Updates from January, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • ivanildotrindade 8:48 pm on January 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Lend a Voice 

    Picking my wife up tonight. She’s been I California for the last 6 days. Can’t wait to see her.

    So I’m taking a little break today from blogging, but not without strongly encouraging you to follow closely what’s happening to Christians in northern Nigeria. Radical Muslim groups seem to be succeeding in expelling Christians from there — by force or by crook. What a disgrace to the human race!

    Lend a voice and please pray for those who have lost loved ones, are injured and/or losing all their possessions right now.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    Posted by Ivanildo C. Trindade via Blackberry

     
  • ivanildotrindade 8:39 pm on January 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: american imperialism, ethnocentrism, euro-centrism, genital mutilation, honor killings, suicide bombing   

    Enough! 

    I am using my little bully pulpit here to join my voice with the ones of those who abhor the so-called “honor killings” that happened in Canada, for which three family members — a father, his wife, and son — were sentenced to life in prison today. The blood of the three young women and an “illegal” wife cries out today and there is no comfort in the verdict.

    Just today another story out of Afghanistan reminded us of the plight of women who have no one to defend them. A man strangled his wife for not being able to conceive a male heir. The man fled to another city and is now finding refuge with relatives who apparently approve of his coward act. What world is this we live in?

    And some people are still trying to use the so-called “religious” argument: “this is our religion, stay out of it.” I take an exception. If I were a Muslim, I would be the first to disavow this type of thing from having anything to do with my beliefs. I would be protesting. I would be condemning these murderers in the strongest possible terms. I would be setting up foundations to defend innocent victims.

    Others use the so-called “cultural” argument: “this is our culture, you can’t possibly understand it.” I would say any culture that preys on innocent women and children needs to be vanished. I don’t care how politically incorrect that is. If a civilization is not willing to defend its most vulnerable citizens, it must be thrown into the dustbins of history.

    Some ideas are clearly superior than others and we should not be afraid to say it. “Honor killings,” “suicide bombers,” “genital mutilation,” “taking multiple wives” are clearly inferior ideas that need to be surpassed. No, suppressed!

    Call me “euro-centric,” “American-imperialist,” “ethnocentric.” I don’t care. I hate the killing of anyone but in my flesh I sometimes feel like I could eliminate someone who kills innocent people, in cold blood,  just because they dare to be different or desire a level of independence from a particular way of life. Enough!

    I am a religious person but any religion that does not offer freedom is a cheap substitute for the ways of God.That’s why I despise any form of religion that forces people to do what they don’t yearn to do with all their heart. Even repentance requires a conscious act. God does not bang anyone’s head against the wall. He comes gently like the breeze and He thunders like the summer storm, but He never forces anyone against their will. My Bible says, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 12:42 pm on January 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: angels, generosity, , poverty, trash   

    "An Angel Gave me Sandals" 

    A friend of mine from Cambodia posted this picture on his Facebook page. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and my imagination took wings. I have seen so many children like this one in different parts of the world, I had to write a caption, which turned into a paragraph, then a story. Now you have this. I hope it will move you to action on behalf of the poorest of the poor starting where you live and extending around the world.

    He came out of nowhere; like an angel from the air, I turned around and he was there.

    He bent his white frame and gently put his sandals before my feet. He got so close to me I could smell him. He smelled of freshly cooked meats, and clothes that had just been washed and pressed with perfection. His smell reminded me of my mom and I immediately started to cry. I cried for a world taken from me when she was suddenly gone, and I cried for fear that this nice stranger was just another wolf in sheep’s clothes.

    Since he came out of nowhere; like an angel from the air, I turned around and he was there. 

    I was orphaned and barefooted since I was eight. Now 11, I no longer cared. My feet had a tough exterior that only the most destitute have. I could not walk on water but I could run on uneven roads, melted asphalt, dump sites littered with glass and just about any other surface the rich and powerful didn’t know existed. My feet had discovered new lands and tested the limits of human resistance to foreign agents. Covering them now would probably endanger my life, not save it. Still, I craved for cleanliness and he seemed so nice.

    For he came out of nowhere; like an angel from the air, I turned around and he was there.

