Archive for hope

Seven

Posted in hope, Life in Juarez, Violence in Juarez with tags , , , , , , on 09/03/2009 by mattlindsey

I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to Me? Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it.
That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

Amos 5:21-24

Things had been growing mighty dim for Misty and I. The desert had sand blasted us, ground us down, an abrasive torrent of grit and pain. Oppressive heat waves gripped the land, our atmosphere of joy bombarded by fear and desperation. We felt trapped behind bars and razor wire, ducking, looking over our shoulders every second, closing the door, locking the locks, checking them again. We drive through the madness, tinted windows, locked within a cab: secure, alone.

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Often sitting deep inside, peeking out from beneath the wings of God, a craving would grow for courage to walk the streets, but we could not shake the feeling our freedom had been robbed from us. We were up against the ropes, a barrage of kidney punches. Clawing, biting, scrambling for hope.

Then hope came in the form of friends and family, brave souls choosing to cross into our world and stare fear in the face with us. They arrived like a refreshing afternoon summer rain, a rain where the sun is still shining and all you want to do is turn your face towards the heavens with a wide smile, close your eyes and dance. It repelled the oppression, sent it reeling in the wake of the love, joy and peace they brought with them. We did not realize how tired and thirsty that we had become until they arrived.

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Living in Ciudad Juarez has been the most difficult thing Misty or I have ever done in our lives, especially as this city is carving new records in the history books each month: Over 250 murders in July. 300 murders in August. September has started off more grim with 19 murdered last night alone. Juarez is surging, lurching, groaning, wanting, crying, needing, praying, looking for help. This city, this desert, has built our faith, tested our strength. It has shown us what hope looks like. It has unveiled God’s raging heart for justice and fairness and shown us that we cannot wish this world into change, but we have to get dirty, bloody, step into the wave (even if it’s scary). We are awed by all of you who have stepped into the madness with us, all of you who have chosen to align yourselves with your Mexican brothers and sisters, all of you who lean on the hope of redemption, jubilee, rain from Heaven.

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Although death’s yellow claws, chipped and cracked, have raked over our own neighborhood this summer, change is coming to Colonia Palo Chino. Hope is not lost in the shimmering heat nor in the gross turbulence of violence and death. No, justice is coming like a mighty flood and a river of righteous living will follow. And it will never run dry. Never.

*One of the treasures of friends and family that visit us is learning from their perspective on the work and challenges, and their voice in bringing solutions to the problems in Juarez. These perspectives are enlightening, and bring us balance as we go forward here. Thanks to Jenah for her inspiring photography. Visit Seven for a powerful perspective on our neighborhood, Colonia Palo Chino.

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Hope for the Poor: Vital Vitamins

Posted in hope, Life in Juarez with tags , , , , , , , on 08/31/2009 by mistylindsey

Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

James 1:26-27

This past weekend we had a short but amazing visit from a kindred spirit who even before arriving had a passion for our neighbors here in Juarez, Mexico. Chris Knott, who spent time and effort raising awareness for Amigos back in Colorado by asking for healthcare donations or anything that would be helpful, came down for a powerful weekend and brought with him 19,804 vitamin tablets, 166 toothbrushes and 70 tubes of toothpaste. He also had a Santa-bag full of toys to give out to the kids.

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After sorting and compiling the table-full of healthcare items, we headed out Saturday early morning to the neighbors’ homes to hand out health. We were hugged and kissed, and bombarded by neighbors from all directions who heard that someone had vitamins. It was a powerful morning.

Neighbors

Carmen & MagiWe gave instructions on how to give the kids their chewable vitamins, and about not eating the toothpaste.

MaryThis is going to make all the difference for these kids, who certainly don’t get the vitamins from the basic meals they eat, when their parents can even afford them.

VitaminsVitamins are a luxury which, with the exception of us, no one in this neighborhood can afford. It was heartbreakingly beautiful to see our sweet neighbor, Elvira, clap and nearly leap with joy as her face lit up when we told her we had vitamins just for her. Without teeth, she has not been able to eat properly and has been sapped of energy. This will be a tremendous and necessary sustenance for Elvira today, and so many children to whom protein and regular meals are a sparse hope.

