Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The story of Slumdog Millionaire was still permeating my thoughts when I found a link to a recent Shaun Groves blog post. Go read it.


Right now.

And when you're finished reading, try to honestly answer Shaun's question, "How much of what I’m doing today will really matter when the speck is over?"

Jesus, may this day you've given me really, truly matter. May the words on my lips bless and encourage those around me. May your life altering love overflow onto the people I come into contact with. May your name be glorified in heaven by the way I live today. Thank you for this day, for the opportunity to glorify you, and for reminding me of what is truly important.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Night at the Movies

I went to see Slumdog Millionaire on Saturday night. It was such a good story; I loved it! Part of the reason I liked the movie was because it was so original. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. Another reason it resonated with me was because the main character never lost hope. Mostly I know it was a good story because I can't stop thinking about it.

The truth is that people really live in slums like the ones portrayed in Slumdog Millionaire. Real kids are lured into what they think are opportunities by vile men like Maman. Children are left on their own when their parents die or abandon them. All over the world, entire communities bathe and wash their clothes in the same water they drink. For many people Jamal's life is the only reality they know.

My hope is that this movie will open the minds of people who have never been exposed to this kind of poverty. I pray that Slumdog Millionaire encourages people to seek out the truth and causes them to make difference some how.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Link Love

Some people are going to great lengths 
to keep their financial obligations to a minimum.

Sir, you have my full attention.

Interesting and completely useless information.

Do you agree?

A must see video. Very impactful.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Messed Up

After teaching for five years in a public school, not much shocks me. My students' lives are very different from how I grew up. Now, I realize I lived a very sheltered life as a girl, but even if I hadn't, I think the end of this weekend update from one of my students would be disturbing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Letter from Africa

As much as I would love to adopt this young man and help him invest his money, society would probably misconstrue a white 27 year old mother caring for a 19 year old African son. Maybe someone older would like to take him up on this offer?

Good day!
I know this mail will come to you as a surprise since we have not had previous correspondence. I am 19 years old boy from Ivory Coast West Africa.
My sufferings began after our president killed my parents and my only sister because my father was an opposition leader to the president of my country (Ivory Coast West Africa) I am the only child of my late parents. Since then I have been with my uncles but they have made thing to be more difficult for me because of their eyes on my late father’s properties. They planned to take away all my late father's properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Parents.
Before the death of my father, he has $2.5 m USD (Two million, five hundred thousand dollars.) in account with a bank in C—Ąte d’Ivoire that I am the next of kin. I need your assistance to help get this money transferred to your account, to serve as my guardian and to make an arrangement for me to come over after the fund is transferred, also to look for a good venture where the money will be invested.
I am willing to offer you 10% of the total sum as compensation of your effort. Note that the confidentiality of this transaction would be highly appreciated in replying soonest to my private email address: petergervais@terra.com
Thanks and best regards.
Email: petergervais@terra.com

Counting My Blessings: Snow Day

About seven years ago, Bethel College canceled classes on a Thursday because of inclement weather. I imagine responsible college students used that free day to catch up on reading or at least to finish a paper. I remember doing nothing of the sort. Instead I spent the day laughing, talking, and just being with the other girls on my dorm floor. The weather was so bad we weren't supposed to leave our dorm, so we found ways to entertain ourselves.

It may seem odd that seven years later I still think about that snow day, but it turns out that day was more than just a break from normal classes. That snow day was the beginning of my friendship with Luci, who seven years later is one of my very closest friends.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gopher with Glasses

I've been called a lot of things in life. Some of the names I've liked liked and some of them I didn't. Likewise, some of the names I deserved and others I most definitely did not.

Today one of my students graced me with a new nickname: Gopher with Glasses. I'll let you be the judge on whether I deserve this name or not. Do you see any resemblance?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Where I'm NOT going green

Like many of you, I have made changes in my lifestyle to help protect and preserve the environment. I bought a handful of cloth shopping bags a while back and have faithfully used them since. I walk to work when the weather (and time) allows. I recyle anything that will be picked up by the city. All the light bulbs in my house are the low energy, long lasting kind. I have attempted to reduce, reuse, and recylce as much as possible. However, there are some changes I will not be making. I am glad there are people who are willing to trade convenience for something more responsible. But I draw the line at giving up toilet paper. I am not willing to exchange toilet paper I can flush for "family wipes" nor am I going to trade traditional (disposable) feminine hygiene products for cloth ones.

What changes have you made to become more environmentally friendly? Where do you draw the line?

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Motto

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Paper

There are two things I absolutely love about reading the Sunday newspaper. The first is the News of the Weird. Blame it on the influence of my male relatives and their sick sense of humor, but I can't get enough of this column! Seriously, it's good stuff.

The other part I like about reading this Sunday paper is seeing pictures of or articles about people I know. This week there was an article about a Five Star event that included a picture of kids from my school. I also read about some of my former students in a depressing article about the wrestling team's loss at the State finals. (They were ranked number one in the state, but lost in the first round. It's a mighty blow to the wrestling pride in this city.)

Another section I am sure to check each Sunday is the crime page. There's a map of the area marked with different types of crimes. I always check to see if there have been any crimes in my neighborhood. At the bottom of the crime page there is a question answer section and the Crime Stoppers corner. Today, like all Sundays, I dreaded looking at the pictures of the four most wanted criminals in Michiana because I was afraid I'd see the faces of my former students. Today my fears were realized: I recognized one of the faces. But it wasn't the face of a former student (thank you, Jesus!). No, instead I saw this father of three of my former students is wanted for promoting prostitution. What a legacy to leave your kids.