    I looked at my tattered dress. It smelled of railroads tracks, broken bottles and discarded dinners. Next to him I was like trash. No one would wish to approach me but this stranger did. I don’t know where he came from but he was not from my world. His clothes were nice and his hair nicely trimmed. I wanted to touch his white hair but didn’t feel worthy. How could I? He looked like he could be boarding a plane any time; I looked like I could be snatched by vultures any moment, so I didn’t risk it.

    But he came out of nowhere; like an angel from the air, I turned around and he was there. 

    Instead of moving, though, he stayed there, beckoning me to accept his gift. I dared not. I couldn’t repay him. I couldn’t even give him a smile for those had been gone for a while. So I stood there, crying, hoping he would vanish the same way he came. But his bent frame didn’t move. His mouth now moved and made some gibberish sounds. His words almost made me laugh but they also convinced me of his sincerity, so I bent down and accepted his gift. And suddenly those sandals gave me wings.

    Mounted on shoes two sizes my size I walked away feeling clean and happy for the first time since my mom left this earth. 

    And like an angel from the air, I turned around and he was no longer there. 

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Cathy 8:36 am on April 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      This breaks my heart. The pic is going around on FB but not with your story. I wish we had the details on this kid and this wonderful man. To think we could ship flip flops over there for thousands of kids and it would help! Love your story above!

      • ivanildotrindade 8:40 am on April 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        thanks for commenting, cathy. the picture touched my heart too and that’s why i decided to write the story. we can all make a difference. check new book out on amazon by Jay Milbrandt, “Go and Do: daring to change the world one story at a time.”

  • ivanildotrindade 2:30 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, homes for at-risk children,   

    Invitation to join the adventure 

    Faithful readers (all 17 of you! :)): I am back on the saddle.

    And how can I possibly describe the events of the last three weeks? In some ways I feel like I was climbing mountains, killing tigers, charming snakes, and being downright adventurous.

    Let me put it this way: less than three months ago my wife and I stood on a piece of land flanked by a river, dreaming the little non-profit I helped start would be able to purchase it so we can build homes there for children who have been physically and sexually abused. Well, one week ago I signed the papers, in the presence of a lawyer and the landowners, transferring ownership of the land to the foundation we are in the process of establishing in Thailand.

    We bought 8 acres and will now need to raise money for the infra-structure (water, electric, clearing, preparing the land for building, etc.), then we will start building our first homes there. Our goal is to build our first two by the end of 2013. We will then have two homes — one for girls and one for boys — and from there we will build two homes every year until we can build them no more on that piece of property.

    We will also build a common gathering place, a recreation area, an activity center, and a chapel right in the middle of this land. Then, down the ravine, a nice picnic area and playground for the kids to have fun, and log homes for some R & R and lodging for invited guests who will come to help us build this place where the sacredness of childhood will be inviolable. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? And scary!

    But I am not scared (just a little :)). Everyone I met with in Thailand was like a gift from God to our ministry. The landowner and his wife, to give one example. He told me he got that land a long time ago, hoping to give it to his children, but they are all successful and living in the city, they don’t like to countryside. So he decided to sell it. But he didn’t want to sell it to anyone. He didn’t want to sell it to anyone with commercial interests. Somehow he wanted the land to be used to help children. I am serious. That’s exactly what he told me!

    Then he met this little lady who was talking about rescuing at-risk children. He said, “She was so small but with such big faith!” She said she had no money, but believed she could get it. He said he would wait, but didn’t think she could get it. But the little lady, our country director in Thailand, and her throng of supporters, came through. And the rest is history, like they say.

    Thank you everyone who sent me words of encouragement and offered prayers while I was gone. I felt supernaturally empowered wherever I turned. And the reason is: God loves these children and He does not desire for them to live in any way other than being happy and fulfilled, enjoying the full blessings of childhood in a safe environment. And we are providing all of that to them. But we are only scratching the surface. Wait and see how adventurous this can still get! Better yet: don’t wait, be part of the adventure!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Marla Taviano 2:43 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That little lady with the big faith? Love her SO much! And those 8 precious children (and all the ones to come)? Love them!! I want to be part of this adventure!

    • Harold & Sylvia Stoltzfus 4:05 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Ivanildo, your faith inspires us. We rejoice in what the Lord is doing.

