Monday, June 20, 2005

An Open letter to President Bush regarding the upcoming G8 Summitt

(inspired by World Vision's support of the ONE campaign.

As of the time I am writing this, the amount that we have spent on the war in Iraq is equal to what it would cost to fund global anti-hunger efforts for 7 years. The U.S. government has seen that the efforts in Iraq as a necessary for the greater good (whether I personally agree with our actions is not, at this time, relevant). Surely the facts of global poverty, hunger, the AIDS epidemic, etc. are, at the least, equally important. Surely that also calls for sacrifice, monetary or otherwise. By committing the money and efforts in Iraq, we have shown that we can commit great amounts of money and effort in leading the world for causes we deem just and worthy. If global hunger, poverty, AIDS, etc. are not just and worthy causes to sacrifice for, then this world is void of any cause that can rightly be called just and worthy.

Mr. Bush, you have made your faith and commitment in our Lord Jesus known by your words. I urge you to make your commitment know now by your actions and efforts in leading the world in the challenge of fighting the evils of world-wide poverty, hunger, and disease. Our Scriptures are bursting with the call to care for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the widowed, the alien, the stranger, the imprisoned; in short, our Lord has demanded that we care for "the least of these." By the same token, the Scriptures testify that God, through His prophets, has strong words of rebuke and reproach for His people when they fail to care for the "least of these." We are at one of those moments where we can choose the action that will lead to our Lord saying "well done, good and faithful servant." Or, we can choose the action that will lead to a most serious rebuke when at last we stand face to face with Him.

The facts are shocking:
One child dies every three seconds -- that's 30,000 a day more than 10 million a year -- most die of hunger and preventable disease.

Some 600 million children live in extreme poverty, without basic necessities like clean water, health care, and education. Approximately 15 million children have been orphaned and made vulnerable by the HIV/AIDS pandemic -- the vast majority of these children live on the African continent.

Mr. President, Africa's suffering is unnecessary. It's morally unconscionable.

Americans responded in force to the tsunami in Southeast Asia when 250,000 lives were lost. The "silent tsunamis" of hunger and disease are devastating Africa right now: About 70 percent of Africans live on less than $2 a day; 200 million go hungry; more than 2,700 people, most of them young children, die of malaria each day; and twice that many succumb to AIDS. We are not giving to this daily disaster with the same energy and fervor that we responded to the tsunami survivors.

Nearly 1 million Americans -- many in the faith community -- are calling for action across political and religious divides to beat the global AIDS emergency and extreme poverty. I am one of these Americans. And, far more importantly, I am your brother in Christ.

Our nation has an historic opportunity to use our greatness, wealth, and influence at the G8 Summit on July 6 to help our African neighbors in crisis.

I urge you to lead other nations at Gleneagles to make poverty history by:

> Helping the poorest of the poor fight poverty, disease, and hunger at a cost equal to just one percent more of the U.S. budget on a clear timetable.

> Canceling 100% of the debts owed by the poorest countries.

> Reforming trade rules so people in poor countries can earn sustainable incomes.

Please use this time and opportunity you have been given to help others help themselves and especially giving children the opportunity to live life in all its fullness.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Surgery went well. Knee hurts. Pain medication is a blessing. But pain medication makes me an incoherent fool. More thoughts later, at a more coherent time.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Well, it's official. This wednesday at 6:30am I go in for knee surgery. I made them promise that I would be out for the whole thing. I don't think I could deal with it were I to be conscious for it. Then I get to not do anything for a long time while it heals. Yuck. No more softball or anything this summer. Double Yuck.

Hopefully backpacking will still be in the cards for later in the summer...not sure if I can deal with not being able to do that for the summer as well.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Star Wars

Oh, and I finally saw Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith on Monday. Much better than the two previous movies. So now, my ordering of Star Wars, from best to worst:
1) Ep. V
2) Ep. IV
3) Ep. VI & Ep. III (tie)
4) Ep. II
5) Ep. I

Oh, Rachel and I also watched The Pentagon Wars again last night. We had caught most of the movie years ago on HBO, and never heard anything else about it. So about a month ago, on a whim I checked and they had it as soon to be released on dvd, so I ordered it and it came in yesterday. Oh, so funny. I highly recommend it to any and everyone.

Knee Problems

Ok, so my knee has been swollen, hot, painful for 4 days now. I've been to the doctor 3 times this week. The most recent time was today to a specialist. No one really seems to be sure what is going on. One of the latest theories is a staph infection in my knee. How the heck did that happen? Sure, this is my bad knee, and I've had problems for a couple of years, but nothing like this. And this is a different type of pain. Plus I've been running a low fever, feeling generally ill, and having really really bad headaches. So they've got me on some antibiotics and some pain killers (with codeine!). And I'm supposed to stay off the knee as much as possible. Yuck. I've been doing that all week and I am so bored! Anyway, I go back to the doctor on Monday and if things aren't looking any better their is the distinct possibility of some knee surgery to, as they put it, "clean it out." What exactly that means, I don't know. And all this right in the middle of softball season -- and we're in first place!. Plus I'm supposed to go to Mexico in a few weeks on a mission trip with church. I asked the doctor whether that would still be doable, and he basically said "We'll see." But in that way that implies it ain't lookin' good. So frustrating. And what makes it worse is I don't have a cool story about how I hurt my chasing down a hoodlum on the street, no gravity-defying diving catch to win a softball game, nothing exciting. I went to sleep Saturday night, and woke up Sunday morning and there it was. Maybe I can make up a cool story...