Posts Tagged ‘justice’

Over the past couple of days I have seen incredible generosity from people in response to the migrant caravan we have going on eight miles from my house. I believed that we needed to respond in some way, in a way that is generous and meets some of the immediate needs of the thousands of Honduran men, women and children who are sleeping in tents along the US/Mexican border. I believe this in part because we are human, and humans help each other in times of need, but also because of the words in a children’s song that I learned in church, “the Bible tells me so.” Psalm 146 says:

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”

Over the past two days people I have known for almost twenty years, and people I have never met are donating to help the situation in Tijuana, Mexico. I am not taking sides, I am not saying that the Hondurans should have come, or shouldn’t have come, I am simple trying to respond, and inspire others to respond to a need. Yesterday I went to the largest migrant camp in the city, It looked similar to the situation that I saw in Haiti after the earthquake, and the Philippines after the typhoon. Tents everywhere, desperation, food lines, security and beautiful people, including the Mexican government helping where they can.

The rains started yesterday too. I know it’s Mexico, but when the temperature drops to 60 degrees (10 for you Canadians and Europeans) and it is pouring rain, it’s cold, especially if you’re sleeping in a tent. In the camp, there are approx. 5200 men, women and children fighting this cold, wet weather. The ask from the workers and pastors in Mexico are for soap, tents, tarps and sleeping bags. Last night, Steps of Justice, the non profit I run purchased some of these items, along with warm socks for men, women and kids. We will also be purchasing colouring books,  and tents. We are compelled to respond, to be the embodiment of Jesus, who made other peoples problems his own problems. We are honored to do it.

Thanks again for your inspiring response to this crisis, to those of you who are posting, praying, giving and sharing. The world is watching this going on, and I want my response to always be one of generosity and and love.

You can give through Steps of Justice, and your gift will go towards this need.

 

 

 

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Last week we messaged people regarding Giving Tuesday and the Syrian refugee party we are helping with on December 8. We are so pleased to let you know that all the money has come in for this event, over $3000.

Even thought the Christmas event is fully funded, we have another ask from you this Giving Tuesday.  #GivingTuesday is the day that America (and Canada) shows our generosity, the day that we support the organizations and volunteers that are working to make a difference around the world.

As Steps of Justice, we have set an ambitious goal to raise $8000 by the end of the day today and we need your help to get us there. Would you consider joining with us today with a one time, or monthly gift in partnership with us?

We need help to continue funding the work we do with Steps of Justice. Your gifts go towards serving the poor and the vulnerable in the USA and internationally. Your support goes towards homes for the poor in Cambodia, kids programs in at risk villages, the youth group events we run with our Syrian refugee friends and projects that we are working on throughout the year. Giving to these things makes the work we do happen. Would you consider making an impact this holiday season by giving $50, $75 or $100 here.

Your gift can and will make a difference today in the lives of the poor and vulnerable right here in the USA and abroad. We see the call of Jesus being to love others out of our love for Him, and this is what we are trying to do each day as a ministry. Learn how, get involved, and partner with Steps of Justice.

Thank you so much for partnering with us on #GivingTuesday 2018!

Phil and Amy Cunningham,

Steps of Justice

Give by midnight at Steps of Justice

 

 

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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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catIn early November 2013, the Philippines was hit by one of the strongest tropical typhoons in history. At least 6300 people were killed as a result of the storm and around 4 million displaced. I remember watching this happen from my living room in the USA thinking “What can I possibly do to help?” A few weeks later I got my answer, I felt the Lord say “Go.’ So 6 weeks later I found myself along with 10 others on a plane headed to Tacloban, Philippines, the hardest hit area of the Typhoon.

 

We arrived in Cebu, Philippines at 5:15pm and headed to the station to purchase our boat tickets to Tacloban. We ran into a man who told us that because of the recent storms, the boats were experiencing lots of delays and cancelations. To make sure we got there we bought the earliest tickets we could, which meant we had to leave for the boat at 5am the next morning.