      • ivanildotrindade 4:11 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        To God be the glory, my brother. I have no pretension to even know what I am doing. But God is sufficient for all things. He can even use someone like me. Don’t ask me why…

    • Renee Shilling 4:41 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am so excited to see how Gods hand will continue to move through the GROW ministry!!

      • ivanildotrindade 4:48 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        i am on the edge of my seat. can hardly contain the excitement. but i also know that trials will come. no, they are already here!

    • Bob & Linda 6:35 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thank God you are “back in the saddle” I have looked for you every day and pray when you are not there yet. I “warned” my ABF that you would be leading the class for a few weeks. And, that you will have many stories to share. They be looking for you Feb. 5,12,19….Thanks! Bob

  • ivanildotrindade 5:46 pm on January 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cambodian children, , , , schools in cambodi, street walking   

    Street Walking in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 

    It’s 5:30 am here in Phnom Penh, and my friend, RAD, and I are slowly getting up to welcome the new day. I am getting ready to go on my morning walk/run (today I am going to the river front, by the Mekong River) and RAD is getting ready to put on the John Tesh radio show as we both need a lot of intelligence for what lies ahead today.

    It is a solid six hours to Battambang from here on our blue bus, which doesn’t go fast but gets us there safely. Our bus driver is our friend of many trips, Khandy, who is a believer and a very fun person to be around. He has a very loud laugh and is a big fan of a nice joke. We will have a very busy day ahead but at the end of our trip what waits us is more than worth the effort.

    Today is a special day for another reason I will tell you later. Cannot tell you know because it is a surprise. But if you come back in the next day or so, you will read about it, perhaps with some pictures to illustrate it.

    Walking along the busy streets of downtown Phnom Penh yesterday allowed us to see this country with a bird’s eye view. We stopped to chat with children who were in school — they were so adorable, using the English they know to greet us with many smiles. We peaked at a little boy and a little girl from a distance, who were sitting side-by-side with their arms around their shoulders, talking in each other’s ears, smiling and not having a care in the world. What a contrast this was to the stark surrounding of the classrooms where they sat — dark, virtually no bright colors on the wall, and from a distance what appeared to be very little educational resources.

    Outside though, it is the daily grind of people trying to make a living. Small repair shops line the streets, with workers sometimes doing their work right on the sidewalk. Uneven sidewalks, by the way, seem to be the perpetual reminders that nothing is at appears and nothing seems predictable in this country.

    Except, that is the love that awaits us from our kids at Grace Place, Battambang. That you can predict, you can take to the bank, and I am starting to feel it right now as we get ready to get on the “Khandy express.”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Rob Miller 9:58 am on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Praise God you guys made it safely. I can only imagine what it must be like to visit the toul sleng museum and the killing fields.Praying for safe travels and good health for all of you.Please give hugs to all those beautiful children for me!

  • ivanildotrindade 2:48 am on January 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , killing fields, toul sleng   

    I am in Cambodia 

    I arrived safely in Cambodia yesterday, we hit the ground running today visiting the toul sleng museum (genocide from the khmer rouge) and the killing fields. A day for much reflection on the potential that mankind has to do unthinkable acts of destruction of other human beings.

    My time is limited but I will try to post as often as I can…

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 12:12 am on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cries of joy, cries of sadness, mission trips, ,   

    Cries of sadness, cries of joy 

    Snow has fallen finally in Wooster and I couldn’t be getting out of town sooner…

    If things go according to plan, in less than 48 hours I will be in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, leading a team of 10 people from my church. We are going to serve children who were once orphans but have now been rescued. Our mission is to give love but most of the team members will find out that how little they know about that subject once they get the first hug from one of our kids.

    I also will get to spend time with our children at the G.R.O.W. home. I know the personal stories of the children who live there now. I have cried thinking about how it used to be for them and now I cry when I think of how it is now. Cries of sadness and cries of joy.

    You would do the same if you were in the same room with a 10-year old girl who had been raped multiple times by four different step-fathers. If you never felt like killing someone, the thought would cross your mind if you sat on the floor with a six-year old little boy who had been forced by his parents to perform sexual acts with his sister from the time he was two years of age. And if you heard of a 9-year old girl whose body had multiple scars and open wounds from being beaten with electric wire by a drunk step-father, you would never be the same again.

