Monday, November 10, 2014

Around the Web

Map: The Africa without Ebola

"In the case of this Ebola outbreak, a problem which does not yet have a scientific solution and which started in a village in the developing world is actually visiting New York City and the West," he writes. "Eventually the rich world will realize that it makes no sense to leave one part of the world struggling in poverty with such terrible national infrastructures. Before it's done, this Ebola outbreak might teach them all that."

Dear Missionaries,

I like to tell people I'm a missionary convert, because I wear this genesis of my faith journey proudly like a badge of honor. I heard the story of Jesus from your lips, sang the songs of worship in your language, and prayed for the concerns in your heart. You taught me how to be Christian.

You humble me so much with your sacrificial love. You leave behind your family, your support system, your familiar ways of life, in order to enter into our lives. You care for our poor, sick, and needy like very few other groups of people are willing to do. I am thankful and inspired. But the highest cost you pay is not giving up the creaturely comforts of a higher standard of lifestyle. The highest cost you pay will be holding the value system that carries your faith loosely. This is hard, because your faith is why you came. Yet the best hope for this transfer of faith to take root in our own culture is if you're willing to let us do the slow labor of cultivating our own faith. This means you will need to allow us to make mistakes without judgment. Please remember the history of your own faith is not without blemish. Let us make our own mistakes and learn without the anxieties you bring from your context.

In return, we hope we can bless you with our own stories. Let us show you how to be Christian in ways you have never imagined before. Let us show you how big is God's grace that covers all of our multitude of mistakes. Let us grow together as equal brothers and sisters in Christ, and spur each other on towards greater love and good deeds.
The picture below is a photo of a young child gathering pods to harvest cocoa beans. There are hundreds of thousands of children in West Africa who do this work. Young children. Children who should be attending school and having a childhood. And they are working for most of the mainstream chocolate providers in the USA. A report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture about cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast estimated there were 284,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions. Some of them have been taken from their families, or sold as servants. U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations since they don't own them. This includes Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and the US division of Cadbury . . . who collectively represent pretty much every snack-size candy bar that will be available in stores this Halloween.

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