“For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature… we lack a holy rage… The ability to rage when justice lies prostrate on the streets, and when the lie rages across the face of the earth… a holy anger about the things that are wrong in the world.”
~Kaj Munk, Lutheran Pastor during the holocaust~
I read some true stories about injustice and hunger this week that made me angry…angry at myself, angry that hunger is STILL an issue, when it does not need to be. I made two more changes based on that anger. One was to my thermostat, and the other was to a non-essential monthly expense.
Here’s the link to one of the stories in case you want to be angry, too.
Uganda is currently experiencing a severe drought. Crops are dying due to lack of water. More than 2 million people are on the brink of starvation. Families are really and truly eating mango leaves or rats for dinner…just to survive. I say I’d rather starve than eat a rat. But I must not know what it feels like to starve. Think of serving rat soup tonight to your family…
That’s precisely why we’re working on equipping this farm–with everything it needs, including a well for irrigation. Enjoy these photos of the “gold mine” and its first harvest. (Don’t miss the bottom-middle photo…it’s so sweet.)
Pray with us–for rain, for how you can give–what can be sold, what can be cut from the budget, what can be swapped. Even if a household earns “only” $25,000, well below the US average, it is still in the top 10% of income-earners in the world. Costs of living in Uganda are generally the same as they are here.
SWAP-IT Update: 401,488 meals
SWAP-IT GOAL: 2,200,000 meals
Below are a sampling of swap-it stories that have been shared with us. If you haven’t yet shared your story, please comment or e-mail us!
“I’ll be swapping all of the birthday money I’m receiving to ‘buy myself something special.’ Normally that would be a massage, pedicure and new summer clothes.”
“My grandkids had an idea for themselves and other kids this summer. We have a huge blackberry patch. The grandkids pick berries to sell at the farmer’s market. They always split their money evenly. This year they decided to make a Ugandan child one of their shares. So with three kids they split the money 4 ways. They each earned $10. They put the Ugandan money in a cookie jar and at the end of the season, hopefully, they will have a little nest egg. They are going to go online and pick out something to donate on your site, Remember the Poor.”
“I am swapping the peace of mind that comes from having this money in the bank.”
“We were going to go to a worship concert by David Crowder…We decided to buy the CD on iTunes and donate the difference…
We were also planning a day at Valley Fair in Minnesota, but we will donate the 50 dollar admission and just spend a day together walking in the park…
80 dollars so far…looking for more”
A women’s lunching group swapped eating-out for eating-in. They all donated what they would have spent on eating out.
“We will be swapping a variety of things this summer…
pb&j for lunch 2 x week – I used to think this was a bit of a cop-out, but it is reasonably nutritious and inexpensive. I think of the mothers in Uganda who would be so thankful to be able to have pb&j for their children. We will be swapping those for the ham & cheese, or tuna we would normally eat.
iced coffees that I love so much… I bought some ice brewed espresso I can keep in the fridge. For the price of 2 Starbucks, I can have 1-2 coffees a week for two months! (Just not as convenient )
Taking the kids out for a treat after swimming or errands- swapping it for homemade snowcones. Very inexpensive and they love them!
Swimming lessons – with two beginning swimmers, we would normally be doing swimming lessons. Instead I am going to be instructor… for yet another thing
Rice night once per week… a good time to talk with the kids about those who are happy to have anything at all to eat..
More swaps to come…”
One woman swapped out (sold) some of her gold jewelry and silver.
“We are adding a patio on to our house this summer. Because of Remember the Poor, I am putting aside 20% of the cost for this organization. I figured if I can splurge on certain things then I need to build into the cost matching a certain % to charity. I’m going to try to do this with anything like vacations or any extras.”
Another woman sold an item on Craig’s list for $18 (400 meals!) A member of her family questioned the value of selling something worth only $18…and was reminded that one hungry child could eat for more than 4 months due to that sale. Now that makes it worth it!
I (Cindy) talked to a certain special 3-yr old on the phone today. Asking him a variety of questions, I asked what he was having for dinner, and he told me “Rice and beans.” I asked why. Without hesitation, he told me “so Roy, Reuben, and Daniel can have food to eat.” Turns out, he and his younger sister and parents swap part of their grocery money and eat rice and beans and drink water only all day once a week so they can feed the hungry.
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’… Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ Matthew 25