Archive | africa RSS feed for this section

Who is Standing Up for Women? An Exercise in Looking for the Helpers.

Last night was one of those nights when it feels hard to breathe; when you want to rage and cry and fight and scream and sob. Nothing was wrong in my little circle, but make no mistake, things were, and are, very, very wrong. For the past week my newsfeeds have been lit up with […]

Read full story Comments { 6 }

Married by 14, mother by 15, abandoned by 16, back in 7th grade at 19

After three days of teaching a group of thoughtful, well-spoken teachers and church leaders in Bondo, Kenya, I was impressed. Where was the oppression I thought was supposed to be so prevalent in rural Africa? The women who stood up to talk during the training would have made the average American woman look mousy and […]

Read full story Comments { 3 }

Slavery, Colonialism, and Using the Bible to Keep Women Down.

For me, one of the most disturbing parts of the EFOGE training on gender equality in Bondo, Kenya, was hearing the stereotypes commonly used about women (not that they were using them, but they were discussing them). Women are like animals. Women simply aren't as intelligent or capable as men. Because women are lesser beings, […]

Read full story Comments { 2 }

Opposition to Gender Equality, East and West.

It's interesting, the questions people ask when you start talking about gender equality in a Christian context. Of course, there are the theological questions, important conversations that need to be had about biblical interpretation, ancient cultures, translation and projection, and God's heart for humankind. But then, you crash headlong into people's native culture, where belief […]

Read full story Comments { 10 }

Video: Fuzzy Socks and Airplane Lit for my Flight to Kenya

Hey friends! I'm hoping to do some vlogging while I'm in Kenya to introduce you to some of the folks I meet while I'm there, and figured I'd better test out my technology. My discovery so far? My iPad doesn't like fluorescent lighting, so it's probably best NOT to record while it's pitch black outside. […]

Read full story Comments { 6 }

Want to help out a Kenyan Christian worker, and a couple thousand youths?

Here is a truism: the most necessary ministries, the most innovative, grassroots ones, are often the least funded. It is also an unfortunate truth that Western Christians, who hold the purse strings of much of the world’s wealth, are more likely to support Western missionaries than local Christian workers in places like Africa, Asia, and […]

Read full story Comments { 1 }

“The missionaries brought the Bread of Life, but we choked on the packaging.”

“When the missionaries came, they brought the Bread of Life. But alas, we choked on the cellophane it was wrapped in.” Those were words I heard over and over as a child, my missionary father thoughtfully quoting a Liberian radio preacher. I could tell my father took them very seriously, so I did too, branding […]

Read full story Comments { 28 }

Half the Sky on PBS Tonight!

PBS will be airing a documentary based on Half the Sky: Turning Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn tonight and tomorrow at 8 pm CST. I am SO excited that PBS is airing this! Be sure to tune in tonight and tomorrow!

Read full story Comments { 0 }

The Dichotomy of Discipleship

I’m sharing My Hazardous Faith Story as part of a synchroblog connected with the release of Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper’s new book Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus. I’m a big fan of books about radical discipleship. “The Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Claiborne had me sobbing, and “Radical” by David Platt had […]

Read full story Comments { 7 }

What’s a Nice Evangelical Girl Like You Doing With a Rosary Like That?

I have a confession to make. I’ve always been jealous of my Roman Catholic friend’s rosaries. Actually, it didn’t start with rosaries–it started with a Muslim friend’s prayer staff. He had come to our apartment in Liberia for dinner, and unrolled his prayer mat on our porch during the call to prayer. Afterward, he saw […]

Read full story Comments { 39 }

Orphans, AIDS, and Education: How Underwear Could Save the World

Pop Quiz: What’s one of the most effective ways to turn the tide on the African AIDS epidemic? A. Fund public health and family planning initiatives. B. Develop better curriculums promoting abstinence and monogamy. C. Provide better medical care, lowering mother-to-infant pass-along rates. D. Send African girls to high school. Ding ding ding! If you […]