    Sadly, what I just wrote above is not fiction. Every single one of these stories are true and that’s only the ones I can share here. But the good news is that for our kids that long nightmare is over. For the last two years, we’ve been rescuing children with these kinds of backgrounds and putting them in a safe home in Thailand. These children, after receiving the kind of help they needed, are now thriving, full of hope, and with a bright future ahead.

    I have several ambitious goals for this trip. In addition to leading the team from our church, and loving on the children in the homes our church has started in Cambodia and Thailand, I am going to gaze at the land which will be the future headquarters of G.R.O.W. in Thailand. I can’t believe I just said that. Three months ago it was just a dream. Now, because of donations from individuals from around the world, we’ve put down a healthy down payment on this blessed ground.

    And to think that I get to do this in my “spare” time. Like I said, most of my time in Asia will be spent with the wonderful work I do with my church. But after the team comes home, I get to spend a few extra days “conspiring to do good.” In a couple of years, we will build homes on this land that now sits empty. There will be more kids whose lives will be changed forever. I can’t wait to see that.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • rachel bar 10:19 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am not a Christian, and not a religious person at all, but what you are doing is the most divine act of all, which is to care about other people. I don’t care which church you belong to, if this is your behaviour, if these are your actions, then you are a special human being.

    • ivanildotrindade 1:48 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      thanks for the comment, rachel. i don’t consider myself a “special human being,” but i have been compelled by the love of God to love others and endeavor to make a difference in their lives. for me, there is no other way to live.

  • ivanildotrindade 10:43 pm on January 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2012, controversies, governator, justin bieber, lady gaga, madonna, maria shriver, penn state controversy, ricky perry, s. m. krishna, sepp blatter   

    2012: controversies ahead 

    You ever wonder if you were born in the wrong epoch? 2011 ended and I must be one of the few people in the U.S. and Canada who wouldn’t recognize a song by Justin Bieber, if I ever heard one. I don’t get what the fuss is. I watched Lady Gaga on New Year’s Eve and laughed. She is not that talented, except when it comes to marketing herself. Amy Winehouse would make her look like a debutante and in terms of controversy, Madonna would make Lady Gaga look like an altar girl.

    Not that we need more controversy. There was plenty of that in 2011. The “Governator” ended his 25-year long marriage to Maria Shriver, after he admitted having a “love child” with his made 10 years ago. The question is: How do you manage to keep a deceit like that for 10 years? And how did it come to light?

    On a lighter side, the Indian Minister for External Affairs, S M Krishna, gave the wrong speech at the UN Security Council meeting in New York earlier in 2011. He read three full minutes of his Portuguese counterpart’s speech on global warming, when an Indian chief diplomat finally pointed out the mistake. At that point, Mr. Krishna said, “Can we play the Rick Perry tape now?” Just kidding…

    In Sports there were many bad guys this past year. If you ask me, I don’t even want to hear about the NBA right now. And the story out of Penn State, that still makes my blood boil. I am hoping that whoever is guilty will be put away for a long time. And I am convinced that if Penn State were a Catholic Church, people would be occupying its grounds right now, demanding that it be shut down.

    I am reminded of the poem honoring the valor of David and his son Jonathan, after they died in battle. The famous line reads, “How have the mighty fallen.” If there is a sure prediction for 2012 it is that the mighty will continue to fall. It is part of human nature. We have a tendency to self-destruct. Controversies come to us as magnets and we are so stupid.

    Some people don’t like to call this depravity. A friend once heard me use the term “total depravity.” He took an exception with it. He said, “Depravity, yes, but not ‘total’ depravity.” He was a romantic. Someone said, “There are a thousand angles at which a man may fall, but only one at which he may stand upright.” Not a bad thing to remember in 2012.

    I have served my kids notice: never underestimate the power of your own propensity to do wrong. “The heart is deceitful above all things; who can know it?”

    So this year, don’t expect me to go to a Justin Bieber show, watch “Housewives” on T.V., start a fan page for Lady Gaga or a campaign to rehabilitate Mr. Sepp Blatter. My mind is too quick to wander into uselessness without these distractions.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 12:53 am on January 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    2011 in review 

    The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

    Click here to see the complete report.

     
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