Confession: I am an optimist. I feel stronger when I’m positive. When asked what kind of animal best defines my personality, I answer…Golden Retriever. The glass is always half full. And in college, I was dubbed “sunshine” for my best-case-scenario outlooks that matched my abnormally blonde mane and glowing complexion. But I’m also a product [...]
In 2003, HIV/AIDS was ravaging the world—killing millions of adults and leaving tens of millions of children orphaned in Africa and beyond. Some at the time predicted that an entire generation would be wiped off the map in Africa. And that is likely what would have happened if not for an idea that started small, [...]
My son, Alexander, age 4, is having a medical procedure done to repair a tight-tongue. While this is a minor surgery, I’m afraid for him. Even though my little boy will be operated on by a highly-trained doctor in a world-class medical facility, I don’t want to see my son in pain. But my family [...]
When I drove across the country from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Phoenix, Ariz., in January 2008 I knew two things for sure: That I was about to start a wild adventure Only God knew where this adventure was heading! My journey with Food for the Hungry (FH) began several months earlier when I volunteered as [...]
The first time I vividly remember sitting with a child who was infected with HIV was in northern Ethiopia. The boy, who was about eight years old, had a glazed look in his eyes. He sat practically motionless while I visited with his mother and grandmother. The father had passed away. Siblings were also present [...]
I got on the plane in Cincinnati bound for Nashville and took my seat toward the back of the plane. While doing some Food for the Hungry (FH) work on my laptop, a tall, stately gentlemen caught my eye. I thought to myself, “I know I know him, but from where?” And then I connected [...]
With World AIDS Day coming on December 1 and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today unveiling the U.S. government’s new blueprint for eradicating AIDS, I was encouraged to read a United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) report showing that 25 countries have seen a 50 percent or greater drop in new HIV infections since 2001, and [...]
Remember when people from around the world collaborated together on a massive quilt that completely covered The Mall in Washington DC? Remember when future Hall-of-Fame Basketball great, Magic Johnson, shocked the world by retiring early and revealing he was HIV-positive? For those of us that are considered Millenials (or Generation Y if you prefer), we’ve lived through a transformation. Arguably, one of the greatest societal shifts in perceptions and attitudes.
This is not a stump speech, an endorsement, or even a subversive political plea.
This is a reminder and a gift. A message of hope.
As our TV’s sets and news feeds monotonously tune in to the steady screeching of political debate, party pundits and campaigning figureheads, I believe it is important to take a deep breath, and REMEMBER THE POOR. There is no doubt that any election is an important and historical event. We should care about elected leaders, their ideas and what they stand for. But let’s not loose sight of the most monumental opportunities of hope we may ever face.
As I prepare to serve on a discussion panel tomorrow with Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, Raj Shah of USAID, Lois Quam of the U.S. State Department, and others, I am amazed and humbled by what the international faith community has helped to accomplish over the past decade in rolling back the tide of AIDS, [...]
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