Monday, September 3, 2012

Mercy Project

Today, as we celebrated a day honoring the economic and social contributions of American workers, protected in this country by labor laws and unions, it's heartbreaking to think about the children around the world who are forced by poverty into slavery or child labor.

It is estimated that 7,000 children are enslaved in the Ghana fishing industry.  The Mercy Project is a different kind of organization dedicated to rescuing child slaves.  Rather than swooping in to rescue a group of children who will be quickly replaced by more, their process hinges on building relationships within the fishing industry, replacing the need for child labor, rescuing and rehabilitating the children, and staying to support and monitor.  The hope is that they will work themselves out of a job.

Today, my kids giggled and danced with their cousins, trilling about the animals at the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens.  They ate three solid meals and a snack and are now tucked into bed in a safe home.

Today, kids just six months older than the twins woke up at 4:30 AM to face a 14-hour day. They cleaned and mended nets and dove into the water to disentangle nets.  They ate one meal, and are sleeping on the floor with other children.

Please take just a few minutes to watch this short documentary.  Mercy Project will be freeing their first group of child slaves later this month.

If you want to connect with Mercy Project and follow along this month as the first group of kids are freed, here are a few ways to be a part of this story:

1.  Connect with Mercy Project on Facebook.

2.  Connect with Mercy Project on Twitter

3.  Spend some time on Mercy Project's website.

4.  Use your voice to advocate for kids without a voice.  Share Mercy Project with your friends.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just."... A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
April 4, 1967

What an incredible mind and heart.  May we be moved to action, to service, to a revolution of values. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


OneWord 365 challenges viewers to forego the traditional New Years Resolutions in favor of choosing "one word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012." 

I'm choosing mercy to define 2012. 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. 

   And what does the LORD require of you? 
To act justly and to love mercy 
   and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

I want my life to demonstrate the kind of mercy that Jesus talks about showing to the "least of these" in Matthew 25:40. I know that living that kind of mercy is not easy, and requires me to hop out of my comfort zone and into the places where the hungry and thirsty and imprisoned live.  But if I truly love mercy, if I truly want to know mercy  inside and out, then that's where I need to dwell.  So this year, I'm diving in, deeper than ever before. 

I want to teach mercy to my children.  They are still toddlers, but already understand the concept of giving out of their abundance to children who do not have as much; my desire is that they will learn as children to give even more, sacrificially, to love more deeply, and to be just, and merciful, and humble.  Now if only I could learn to lead by example... 

I desire mercy from my family as I endeavor to go back to graduate school, and to balance that with raising merciful children, educating and loving them, too, and also keeping up with my (admittedly lackluster) housekeeping.  AND lavishing love on my husband.  It is going to be an adventure, a balancing act.  And I'm going to need grace and forgiveness from everyone that my new schedule jostles along the way.  

I am so thankful for the mercy that I receive, daily, from God, from my husband and children, from those around me who deal with my rants and outbursts, my impatience, my desire for things to be done my way.   I'm so humbled, usually in retrospect, when I consider the infinite patience that those that I call friends have had with me over the years.  I hope to be the kind of woman that shows the kind of restraint and mercy that has been heaped upon me.