Monday, June 08, 2009

My post from God's Politics-

Love God=End Poverty: Why I’m Going to the Mobilization to End Poverty

by Lisa Ho 02-18-2009

A year ago, anyone driving around Columbus, Ohio, was likely to see a billboard with the slogan, “Love God? End Poverty.” They were placed throughout the city in promotion of the Columbus Justice Revival, a three-day event to revive Christians toward faith and justice. The connection seems obvious to me now. Do you love God? Then you should work to end poverty. How could I spend so many years in the church and not understand justice?

I grew up in the church and spent the past 15 years in full time ministry. I am a passionate evangelical. But, until a few years ago there was a clear disconnect between my faith and justice. Through a series of experiences such as Sojourners’ conferences, the Justice Revival, Columbus Windchangers, and service mission trips at Ohio Wesleyan University, my faith was confronted by the reality of poverty and the injustice that perpetuates it. As I witnessed poverty first hand, the myths that I had long held about poverty unraveled.

Last year an OWU student approached me about some criticism she received at the suggestion of going to a soup kitchen as an outreach event. One of her co-leaders said, “The point of outreach is to evangelize. Unless we are sharing our faith, we cannot call it outreach.” He would only compromise and go to the soup kitchen if they agreed to pass out gospel tracts to each person coming through the line. As we reflected on this conversation using the text found in Matthew 25, we came to the conclusion that giving a gospel tract to the poor is like handing Jesus his own business card. Maybe it’s not the poor who need to be introduced to Jesus, but it’s through the poor that He is introduced to us.

The Justice Revival was not just a three-day event, but something that continues to happen in Columbus and on Ohio Wesleyan’s campus. After the Justice Revival a number of our students attended Sojourners’ Pentecost ‘08 conference. Upon returning to campus in the fall they formed a student group focused on faith and justice, and this spring they are organizing an event called Rock-n-Justice featuring Rev. Steve Stockman and a performance by Derek Webb. They are also planning trips to lobby local state legislators, utilizing the skills they learned at the Pentecost training event last June.

I now understand the mandate given to me in the scriptures to love and serve the poor. The greatest commandment, to love God and love your neighbor, is as important as the great commission! The two are intertwined. Because this has become so real to me, I want to help others make the connection. That is why I am working to bring a delegation to The Mobilization to End Poverty event in April. The Mobilization will provide the perfect environment to inspire, equip, and send Christians to love God, love others, and work toward justice.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Here's a great articulate letter I received via the ONE.ORG mailing list. Sometimes we can think that nothing we do "is making a difference". Or that all the governments in Africa are corrupt- here's a story from the front lines of good things happening in Africa!

Dear ONE Member,

I just returned from a trip to Rwanda with my friend Senator Bill Frist, MD and leaders from both political parties. Senator Frist and I went to Rwanda not as politicians, but as students, to learn about people who are rebuilding their country after the unspeakable horror of genocide.

My news from Rwanda is very encouraging. The hard work of the Rwandan people and the generosity of Americans are coming together in partnership to create a model for how we can end poverty in the most desperate countries on earth.

I came home more convinced then ever that we’re all in this together. Rwandans' daily struggle to start anew, even as they deal with poverty and disease, is also our own struggle to build a more prosperous and safer world.

To further the progress in Rwanda and spread that hope, we need to take full advantage of this election year. That’s why Senator Frist and I will be meeting with our respective parties' leaders in the next few weeks, as they’re writing the platforms that will be unveiled at the presidential nominating conventions in Denver and Minneapolis. These platforms contain the policies on which Barack Obama and John McCain will campaign for the presidency.

We're going to ask these committees to make sure that their platforms take on the generational challenge of tackling global poverty, and we need your help to do it.

Click the link to sign the petition seen below, and I’ll deliver your signature when I meet with representatives from the Democratic Party – and Senator Frist will do the same on the Republican side – to ask these political leaders to include extreme poverty and global disease in their 2008 platforms.

