Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Another Night at the Apollo

Thank you for your prayers and kind words. Kiran is doing better, but still isn't ready to leave the Apollo Hospital. We were hoping that she'd be dismissed this morning, but her fever came back just a smidgen last night and that was enough to make the doctors recommend another night. Needless to say, Kiran's ready to be well and I'm sick of seeing her sick, but these things take time.

Thought I would write more about that conference we attended. The Presbyterian Hunger Program has started a project called "Joining Hands Against Hunger." Its intent is to empower local, grassroots organizations to combat the causes of poverty and to link up those groups with a network (usually a presbytery) in the States. Because it allows the organizations to define themselves, it enables different ethnic and religious groups to work together based on what they hold in common: their desire to elevate hunger. The group being started here in Sri Lanka is made up Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus.

One of the group's biggest fears is that by being linked to a Christian network in the States, they will be pressured to convert in order to remain a part of the network. This is tricky business; there are a lot of reports of Christian organizations arriving after the tsunami promising a lot of aid if the recipients will learn more about Jesus Christ. It's become so controversial that the Sri Lankan government is currently considering a law restricting the amount of foreign aid coming through religious organizations.

My take on this is that first and foremost, we Christians are called to share the good news, and we should never ever deny our faith. But if in our Christian witness we were to only help those we see as fellow Christians or potential Christians, we risk excluding many of God's children and we neglect to give them the respect they deserve. That doesn't witness to the type of love I think we've come to know. Moreover, a network that keeps us in dialogue with people of other religions and allows us to work hand in hand with them could do a lot to bridge the divide between faiths. We have a lot to learn. Personally, I'm very excited by what the Presbyterian Hunger Program is doing because it keeps our relationship from being a one-way street. Instead of dumping money and running, we find out from them what they want to do and then see how we can help. It's a much more intentional relationship.

A lot of rambling there. I'm sure we'll talk more about it when we get back.

Kiran sends her love. We will update you as soon as we know more. Thanks again for all your support. We can feel God's presence with us here and are confident in the Spirit's power to connect us with all of you.

Lex in Lank


At 5:02 AM, Blogger Peg Bader said...

Hope today finds you both liberated from the hospital and feeling refreshed!!! You remain in our prayers. Love the journal!


At 5:52 AM, Blogger JoshG said...

Don't worry about rambling. That's what blogs are for!!! God Bless

Josh and Shannon

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Walter said...

Alex and Kiran,
Our prayers are with you and both Tracy and I are looking forward to you arriving back home safely. For a short trip you have been through a lot. Hopefully the trip home won't be as eventful.
Many blessings,

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Kelly Taylor said...

Hey you two! I ran into Mom Young at Barnes and Noble and she reminded me about your blog...I'm sorry I haven't been more faithful in reading up on you guys sooner. Enough feeling guilty though :)--I certainly am praying now and making up for lost time. I can't wait to hear more details in person. Much love to you!

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Mary Beth said...

Hey y'all, I'm glad Kiran is doing a little better. I send lots of love to both of you. My sister is getting married this Saturday!! love, MB

At 2:06 PM, Blogger jane said...

Hope you are healing and back to enjoying the trip

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Irene and Bob said...

Kiran and Alex, hope that you are doing much better by now Kiran. So glad you found good doctors and a hospital. Praying for a quick recovery. You are doing a marvelous job. Keeping you in our prayers.
Irene and Bob

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Peg said...

Kiran, we are praying for you and hope that you are feeling stronger. Alex, your insight into the hunger program is very thought provoking. Sometimes we are guilty of alienating the people we most need to include. We continue to pray for both of you and look forward to your return.

Keith, Peg and Mere

At 10:02 AM, Blogger john wimberly said...

Kirin and Alex: Please know that you are in our family's prayers as well as those of the people of Western Church. Get well! john wimberly

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Sloane said...

hey friends. just a note to let you know that i'm thinking of and pray for ya'll... extended hospital stays are never fun.

on another note, i hope ya'll are thinking about continuing to blog (i still can't believe that's a verb) when you get back to the states.


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