Monday, November 14, 2011

Making a difference


ANGELS: Youth from a small church named Psalm 100 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, have begun dressing up like angels and standing on folding metal chairs at busy intersections in an attempt to end the violence that has gripped their city. A year of this effort seems to be producing results, with none of the youth injured and violence perhaps waning slightly. Biblically, angels are God's messengers. Although the wings, halos, and flowing robes have more to do with creative interpretation than rigorous exegesis, the congregation offers an excellent spiritual example for other congregations to follow: incarnating the gospel to speak to the real needs of people in spite of the inherent risk in doing so. (For more information, cf. Damien Cave, “Angels Rushing In Where Others Fear to Tread,” New York Times, November 9, 2011)

ONE PERSON MAKING A DIFFERENCE: John Wood has established more libraries (12,000 of them) than Andrew Carnegie and his foundation have (2500 plus). Admittedly, Wood’s libraries lack the architectural splendor of a Carnegie library and some of Wood’s libraries have only a few hundred books. Incredibly, Woods also opens libraries more frequently than McDonald’s open new outlets (six per day vs. one per day). In 1998, John Woods visited a remote Nepalese school serving 450 children that had no books. Moved, he offered to help. The delivery of a donkey caravan of books so exhilarated Woods that he resigned from his job as Microsoft’s marketing director and established the Room to Read foundation. His goal? In twenty years, to have 100,000 libraries reaching 50,000,000 children. One person can make a difference.

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