As a proud American, I urge you to make ending extreme poverty and global disease in the developing world a core part of your 2008 platform by including commitments to:

Fight AIDS, TB and malaria and improve basic health services, particularly for mothers and young children Ensure access to clean water, basic sanitation and sufficient food supplies Spur economic growth through equitable trade and investment policies Modernize and increase development assistance, focusing on partnership, transparency and accountability Achieve universal primary education

In Rwanda, I saw the tremendous impact of some of the very things you’ve worked to make possible. Deaths from malaria have been cut by 66%, in large part because of the increase in bed net and anti-malarial medicine distribution. The death rate from malaria, as well AIDS and TB is going to continue to fall, because of your work pressuring Congress to reauthorize PEPFAR, America’s global AIDS bill, for five more years.

Victories like PEPFAR are saving lives and giving people in places like Rwanda new hope, making the whole world a safer and more prosperous place. Now we have the chance to make ending extreme poverty and global disease a focus for the Democratic and Republican parties.

Click below to sign the petition and I’ll deliver your signature when I meet with Democratic Party leaders to ask them to make the struggle against global poverty a priority in 2008.

My late friend Paul Wellstone was fond of saying that, “The poor don’t have a lobbyist. That’s why I went to Washington.” The hope for a better future that Senator Frist and I saw in Rwanda shows what’s possible when two million of us “go to Washington” on behalf of the world’s poorest people. This summer, together, we have the chance to go to Denver and Minneapolis and show that ending global poverty is a priority for both political parties.

Thank you for joining me,

Senator Tom Daschle
ONE Member and National Co-Chair ONE Vote ‘08

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I couldn't have said it any better...

Now that the Chinese adoption process has slowed to a snails pace, I
am growing a little weary of the questions that I am asked about our
adoption. I get everything from, "Oh, you are still doing that"…
to "Oh, you really are getting another one"… or my personal
favorite, "Have you done anything more about your adoption"….

It is almost as if people think we are doing this on a whim, that we
submitted our paperwork just because we had nothing better to do one
day… and then the next week decided to move onto something else. I
can't help but wonder if anyone would be so silly to ask that
question of a pregnant woman… Oh, you are still doing that?

Here are the top 10 things I wish people knew before asking me again
about where we are with our adoption…

1 – The adoption process may not be common to you, but if you care
about us, then you should at least try to remember all the previous
answers we have given – or better yet – find out more about it.

2 – We didn't come to the decision to add a child to our family
hastily. Please understand that this is a commitment we have made, no
matter how long it takes.

3 – The long wait is painful. No matter how infrequently you may
think about our adoption, be assured that we think about our new
daughter every day.

4 – We have no control over the process, other than submitting our
paperwork – from there is it is in China's hands… and God's.

5 – Being asked un-thoughtful questions is hurtful and doesn't do
much for our relationship.

6 – The very long wait is increasingly hard to handle, and just
because I don't say it, don't think for one day it is easy.

7 – It is ok to say that you don't understand the process, but when I
explain it for the third time, understand I will grow impatient.

8 – Waiting for our third daughter is no easier than waiting for the
first, and no less exciting for us either. (this was written by a woman adopting
a third child- we are on our first!)

9 – Not saying anything is probably worse than some of the comments.
If I were pregnant would you forget to ask?

10 – As anxious as you were waiting for your own children to be born,
is no different from how we feel now. We too are scared, nervous,
anxious, excited, wondering what she will look like, how she will
act, wondering when she will sleep through the night… waiting couples
are all the same.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Justice Revival!!!

Hello all! I really want to share with you about an exciting event coming to Columbus April 16-19, 2008.

It's called a "Justice Revival". For some of you the word "justice" is sort of scary, for some of you "revival" is sort of scary. I can promise, putting the two together is one of the most amazing thing to happen in a long time! The event will be sort of like "Billy Graham meets Martin Luther King, Jr".

