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  • ivanildotrindade 7:35 pm on May 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: angel tree, charles barkley, go and do ideas, , International Justice Mission, michael jackson, oxfam, tent city, worldvision   

    Go and Do In Your Backyard 

    I started responded to Julie’s comment on yesterday’s post and it just kept getting bigger and bigger, so I turned into a post. Here it is:

    Laura said yesterday here that in the book Go and Do Jay talks about how he ended up going to northern Thailand instead of doing a summer internship in the U.S. which could be a path for a lucrative career in the U.S. That trip changed his life as he became aware of the needs of children caught in the web of sex trafficking and exploitation in that part of the world.

    But no need not rush to the Post Office and apply for a passport yet. There is so much you can do right where you are. For example, my town has some housing for low income families. Every Thursday a group of ladies from my church spend a couple of hours with ladies there, scrap booking, doing little art projects or just trading stories. Some of the ladies have mental or physical issues, but are so appreciative of the time they hang out with our ladies.

    My town of 25 thousand people, mostly middle class Americans living their version of the American dream, also has its own “underworld.” A few years back some people occupied a run down area of town and refused to leave. That area is now called “tent city” and a lot of homeless people often find their way there. I know some people who go there frequently to bring used clothes, food, etc. The interaction with the people there is not always pleasant but the people who go there are always thankful they did.

    I heard a story once told by Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. Michael was driving his big SUV through the streets of Chicago when Charles asked him to turn around and head back. “There’s something I need to do.” They went back, Charles got out of the car, walked right up to a man begging on the street and gave him a one hundred dollar bill.” Michael said, “What did you that for?” Charles: “Didn’t you read his sign?” Michael: “No.” Charles: “It said, “I’m not going t lie to you. I need money for booze.”

    Charles concluded, “You gotta appreciate a brother’s honesty.” My guess is that the sign was designed especially for guys like Charles who like to buck the system. But the larger point still remains: we are always looking for a reason to give. Rather, I think we need to look for opportunities that match our talent or our courage.

    Today, for example, I watched as a group of about 15 men from my church did over 30 free oil changes in about four hours. They had a system going, but I couldn’t help to think that before they were ready to work this morning, there were some that made phone calls to the recipients, reserved facilities, brought equipment, prepared refreshments, etc., etc. There is always more opportunities than you see represented the day of the event. And you can get into the action at any point.

    Some people went into a nursing home and visited elderly folks. A young lady sat outside where the oil change was happening and did beautiful face-painting art. A group went to an elementary school that is closing and brought a care package to every teacher and staff there.

    But there is more. Every year we partner with Angel Tree to provide gifts to the children of parents who are in jail and cannot afford to give their kids anything for Christmas.  World Vision is also a great organization. Their gift catalog is rich with ideas for those who want to give sustainable gifts and not waste money on themselves for Birthdays.  How about Oxfam? Their tweets alone, almost every one of them, is an opportunity to go and do.

    And if you have a chapter of International Justice Mission close to where you live, by all means, find out how you can get involved. I don’t know of any other organization doing more to help women and girls who are victims of the sex trafficking and economic exploitation the world over.

    Okay, after you try one or two of these, and you get the “fever,” then you can start headed to the Post Office. But don’t smile. Smiling pictures on passports don’t is not a good sign in some other countries around the world!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Julie 8:23 pm on May 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for all the tips, Ivanildo. I’m not overwhelmed. I’m not overwhelmed. 🙂 Shared a great laugh over the $100 bill story.

      • ivanildotrindade 8:29 pm on May 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        just pick one and keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other. yeah, i also find that story funny, especially since i like charles barker’s persona as a sports commentator. he is a lot of fun. i think he just won an emmy for his work on “inside the nba.”

  • ivanildotrindade 9:10 pm on October 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: International Justice Mission   

    An American in Cambodia 

    It’s Wednesday morning here in Sihanoukville. I started my day at 5:30 am with my 5K run around the beach. The weather was just perfect — not too hot yet. I had a good run, much better than the ones I’ve had previously in Phnom Penh. I attribute that to the fact that Sihanoukville is a tourist town — even the dogs are nice to tourists. Though I saw many dogs, they looked health and none of them tried to attack me. Phnom Penh has a lot to learn from Sihanoukville… :).

    This was my first real run in a while and I could surmise what message I was sending bystanders when a mototaxi driver did the official greeting on the streets of Cambodia, “Taxi?Taxi?” I must have looked like I needed one or again, it may have been his brainsimply reacting to a foreign looking person…

    At this exact moment, I am sitting at the restaurant outside the hotel, enjoying the great breakfast — they have eggs any style, cheese, salami, ham, all sorts of breads, strong coffee with real milk, tea, and, of course, the omnipresent rice with vegetables, which I have gobbled up already. All included in the price of the room — $22 per night. No bad, eh?

    While having breakfast I met a couple who is traveling through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. They used to be missionaries in Kenya, where they met, then his health began to go south and they had to return home, which is Canada for him and U.S. for her.

    I met the lady first at the buffet line as I was trying to decide whether to get cheese or not. She told me that she was born in the U.S. but she had lived in Canada most of her life. So I asked her, “So do you consider yourself more Canadian or more American?” She said, “I have dual citizenship.” I said, “Okay, but how do you really feel?” She said, “Well, I guess I will always be an American. I will always cry when I hear a marching band playing on July 4th.”

    I thought to myself, “What a wonderful way to capture the essence of being an American.” Then I was laughing inside. I too remembered the times I had cried on July 4th… So what am I? An American? Yes, an American in Cambodia!

    Back to the couple. After they returned to Canada, he went on to get a doctorate in Psychology and now helps bring healing to people who have experienced trauma because of wars, etc. I briefly told him about our ministry rescuing at-risk children in northern Thailand. I have read that the trauma experience by children who suffered sexual abuse is similar to the one experienced by children who have suffered the brutalities of wars in places like Sudan. Perhaps I will see this man again in Thailand.

    By the way, I was pleasantly surprised to find big billboards here in Sihanoukville advertising a number anyone can call if you see a child who is at risk or appears to be at risk of abuse. It is anonymous line and it shows some effort on the part of this government to address this evil. Or perhaps it shows that the pressure from organizations such as International Justice Mission is making a difference.

    Well, the beach awaits.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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