This is a powerful TED talk by Zak Ebrahim who is the son of the man who planned the bombing of the World Trade Center. Hearing Zak gives me hope in the midst of all the craziness happening around the world.
I am still glowing from Sunday night's special, The Night That Changed America, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show. I remember watching as a six year old boy that night 50 years ago with my Dad and Mom. I have been a life-long Beatles' fan. I also like the fact that my kids also share a passion for the Beatles and also my other super group - U2. I love these guys and I'm looking forward to the release in June of their upcoming album Songs Of Ascent. Gotta love that name. Here is the new video of Invisible, the first song released during the Super Bowl from the coming album.
In response to the devastating typhoon that surged through the Philippines killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands, our Something to Eat distribution partners at Food for the Hungry are working with other crisis response agencies to assess and address the immediate needs.
Many have been asking how they can participate with Something to Eat and how we fit into this response. It's important that aid agencies know their timing and their place in disaster response. Flooding a country with food and medical supplies does no good if roads are impassable with debris, water isn't drinkable, and there is no gas or cooking supplies to prepare food. The good intentions of too many aid organizations are poorly timed, are often wasted or misused, and their help ends up hurting. Multinational organizations like the UN and Red Cross are providing this critical first step and are drawing from food stockpiles in the region.
But needs will soon surpass the stockpile of regional aid and the Something to Eat meals distributed by Food for the Hungry will provide 'just in time' aid. We have several thousand meals that are ready to be shipped and in the next few weeks we want to package even more to arrive in the Philippines precisely when they're needed most.
On Friday, November 29, when many of us are shopping for Christmas presents we really don't need, join us in packaging the most critical of presents this year. Take your family, your friends, church, small group, or office to celebrate Something to Eat's Pack Friday event. On Pack Friday, join hundreds of others in packaging thousands of meals that in the coming weeks will be shipped to the Philippines to arrive when regional food stockpiles run thin. Plan your day and prepare your group now.
My friend, associate and Youthfront board member, Dr. Dean Blevins recently posted a wonderful summary of the Youth Ministry and Race Relations Dialogue we held at NTS.
"Every once in a while you realize you are in the middle of something really, really special. I have over thirty-five years experience listening to presentations in varying contexts, first in broadcast television news and later in academic settings. November 12th was special, as I sat in a pew and was drawn into a panel discussion over the issues of youth ministry and race." Read rest of the post here.
Dr. Dean G. Blevins currently serves as Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship at Nazarene Theological Seminary. An ordained elder, Dean has ministered in diverse settings and currently also serves at the USA Regional Education Coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene. A prolific author, Dr. Blevins recently co-wrote the textbook Discovering Discipleship and edits Didache: Faithful Teaching, a journal for Wesleyan Education.
For a couple of years Youthfront has been serving in the Argentine District of Kansas City, KS. Kurt and Emily Rietema moved into this wonderful
neighborhood and several Youthfront staff followed. One of the many things we've been able to be involved with is the resurrection of the beautiful Franklin Center.
Last weekend we had a big celebration at the Franklin Center. The neighborhood came together for a great time and hope for the future of the Franklin Center. We are also thankful for the Colonial Presbyterian youth group who came to serve all weekend. Check out this video.
The public outcry following the verdict of the Zimmerman trial last summer exposed anew the pain and reality of the highly
racialized society we live in. Our churches and our youth ministries
are not exempt from these patterns of racial isolation. Beginning at 8:30 am on November 12,
Dr. Brandon Winstead will address the historical, social and cultural
issues that have shaped the realities of youth ministry and race in the
US. In a second session, Dr. Winstead will lead a panel discussion with
other scholars and ministry leaders regarding the implications and
future this reality holds for ministry among youth. We will conclude at
Keynote: Dr. Brandon Winstead
Panelists: Rev. Montague Williams, Dr. Claire Smith, Rev. David Gilmore and our very own Youthfront staff member Kurt Rietema
Food for the Hungry Fights Growing Hunger Crisis in Haiti Food distributions and income generation projects meet acute needs
PHOENIX (July 1, 2013) – Approximately 1.5 million Haitians currently face severe food insecurity due to drought and crop failure, according to the United Nations. Food for the Hungry (FH) is responding to this crisis though emergency food aid and income generation projects, based on goat and rabbit breeding.
In partnership with Something to Eat, FH has distributed high-protein, vitamin-fortified meals to malnourished children and children under age 2. FH health and nutrition staff identify the most vulnerable children for food distributions. The program is taking place in Belledere and nearby communities on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Additionally FH has provided goats and rabbits for families to breed. Families receive animals with training on animal husbandry and marketing. As animals breed, owners sell the offspring and gain income to buy food in local markets. This supplementary income is essential for surviving the food crisis.
“Food is available for purchase locally,” said Dave Evans, FH’s U.S. President. “But escalating prices for food staples are out of reach for the vast majority of poor farming families. These households are now faced with the double burden of poor harvests from their farms and the rising cost of food in the marketplace. It’s a very serious situation.”
Emergency food is distributed by FH in partnership with Something to Eat, an organization that recruits U.S. church youth groups and other groups to pack emergency food packets for shipment to food insecure countries. The food distributed to date was pre-positioned in the region in case of a crisis in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.
“An amazing part of this story is that the food was packaged by teenagers, impassioned by hunger issues, who personally raised the money to make it happen,” said Mike King, President/CEO of Youthfront, who organizes Something to Eat.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt and author of To Stir a Movement, who has organized Something to Eat packing events, commented on the relief activity saying, “This is exactly the kind of need we want to meet. Our goal is to get healthy food into the hands of the most vulnerable in the face of crisis. Now the challenge is to see this through till the crisis is over.”
FH plans to do more food and animal distributions this month. Staff are monitoring the situation closely and coordinating efforts with the Haitian government and the United Nations. The focus of FH’s development work in Haiti includes child survival, education, sustainable farming, disaster risk reduction and church strengthening.
### Founded in 1971, Food for the Hungry provides emergency relief and long-term development programs with operations in more than 20 countries to help the world's most vulnerable people. Learn more by visiting www.fh.org. Social connections include www.facebook.com/foodforthehungry and www.twitter.com/food4thehungry.
We hosted around 100 Pastors, Youth Pastors and Ministry leaders yesterday at Youthfront for a focus on Immigration reform. The event was sponsored by CCDA and featured CCDA's President Noel Castellanos. Youthfront staff members Kurt Rietema and Amber Booth, along with Mission Adelante staff member Jason Schoff organized this informative event.
Here is a video of the media coverage of the event.
"When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do
him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the
native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were
strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God."
Next Tuesday, April 23, Youthfront is hosting an event sponsored by the Christian Community Development Association.
is providing an Oklahoma Joe’s
bbq lunch for pastors and ministry leaders. The special guest isNoel Castellanos, CEO of CCDA. He will be addressing the current issue of Immigration Reform. Many churches in the KC metro support ministry initiatives among
Hispanics which serve many whom are here without proper
documentation. Right now, immigration reform is at a critical juncture and many
Christians are unsure what they can or should do about it.
Join us from 11-1pm at Youthfront's auditorium
to hear from Noel about how you can navigate your church to think
differently about immigrants through Scripture and participate in making
historic changes for millions of families that have been torn apart by
poor immigration policy.
Feel free to invite other key leaders, but please RSVP with the number of people who will be attending with you by emailing Kurt Rietema - email@example.com