Friday, February 27, 2015

Burundi Update (from First Presbeterian Bend}

Readers, this is an update from the church which I traveled to Burundi with.  A personal update will be in March's Story Sparks.  Hopefully you are a subscriber!  If not, you can go here to be added to the list.

First Presbyterian Bend
Burundi Update
Embodying Spacious Christianity

Burundi News Update

First Presbyterian Burundi team has returned! (This photo is the hut that was built for First Presbyterian as a sign of our friendship with this village of Ndava.)
We have returned from an amazing journey to Burundi. When we left, our goal was to build relationships and see for ourselves what is happening with the Batwa people in Burundi. This indigenous group is marginalized in Burundian society. They lack basic rights and are invisible to most of their society.
We went to listen to their stories, to see their lives and to bring back what we heard and saw. 
Our expectations were surpassed by visiting six Batwa villages – some had preschools, some had a health clinic, some housing and some almost no resources at all. In one village, a woman told of a baby whose mother had died. She and other women were taking the baby from hut to hut to see if other nursing moms were able to share some of their milk. The lack of basic needs was staggering and sobering. We shed tears even as we responded to the Batwa invitation to dance with joy. Along the way, we came to a refined understanding of the various levels of poverty that exist for this minority group and the power that small changes can have for them.
We were guided by Batwa leader, Evariste Ndikumana, who is one of only four Batwa in Burundi to have completed university. Evariste has been appointed to represent his people in the Burundi Parliament. And he does much more than that. He has established an organization to advocate for basic rights, provide education and help support sustainable change. Evariste traveled with us and introduced us to all six Batwa communities. He became a wonderful friend who we trust to direct us in this project. It was inspiring to see this young man lead his people with compassion, integrity and laughter. We are privileged to call him a friend and partner.
We have many, many stories to share; we’d like to invite you to join us Sunday, March 8 from 3:30-4:30 in Heritage Hall for pictures, stories and a little show and tell.
Maggie Hanson, Jane Kirkpatrick and Jenny Warner

Can You Help?
As many of you know, our church, First Presbyterian Bend, has raised more than $7000 to purchase national identification cards for Batwa who do not have them. This money covers a village that is about 2 hours outside of the capital city, Bujumbura. When we were there, we discovered there are two other villages close by who also need ID cards. It will be most cost effective to give ID cards to all three villages at once since officials will be coming from Bujumbura and their expenses are significantly more because of the travel.  We need an additional $10,000 to complete all 611 people in all three villages.
We discovered the need was more urgent than we realized. National elections are coming in the summer and the deadline for voter registration is April 1. Having a say in this important election would mean so much to these communities. We promised to come home and tell their story and see if there were others that were able to give to provide for this need.
If you would like to give, bring checks made out to First Presbyterian Church with a designation for  “Burundi” or give directly to African Road at with a special instruction for Batwa ID cards in the payment window by this Thursday, February 26.

Sharing Burundi Stories
We have many, many stories to share, we’d like to invite you to join us Sunday, March 8 from 3:30-4:30pm in Heritage Hall for pictures, stories and a little show and tell. Here are just a couple pictures . . . 

Village of Gahombo

This picture was taken in the village of Gahombo with our new Batwa friends. This village was the most impoverished we visited. People living on the top of a hill with no land and no access to basic resources.

Evariste Ndikumana

Evariste Ndikumana, is one of only four Batwa in Burundi to have completed university. Evariste has been appointed to represent his people in the Burundi Parliament and has established an organization to advocate for basic rights, provide education and help support sustainable change. Evariste traveled with us and introduced us to all six Batwa communities.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Creating a New Life Takes Courage {Guest Dick Rauscher}

Hello readers. This is from friend Dick Rauscher's Stonyhill Nuggets.  I really appreciated what he had to say.  Thought you might too.

I read an article a while back on what it takes to change your life. It was a helpful article, but it missed several important insights that need to be understood if we want to change our life and begin living the life we've been dreaming about living.

The first important insight came to me as a result of years working with clients in my counseling practice. I discovered that almost everyone eventually comes to the realization that they are stuck living a life that's not emotionally challenging or satisfying-----because we begin creating our lives at a time in life when we really don't have the wisdom or life experience we need for such an important task.

So the first important insight is the reality that you are not alone or unique. It's common to come to a point in life when you recognize that things need to change if you want to live the life you have dreamed about living. What will make you unique is having the courage to follow your dreams. Unfortunately, most people don't and they live to regret it.

The second important insight is the recognition that the changes you want to make are going to require courage, and the willingness to pay the emotional price required, to make those changes happen. This second insight requires embracing the reality that the price of change is going to be high. It may mean going back to school, renegotiating or ending an unfulfilling relationship,leaving a good paying job that has become boring, or moving to another state.

The bottom line: change is never easy. It always requires courage to embrace the fears that arise whenever we choose to enter the unknown. Unfortunately, most people are not willing to pay the price, and they too live to regret it.

The third important insight is probably the most important the most difficult for most people to accept and overcome. And that is the belief that you are not smart enough or gifted enough to achieve your dreams. The client that taught me this powerful insight was convinced that if she followed her dream and was successful, the visibility that came with that success would cause people to discover that she was really stupid and incompetent. Eventually she was able to "see" the childhood fear and conditioning that had been controlling her life for over 40 years! Fearful of the "visibility" that comes with success had prevented her from "showing up" and turning her dream into a reality.

I saw this fear of success control the lives of many clients over the years. Unfortunately, this is a difficult childhood learning to overcome, but those without the insight and courage overcome that conditioning, too often live to regret it.