From their website
"The mission of the Justice Revival is to unite the church in calling people to follow Jesus and deepen their commitment to social justice"

The three night revival will be Wednesday, April 16- Friday, April 18 with a city-wide day of service on Saturday, April 19. The program will start each night at 7PM at the Vineyard Church in Columbus (6000 Cooper Rd. Westerville, OH 43081). For all of you "emerging leaders" out there!! (age 18-30) Come check out the emerging leaders coffeehouse each night after the revival in the Cafe at the Vineyard. P.W. Gopal will perform on Friday night!

Watch this video to "catch the vision"

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Blizzard of Spring Break 08?

Yeah, that's right, just a week shy of St. Patrick's Day it looks more like Christmas in Ohio! They measured a record 18 inches in a 24 hour period. Unfortunately, it was the first day of OWU's spring break! Which means we have a few hundred anxious students on campus who are either trying to get home, get to the beach, or on one of our 14 mission/ wilderness trips!

I even made one of the craziest trips of my life this morning to Port Columbus to drop off our Joshua Tree Wilderness team, who miraculously made it to California today!!!

Here are some pics taken around our house tonight as we began to shovel out!

Woody enjoying the snow!

Our patio buried in snow! Check out the top of the grill and fire ring!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An editorial from the Dallas Morning News...

Notes from the Heart

06:32 AM CST on Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Thank God for teen pregnancy," cracked Academy Awards host Jon Stewart during the 2008 Oscar ceremony Sunday night, after ticking off the grim themes of the Best Picture nominees. By comparison, the teen-pregnancy film Juno, which shared the category, was a day at the beach.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová proved that sometimes the good guys win.

But there was at least one real-life triumph of the human spirit at this year's Oscars. The Irish indie film Once, a modest modern musical made on a shoestring budget, won a Best Song award for its stars, singer-songwriters Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

In the movie, the pair play strangers who meet on a Dublin street, where Mr. Hansard's character, a sad-eyed musician, is playing guitar and singing for donations. Ms. Irglová's character – the viewer never learns either's name – is a Czech immigrant struggling to make a living.

The two become unlikely friends and help each other honorably and gracefully through the pain of loneliness and broken dreams. Once is an unconventional love story, an achingly tender meditation on the power of art to console, redeem and inspire. The world may or may not reward our sincere efforts, the film says, but true art is reward enough.

Once became a critic's favorite and, though it didn't have a big showing last year at the box office, won an Oscar nomination for the gorgeous ballad "Falling Slowly." And guitarist Hansard fell in love with pianist Irglová while promoting the film. Theirs is now a real-life romance.

And there they were, against all odds, these two obscure musicians, stars of a movie made for less than the catering budget of a Hollywood blockbuster, performing their love song live for a worldwide television audience. Moments later, they both held Oscars in their hands. "Make art," an ebullient Mr. Hansard said in his acceptance speech. "Make art."

Amen to that. It's a cynical world, full of violence, mayhem and evil. But every now and then, the good guys win.

The story of Once, on-screen and off, reminds us all how much we mortals need art to keep hope alive and to illuminate the goodness, the beauty and the hope beneath the somber overlay of an ordinary life's burdens.

A film is just flickering images on a screen, but as in the case of the quiet miracle that is Once, it can also be the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ho Ho Ho and Happy New Year from the Hos!!

I realize it has been quite some time since we have blogged. The holidays have come and gone and we have truly enjoyed some quality R&R. We have also enjoyed time visiting Lisa's family in Indiana for a few days and hosting friends here at the Ho house.

We are hoping that 2008 will be as full and blessed as 2007! The new year will bring more traveling (of course!) and graduate school! Our adoption is now in the hands of the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs. There is an outside chance we may be expedited due to Luong's ethnic heritage, but we do not quite meet the official standards. We will know more in late 2008. If we are expedited we may go to China as early as early '09... if not we are looking at 2010. It may seem like a long time to wait and many have asked why so long, but we have a peace about knowing no matter how long it takes our daughter will be waiting for us!

May God Bless everyone with peace, love, joy, and hope in the New Year!