Tuesday, July 31, 2007
That's the hypocrisy of the abortion crowd. If a doctor kills an infant...oops fetus...then it is legal, but if the mother does it, it is murder? Someone on one of the local news programs actually said what was most sad in this case is that she had options if she didn't want more children. She then listed the options as birth control, adoption and abortion. Isn't abortion the option she apparently chose?
Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Hat Tip: Flopping Aces
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Part of every Global Impact trip is Rest and Reflection so that we have time to process everything we are experiencing. Here are some of the things we did during the rest periods of the trip. Burundi is bordered by the longest lake in the world and has beautiful beaches in between two mountain ranges which have some nice trails. On our last night in Burundi, the World Relief staff had a going away party in which they invited the world famous Burundian drummers which was a very neat experience. We were also able to go on a safari during our two day layover in Kenya. Besides the animals above, we also saw a black rhino, a water buffalo, and a cheetah, but they were to far to get any good pictures. Our guide said it was the most animals he has seen in several years.
This will be my last post of stories from the trip, so I just want to take this opportunity to again thank everyone that made this trip possible for me and our team through prayers and financial support. As I have shared through these stories, it had a huge impact on my life and hopefully the life of some of the people we were blessed to meet. If you have never served on a mission trip in a third world nation, I can't encourage you enough to take the step of faith. Your life will never be the same afterwards.
In case you missed any of them, here are all the previous stories:
Always Be Prepared
It Is Possible
You Mean Peace
Joy in the Suffering
Rebuilding the Wall
Hope in Midst of Despair
Friday, July 27, 2007
Hat Tip: The Union Label
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Update: Surgery went smooth and I'm feeling reeeaaalll gooooood right now...lol Also my deployment has been delayed again until next week for now. The saga continues =) Thanks for your surgery prayers and quick recovery prayers!!!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
After leaving Burundi, we had a two day layover in Nairobi, Kenya. One of the team members had been to Nairobi on a mission trip a few years earlier and was able to connect us with Pastor Timothy who ministers and lives in Kibera, one of the largest slums in the world. He has one of the most powerful testimonies I've ever heard. From one of the worst hoodlums to one of its most influential pastors. His spirit and joy is extremely contagious. This was definitely one of the toughest days of the trip seeing the conditions in which they live. However, when you look at the kids in the last pic, this is why we go!
“The minimum wage rises 70 cents to $5.85 an hour today, the first increase in a decade," reports The New York Times. "It ends the longest period without an increase since the federal minimum wage was enacted in 1938. The last previous increase came in September 1997. Legislation signed in May increases the wage 70 cents each summer until 2009, when it will reach $7.25 an hour. Government figures show about 1.7 million people earned $5.15 or less per hour in 2006. A person working 40 hours a week at the current minimum wage of $5.15 makes about $10,700 a year. A raise to $5.85 an hour would increase that to $12,168 a year before taxes. An increase to $7.25 would raise that to just over $15,000 a year."
James A. Dorn, editor of the Cato Journal, writes: "Arbitrarily increasing the legal minimum wage simply increases the price of labor without changing a worker's skill level or other conditions that lead to low wages. Congress cannot repeal the law of demand by a stroke of the legislative pen. When the real (inflation-adjusted) minimum wage rises above the prevailing market wage for unskilled workers, employers will cut back on hours, reduce benefits, and introduce labor-saving methods of production. This is common sense. "Government interventions such as the minimum wage destroy opportunities for the least skilled members of society. The government promises low-skilled workers higher wage rates, but their incomes will be zero if they lose their jobs. Contrary to popular opinion, a minimum wage law is not 'progressive' legislation. Rather, it prevents progress by limiting the options of poor people."
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
As most of you know, Mimi is currently in South Africa on a two month mission trip with a group called Thrive Africa. She left on June 17 and will be there until Aug 10 and of course I'm missing her like crazy =) She has been having a great time, learning a lot and meeting lots of great people. I can't wait to hear even more of her stories. More pictures from her trip so far here.
Unfortunately as of now, I'll be in Iraq when she gets back. What is it with me and long distance relationships...lol God has definitely taught me lots of patience but apparently still not enough.
So anyway...this is just me missing Mimi and also asking ya'll to keep her in your prayers!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tell that to the 165,000 family members that are documented to have had family members killed and the millions who were tortured and held prisoners for years in these "re-education" camps!
Senator Kerry owes the millions of Vietnamese as well as the Cambodian and Laos people who were slaughtered in the millions because America left before they were able to defend themselves an apology for such a ridiculous statement. It was his actions that were responsible then and he is attempting to do it again in Iraq. I guess he feels like Congressman Obey that the deaths would be horrendous if we leave but that isn't our problem.
As I said with the 9-11 settlement, why are the taxpayers responsible for acts of violence against other citizens? Where does this "responsibility" end? It is a very dangerous and slippery slope, especially in the age of terror. Will all victims of any future terrorists attack be entitled to $2million. How about the Oklahoma bombing victims or the '93 Trade Center bombing? Should we retroactively pay all of them $2million?
Bad things happen. Some can't be predicted or avoided. I can't begin to imagine the pain and suffering the families feel. However, how does fleecing fellow taxpayers ease that pain?
Monday, July 16, 2007
On our last day of ministry in Burundi, we were able to help rebuild a church in Bubanza. This church was destroyed three times, twice by rebels and once by a storm, yet they continue to rebuild. It reminded James of the story of Nehemiah's call to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. He was able to share that with them at lunch as a blessing to them. They expressed great appreciation that we were literally willing to get our hands dirty with them. It was a great moment of being the Church together.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Hat Tip: Mike's America
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
8 of the 18 benchmarks have made satisfactory progress:
- Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review.
- Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semiautonomous regions.
- Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.
- Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.
- Ensuring that the Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for outlaws, regardless of sectarian or political affiliation, as Bush says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pledged to do.
- Establishing all of the planned joint security stations in neighborhoods across Baghdad.
- Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.
- Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis.
2 of the 18 are too mixed to determine progress:
- Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty.
- Enacting and implementing legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the constitution of Iraq.
2 of the 18 are unsatisfactory but with some components of progress:
- Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security.
- Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.
6 of the 18 are unsatisfactory
- Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Baathification.
- Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources of the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner.
- Providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S commanders, without political intervention, to include the authority to pursue all extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.
- Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing evenhanded enforcement of the law.
- Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently.
- Ensuring that Iraq's political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi Security Forces.
Seems to me that shows progress on some level for 12 of the 18 in only one month of full surge. Not only is the cup not half empty, it is 2/3 full!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
1 Year Anniversary
Home on Leave
Vacation is Over
Hanging with the Peanuts
Hanging with Dad
Visiting Washington with Mimi
Fruit of the Spirit
Trip to NYC with Mimi
Gathering of Eagles
Resurrection Fact or Fiction?
We Are All Hokies Today
Heading to Burundi
Burundi Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4
Heading Back to Iraq
Another year filled with ups and downs, but would not change a single moment b/c through it all I'm exactly where God wants me to be!