Yobel Market

Posted in Life in Juarez with tags , , , , , , on 07/18/2009 by mmlindsey

Yobel: hebrew word for “jubilee”, which means freedom, release from captivity, cancellation of debts, the turning of tables, stabilization and restoration of the land, redemption for the poor, and celebration.

Yobel Market

It is about time that we post about our amazing friends from Yobel Market! If anyone is post-worthy, these folks certainly are. They came down last week and spent a few  days with us working on our building project and our garden initiative, lifting our spirits with their beautiful and powerful perspective on life. Yobel is committed to justice, hope and spreading love over the globe. They have a deep commitment to change our world, making our sleepy cultures aware and shining the light of love over so many disenfranchised souls and communities.

Yobel

Their commitment is so rooted that they have given their lives to this endeavor. Their website is dedicated to offering fair-trade products from communities that they work with personally; their hearts beat for justice, dignity, empowerment, Jubilee.  We are honored to have them partner with us here in Mexico. Take some time to visit their site, it is the perfect place to buy the most unique fair-trade goods, and to invest your money in empowering rather than pillaging a poor people.

Here are some shots from our time with these dear friends.

Hope for Palo Chino

Basil

Hands of Hope

Love in the air

B-Ray

Pure Poetry…

Posted in Life in Juarez with tags , , , , , on 06/05/2009 by mmlindsey

We are proud to post this poem that my niece wrote this past week. We believe that this poem is an important contribution to our world. A world that is in desperate need of hope and love. 

Thanks to Luxe for sharing her talent, art and perspective on life. Thanks to the Mod Squad for developing such an incredible Blog. 

Visit the ModSquad for a deep dose of fresh life, art and captivating creativity. 

My Luxe Poem


   

I know your love is gonna be swell
I love you
I love you so much
I swell up my hands for your love

Your lovey
Your lovey Luxe

  

Juarez. A day in the life…

Posted in Life in Juarez with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 05/25/2009 by mistylindsey

The darkness of our world will try to smother the light, so we have to surround ourselves with people who make us shine brighter.

-Irresistible Revolution

Saturday morning. We woke up a little frazzled from the week of relentless office-work we had been doing, stuffed into our dark little office that could have as easily been in any other city in the world. Feeling disengaged from our own neighborhood, we sat down at the kitchen table with coffee in hand and, with tears slipping from our eyes, we discussed how our hearts are burning to just be more engaged in our little colonia, to build relationship, to get more involved. We felt almost painfully compelled to somehow extend that life-altering, hope-bearing, unfathomable love that Father so relentlessly gushes over us every moment. We ache to in some way help squelch the pain so many of our own neighbors feel every day of their lives with the promise of coming hope, restoration and justice. We prayed together and resolved to no longer hide stuffed away in our little concrete block haven we’ve created, but to go out and dive right into the middle of life, to get dirty, to love.

What happened next is difficult to retell. We were working outside in our patio, gate locked and razor wire in place, echoes of warnings never to open our gate for anyone swirling in our ears. In our city, where so many all over the world fear being shot instantly if they but think of this place, with swine flu closing the door of every single school in Mexico, and with poverty and hopelessness lurking in every corner, in the midst of all of this, our desolate, dusty little patio quickly filled up with loads of children running, screaming, laughing and playing. I found myself fighting the urge to shoo them away in my resolution to be “productive”, because I was simply way too busy for this. But as the moments passed, I realized that “this” is exactly what we had been asking for.

The hours ticked by as we stuccoed, gardened, painted, talked, laughed and played.

As the sun was packing up for the night the kids ran back to their small shack houses, many of which would probably not eat dinner, leaving behind a cluttered patio and a realization that these children are the heart of Jesus. That He went so far as to tell us to be like them. Simple. Joyful. Loving. Playful. Filled with Hope. I pray for more and more days like this, for more days filled with “wasted time”, because as I have reluctantly come to realize, this is the stuff of life, the encounters that bring hope. These kids who have nothing in this world gave us so much more than we could ever offer them. In the midst of their poverty and destitution, they run around offering life and hope to anyone who has the wisdom and simplicity to listen. These powerful people are the hope of our future.

Paco

Working hard

Amigos

Painting