Monday, November 30, 2009

Gotta Meet Jude

I met this dear woman in Winston-Salem this weekend. She is the pastors wife at Salem Chapel, an AMAZING church (and home to my sweet JenaPena) that took the challenge to care for orphans to a new level this weekend. This church plant is taking on Mpholi Carepoint in Swaziland and saw 79 kids sponsored this weekend! LOVE THEM. I found Jude's blog tonight and think I might LOVE her :-) Talk about a warrior girl. Check out her latest post below.

So, I know I am almost always blogging about some crazy happening at the casa de fingerprint here, but occasionally, I like to drag out the proverbial soap box. Here is one such post. If you do not care about orphans, clean water, or amass-too-much-itis... you may want to stop reading now.

Ok, if you stopped there, I hope you get camel hair for Christmas. Camel hair with fleas.

To all the nice people who are still here reading, hang on... I tend to err on the side of, well, MEAN when I am worked up about an issue.
I was typing up a long post about why and how this issue has become near and dear to my heart. Now I think I am just going to hit the backspace and erase what is below and be blunt, bold, and to the point.

**You and I have too much crap.

**Some people have NOTHING.

**Clean water is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

**You do not need more crap this year for Christmas, neither do your kids.

**If you feel the need to buy, at least buy smart.

Ok, now a little explaining...
about our overcrappage. (yes, new wordage there) I am not trying to say no one should ever buy anything. I am not trying to say if you have a collection of antique gum wrappers or some such kitschy thing, you are a bad person. I am just saying... what if you stopped, just for a minute to ask... Do I really need MORE??? Believe me, this is hitting me right between the eyes too. I have so much crap it is organized in labeled bins. (Crap I think I need. Crap I might need. Crap I may someday use. Crap I have never used but paid too much for to get rid of.)

About some people with nothing...
When I say this, I am not talking about a child sent to school without breakfast. Though I think that is sad, and needs to be fixed as well, I am talking... N O T H I N G. Read this book...

You will start, in small ways to see what nothing looks and feels like. I dare say, you will never utter the words, "I am starving" again without remorse. You may also start to reconsider the idea of adoption. It is doable, I have a friend who prayed her dream to reality... (yes jena, that's you!)

About clean water...
Did you know 4,500 children will die today from water related diseases.

In Africa, 2 in 5 children will die before they reach the age of 5.

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation causes 80% of all disease related deaths. It kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

Did you further realize that for a mere $230 you can help buy a filteration system that will provide a clean and safe 50,000 gallons of water? (replacement filters are $30.)

Think about that next time you pay $2.00 for that sweet tea or soda at a restaurant. Seriously... if you gave up that ONE luxury, and yes I am calling sweet tea a luxury, how much would you save in one year??? Ouch ouch ouch... are your toes hurting yet? Mine are. Alot.

About Christmas...
I am not Scrooge. I will buy my kids a few Christmas presents. A few is literal. There will be a toy or two. A book, perhaps. A movie, and a cheap wii game, probably. I know my kids want nerf guns, they run about $20 or so. And here is the thing, if I give them that, and then spend at least one hour playing nerf gun battle with them on Christmas morning, guess what? THEY WILL NOT WORRY ABOUT PRESENTS THEY DID NOT GET! This is where it costs me a little something... my kids are usually so busy playing with the too many toys we didn't mean to even buy, that I sit and leisurely drink my coffee whilst they play. This year, I will put that coffee down and actually, oh I don't know... ENGAGE my kids. It is what they really want anyway, and you know it is true. LESS IS MORE!!!

Looky here... It is what put me over the edge in my plight to make our holiday more meaningful. I mean, I dare say, it is CHRISTmas, and nothing about me charging $300 worth of toys says I am so glad Jesus was born. Ouch, there go those toes again. (especially when you consider applying that principle to daily life and purchases.)

I know there are still some people you want and need to buy gifts for, so how about making those gifts that count?

Look here:



Now, I must give credit to my dear, dear, dear friend Jena, and her husband Keith. I love them. They are a driving force behind bringing these issues to my heart and mind, and are doing so within our church and community. I stole all these sites, and the video from her blog. Golly, I guess that makes me a lazy soap boxer... for shame, I know.

I am not trying to say you should not enjoy Christmas, or give gifts. I just want myself, and others to think... This concept does not come easily to me, but my faith compels me to change. At the end of my life, do I want someone to say, "She sure drank alot of sweet teas and had the nicest collection of crap... good crap too..."

Um... No.


Sarah said...

Thanks Brandi. Just as an FYI, I love you on your soapbox. I needed to hear it tonight as I was sitting here with "gift-guilt" because we won't be spending as much on family this year (we can't afford to, nor do we want to!) and you put it back in perspective. My family doesn't need the crap that I would buy them anyway :) Thanks for being you. :) Sarah A from Cincy

Kathy said...

I have read "Scared". Even more, I have seen the families in "Africa with nothing - NOTHING! Starving! And all my "crap" makes me disgusted with myself, and I don't want to contribute to the "overcrappage" of my kids and grandkids. I have been asking, for a few years now, that instead of presents, people give to make a difference in Africa. The best present I ever received: A gift of vaccines and medicine for kids in Africa, given in my name by my grandkids through World Vision. I am giving less to my family, and more to Africa. Some of them "get it", some don't, but I have to answer to God for what I know.

Thanks for an important post! I am posting a link to it on my Facebook.

Beautiful Mess said...

Thank you for sending us her way-certainly someone I would like to "know" :)

Beautiful Mess said...

Ok-just read this--it's breaking my heart--not sure if you have ever heard of this ministry (in Uganda) but wanted to pass it along--

Hope's Fundraiser said...

Well said! We love Jena and Keith too. :)