Read full story Comments { 8 }

Fearless Femininity: Missionaries, Mommies, and Old Ladies on Motorcycles

It’s funny how these things come full circle in our lives. While working on the message about the need for women to find their identity in Christ, instead of in their relationships with others, I’ve been thinking a lot about the women I know who have embodied this, particularly the single missionary women I knew […]

Read full story Comments { 6 }

Adoption, Women, and BFFs: More Jumbled Thoughts

Writing isn’t supposed to be therapy–at least not the kind that happens outside your journal. But sometimes it is. This was certainly the case with my recent post about adoption. I was always a little bit conflicted about it, aware that it didn’t express my whole heart on the matter and could easily be taken […]

Read full story Comments { 16 }

Living in the Mess: The Problem With Outcome-Based Christianity

My post about the orphan crisis and world missions is up at Red Letter Christians today. I’ve always struggled a little with that post, feeling that it didn’t quite express what I wanted to get across, so imagine my delight when a commentor said something that clarified the issue for me. “I think something else […]

Read full story Comments { 7 }

Going There: Another Take on the Orphan Crisis

It’s been just over two years since a magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti, killing more than a quarter of a million people and leaving thousands of children orphaned, overwhelming a nation already in crisis. Kristen Howerton, who has adopted from Haiti and was in the country when the earthquake struck, wrote a great, heartbreaking post on “Rage […]

Read full story Comments { 13 }

Is Jesus the Anti-Santa? Kids, Ministry and Super-Sized Sacrifice

I know I wasn’t going to blog this week, but my blogging button got pushed, hard. First, I saw a video of an absolutely adorable little girl who is “donating” her birthday to raise money for the famine in the Horn of Africa. Right after that, I saw a post on Facebook discussing the best […]

Read full story Comments { 27 }

Why I Am (Almost) a Pacifist: Liberia and the View From Under the Bed

Liberia has not been leaving me alone for the last month or so. I haven’t been there since 1988, since I was a confused, hurting 11-year-old with nut brown skin and white-blonde braids. But it has been chasing me down. I have a post up today at Red Letter Christians that explains my thoughts about […]

Read full story Comments { 6 }

“It’s more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier…”

The PBS documentary “Women, War & Peace” will be starting tonight. I never watch television, but I will be watching this. Check your local listings to see what time it will be on in your area. Watch the full episode. See more Women War and Peace.

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Liberia, the Nobel Peace Prize, and Me

On Friday, three women were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their commitment to women’s rights. Two of those women, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, were from Liberia, the country I called home for most of my elementary school years. I haven’t stopped grinning since I heard the news. See, it was in Liberia […]

Read full story Comments { 11 }

Has Jesus Wrecked Your Life? Katie Davis and the Tale of Two Kingdoms

Have you heard of Katie Davis? The 19-year-old class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee who “quit her life” to begin a ministry in Uganda and become a foster mother to 14 girls? Katie’s new book was released on October 4th, and if I didn’t have a stack of books a mile high to plow through […]

Read full story Comments { 5 }

Reckless

I linked to a post on her blog once before, but can I just suggest that everyone hop over to Katie Davis’s blog a couple times a month? Oh. My. Gosh. She’s a young, twenty-something girl who followed God’s call to Uganda, and his next call to simply stuff her home full of children who needed help. […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Katie Davis Throws Down the Gauntlet

Well, I was going to write a blog post today, but I stumbled across one that was FAR better than anything I was going to write, and decided to share that with you instead. It has nothing to do with what I was going to blog about, but these challenging words from a twenty-something American […]

Read full story Comments { 1 }

Who Took the "Christ" out of "Christian"?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it really means to be a Christian, and about the challenges of being or calling oneself a Christian in American society. As a missionary kid in Liberia, I had friends from many different nations, cultures, and faiths, and was faced early with the fact that many good, […]

Read full story Comments { 6 }

Emotional Vomit–Proceed with Caution

I am halfway through the book “The Irresistable Revolution” by Shane Claiborne, and it is making me cry. Shane is one of the founders of “The Simple Way” in Philidelphia, a community committed to–well, you’ll have to read the book. Peace. Non-violence. Living in community, friendship, and solidarity with the poor and homeless, while trying […]

Read full story Comments { 3 }