 

After a few hours sleep, we got up and left for the boat, which was named “The Super Cat.” One thing to realize is that at this point we were all total strangers to each other, minus a few of us who knew each other from previous trips. 30 minutes later we got to the boat along with what seamed like a million other people, mostly local Philippinos. trying to catch the same ride to Tacloban.

 

The boat ride was about 3 hours long. People had been warning us that the chances of seasickness on the boat were high, but in our excitement and pride we blew it off and believed for the best. You can see where this is going I’m sure.

 

The first hour of the ride kept us all in good spirits. We were all sitting in the first 3 rows and singing along to bad Karaoke music videos. It was a great time of bonding and getting to know each other. We were those Americans that everyone warns you about, loud and obnoxious. Then, about an hour into the ride, things got interesting.

We got into open waters and the boat began to roll back and forth and side to side. After 15 minutes or so of this, the cabin crew started handing out puke bags to everyone, this was not a good sign. I sat there beside my friend Adam laughing at the thought of people puking, because I was definitely not going to puke.

 

A few minutes after the bags were handed out the Pukefest started. One by one, you could hear people throwing up on the boat. They were all making different sounds, but my favorite was “The Gurgler”. This dude sounded like he was dying a violent death as he gurgled his vomit into the bag. It was around this point where the ride became a lot more quiet. Everyone on the boat was focussing on keeping the contents of their stomach inside, but it was a lost cause. My friend Wayne started throwing up behind me, and then Chris who was sitting beside Wayne started. Two other girls on the trip were laid out on the upper deck, one laying on the soaking wet floor of the boat and the other in the bathroom, hugging the toilet will all the love she had to give.

 

By this point, my friend Adam and I are crying out of intense laughter, that is until Adam quickly grabbed his puke bag and started filling it. Unfortunately Adams bag also had a hole in it, thankfully he had his water bottle with him. Needless to say, I never drank from his water bottle again. I was still going strong until I looked at Chris sitting behind me. He was complaining that his bag had a hole in it, so I turned around to see vomit dripping out of the bag and all over Chris’s pants and another girls luggage. It was at this point that I lost it. I think I could have filled two bags, I was so sick. The boat was so loud by this point, people puking all over the place. It was like a horror film, but we were all living it. [If you’re not laughing by this time, you should be.] We were still in tears, it was the funniest things I have ever been through, and the absolute worst at the same time.

 

Eventually the boat calmed down and we made it to Tacloban. By this point, after only knowing each other for 18 hours, we were all best friends. It was the best bonding time you could ask for and as a result we came together and had one of the most epic outreaches ever. Our lives were changed, we saw destruction and brokenness like we have never seen, but we also saw hope and life. This trip has eternally marked us all and if we could do it all over again we would, we would just take a bus next time and not the boat.

 

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Today is the 1st day of Advent. I remember as a kid going to church during the advent season, my favorite part was the lighting of the candle. It meant Christmas was coming. It meant each Sunday was in preparation for Jesus birth. There was high anticipation, excitement and life. The advent season for me as a kid meant lots of family get togethers, winter break, by birthday, Christmas and more. I am not sure if I truly understood the meaning of it, but the culture and practice of it made a huge mark on my life.

This season press into what advent is all about, looking to Jesus and His coming into the world. Take time each night to light a candle and pray this benediction. This benediction is from Celtic Daily Prayer, and is one that I have repeatedly prayed during the advent season.

God of the watching ones,
give us Your benediction.

God of the waiting ones,
give us Your good word for our souls.

God of the watching ones,
the waiting ones,
the slow and suffering ones,
give us Your benediction,
Your good word for our souls,
that we might rest.

God of the watching ones,
the waiting ones,
the slow and suffering ones,

and of the angels in heaven,

and of the child in the womb,

give us Your benediction,
Your good word for our souls,
that we might rest and rise
in the kindness of Your company.

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