thanks for your prayers. Here are a few pics from some of the team to show you a bit more of what it was like.

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IMG_4448I have been in the Kingdom of Cambodia for 5 days now and am once again astonished by the beauty of this country. The people, the landscape and the culture. This is the dry season, and its coming into the hot season, way hot. So amongst the beauty there is this layer of death that continues to settle on everything. Dust, rice fields that are drying up and broken people. On the outside all these things seem fine, but when you look closer you see that they need some lovin.

Yesterday I met with my good friends who work with a children at risk NGO in Phnom Penh. They told me about a young girl who lives in the community they work in. Turns out she was taken from her mom and dad by her auntie. Thinking she was being trafficked they went with the mom to the Province to find her.

Our friends left in the middle of the night and drove almost 12 hours to the Province where she was. After talking to a few people they found the girl. Turns out her aunt took her to the Province because she saw how bad she had it in Phnom Penh. She wasn’t going to school, she was malnourished and she was getting beat by her dad who is a heavy drinker.
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They found out that the situation she was in was a good situation, minus the fact that she was taken from her mom and her town. She didn’t want to go back, but saw how much her friends with the ministry loved her, and so she went back to be with them. She held their hands on the way home and fell asleep in the car ride home. It breaks my heart as I even type this story. This girls life was not good, but people loved her, believed in her and wanted to help.
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The other day they just did her placement test for school, she has never been to school. Her placement test puts her in grade 3, she is 14 years old. The school is a good private school. They are also talking to the dad about being a better father and working with the mom to make sure the child is protected.
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There is so much brokenness in our world, and it is Gods hope that we, His kids would respond and bring healing in Jesus name. Caring for the sick, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty and preaching the good news to the poor. This call is a privilege that we all carry and its up to us what we do with it.
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Peace.

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IMG_3814I spent the past 2 days with my friend Brett from Rock Foundation Cambodia. Brett Started Rock Foundation Cambodia around the same time we started Steps of Justice. The NGO has done a lot of great things for the poor, including building homes for a displaced community just outside of Phnom Penh.

A few years ago I came to Cambodia and met Mouen and his family. They lived and worked at the garbage dump village just outside of Phnom Penh. It was a brutal situation, and they only make $1- $2 a day.

A few months before I met Mouen he had fallen 20 meters (60 feet) out of a tree near his home. He was paralyzed from the waste down and almost died. While Mouen was in the hospital his wife gave birth to their baby and a short while after he got released from the hospital his baby passed away from high fever. It seemed as though everything was going wrong for this man and his family.

Last summer our friend Wade came with us to Cambodia. While here he taught Brett from Rock Foundation Cambodia how to make soap. Then, Brett taught Mouen how to make soap. He rented them a house, bought all the material and Moen started making soap.

Today Mouen makes soap for Rock Foundation Cambodia to support his family. He can’t pick garbage anymore because he is paralyzed, but he has a great job now, outside of the dump and can make good money for his family.

I can proudly say that I just bought the first 6 bars. I am also bringing a bunch home with me so that you can purchase some. If you wanna support Moen and his family hit me up and I’ll get you soap. The soap is 3 bars for $10 (plus shipping). The soap comes in coffee cream vanilla, cinnamon and jasmine, green tea and lavender n lemon grass.

To see more about the soap check out Rock Soap here. You can order through them and I will ship it or you can order through me at the below address.

Shoot me a message at phil@stepsofjustice.org

A Picture of Moen with his family, just before their baby passed away.

A Picture of Moen with his family, just before their baby passed away.

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