The fourth important insight required to successfully begin creating the life they've dreamed about living is the importance of discovering your life purpose. Until your dreams include your life purpose; the reason you were born; what your soul came here to do-------- it's almost impossible to embrace the courage required to make the changes that will allow you to begin creating the life you've dreamed about living.

When you discover your "true" life purpose, it will include adding value to the lives of others. It is very difficult to overcome the fears that keep us stuck living a life that lacks meaning. However, when our focus shifts from improving our own life, to that of adding value and improving the lives of others, the courage to change our own life will cease to be an issue. When our life is about working for the well being of others, our personal fears will no longer have the power to control or limit our dreams.

I have never met an unhappy person whose life fully embraces their life purpose. And I've never met a person who has regrets about living a life that adds value to the lives of others.

If you liked what you read here from Dick's Stonyhill Nuggets, you can read more here, or subscribe.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Seizing moments within disappointment

Disappoint v.
early 15c., "dispossess of appointed office," from Middle French desappointer (14c.) "undo the appointment, remove from office," from des- (see dis-) + appointer"appoint" (see appoint). 

Modern sense of "to frustrate expectations" (late 15c.) is from secondary meaning of "fail to keep an appointment." Related: 
Disappointed; disappointing.

The thing is, I hate to disappoint people. That word comes from the 15th century and it meant “removing someone from office” as in “dis appointing them.” Later it came to mean frustration with people who didn’t keep an appointment. I don’t have an office to be removed from…but I am frustrated to not be keeping appointments I’ve made.

In the past couple of years I’ve had to disappoint people…by not keeping an appointment. I’ve had good reason: Jerry’s health issues that surprise us every step of the way. A couple of years ago I failed to make events in Scott’s Valley, CA and Medford, OR because Jerry broke a vertebrae by sneezing. And then another. And then another. And then he had surgeries and then his systems began to shut down and gastro-urinary didn’t work!  It kept getting worse and then he broke four ribs. “Cascading breaks” is what the osteoporosis doctor called it as she aggressively treated it. Jerry is a trooper but he doesn’t do anything typically. When his urinary tract began working on its own his urologist was in tears just as we were. “I didn’t think we’d get here again,” he said. But Jerry kept working and his body responded and he’s done well.

Then two weeks ago he fell while fishing. He said he’d broken a rib and there wasn’t much to be done for that so he didn’t want to go to the doctor. But by Sunday evening, two days later, his breathing was compromised and probably he wasn’t getting a lot of oxygen to his brain because I persuaded him to let me take him to the ER where they found that yes, indeed, he had two broken ribs. However, one had severed an artery and had been bleeding for two days into the lining behind his lungs and placing pressure on the lungs. Off to surgery he went. All went well. But then his system began to shut down again and so his stomach had to be pumped and once again aggressive action had to take place. “Years ago people just died of what you had,” his thoracic surgeon mused.

He’s home now. But it will be a bit of time before he’s back to where he was. At 84, healing takes longer and he already lives with 13 crushed vertebrae, residue of a broken hip, bladder cancer, colon resection…the list goes on. Seeing him at home is heartening. But it also means I can see how frail he is and that leaving him in the care of someone else in the next month or so isn’t something I want to do.

So I will disappoint people. I’ve made the calls. We’ve managed one rescheduling. Friends are covering an event in Pendleton where many of Letitia Carson’s descendants live (from my latest novel A Light in the Wilderness). I so hate missing all of these events. We’ll look at next year for new dates. Please check the events on my website for updates. But I will not be disappointing another appointment made 38 years ago, for better for worse, in sickness and in health. And really, I will enjoy the extra time with Jerry…and the dogs… hoping you’ll forgive me for disappointing you.  Warmly,

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Addressing priorities: loss and event cancellations

Due to the death of our grandson by marriage, Tony Barajas on September 9, the Benton County Historical Museum event scheduled for 11:00am on Saturday, September 13, will have an adaptation: The two researchers - Dr. Bob Zybach and Janet Meranda - who brought Letitia's story to me will make presentations; signed copies of A Light in the Wilderness will be available for purchase along with other of my books. The museum staff has been marvelous in adapting and I am so grateful.  
Jerry and I will be attending the funeral for Tony Barajas in The Dalles, OR scheduled for 11:00am on Saturday. Tony was 28 years old. He married Mariah, our granddaughter, on August 4, 2014 and fought a fight against testicular cancer for four years. We were able to see him and Mariah last Saturday in the hospital. He was chatty, smiling, aware and so grateful for the woman at his side. He will be greatly missed by many. He has gone on to more life. In the book Orphan Train the author expresses a view of heaven that it is perhaps the memories of our best self kept alive in the hearts of others. If even a portion of heaven is such, then Tony's best self will be kept by many and we will all be a part of his heaven and he of ours. 

 The Willamette Valley Christian signing in Corvallis scheduled for September 13 from 3:-5:00 has been cancelled and will be rescheduled later. Kevin Ferguson the owner and a pastor met my heart when I called to tell him of Tony's passing, prayed for our family and opened the floodgates to tears. People are so good. Thank you for your understanding about these changes.

The Historic Soap Creek School event north of Corvallis, OR, from 1-3:00 on Sunday, September 14, will go on as scheduled with Jane's presentation, Bob Zybach's presentation and music by Truman Price. There is no electricity or running water there. Bring your hand sanitizer for the outdoor bathroom and your own water. We'll be roughing it like Letitia did...."
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...