Friday, July 6, 2012

Long Flights... but we finally arrived

Spent a ton of time in the air... but finally arrived yesterday in Harare. Spent some time checking out a new property that Hands of Hope is going to purchase... then off to visit with the girls at the WestGate House. I was gang hugged by our girls once I got out of the truck. It was so awesome. Cheri spent a ton of time getting to know the girls and learning all their names. We hated to leave... but will be spending a whole Saturday with them before we leave. We were pretty spent.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Flying out today

Cheri and I are flying out to Africa tonight.  We will head out of SFO to Munich, then Munich to 
Jo-berg (thats how the cool kids say it), the a quick little flight into Zim.  Cheri has flown mostly llittle flights... so needless to say, she is a little nervous spending this much time in a huge metal tube with wings... hurtling through space across the planet.  Sounds scary when you put it in those terms.  However, she will be fine.  I will update with pics as vids as often as I can... 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Heading to Zimbabwe

Last year I was asked to join the board of a compassion relief organization called Hands of Hope.  Hands of Hope was formed as a response to the overwhelming issue of children who were orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.  Millions of people have been affected by the virus... leaving children at risk and most vulnerable.  UNICEF estimates that one-fifth (1.6 million) of all children in Zimbabwe are orphans because of HIV/AIDS.  Zimbabwe also has deep political and economic issues that complicate matters in this country.  

This is why we got involved.  Our hope is to make a difference by joining a leading organization that is changing the course for kids who need our help.

On Tuesday, Cheri and I will be heading out to Zim to spend time at a few of the homes, participate in the feeding programs, help teach and tutor in the bridging school... and encourage leaders in country who are on the front lines every day.   This will be Cheri's first trip and we are looking forward to doing this together.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flaxseed Pillows and Beautiful Day

Ever heard of a flaxseed pillow? I never had until I moved to Northern California. A flaxseed pillow is a microwaveable-heat sustaining-comfy bag of goodness that gets used again and again to warm up cold people. You see, my wife and I are both from sunny/warm/heat-wave-laden Southern California, where you wear shorts all-year long and everyone is always tan.

When we moved north we anticipated a cultural change… from Hollywood-Celebs to Tech-Celebs, also fashion change… from flip-flops to Tiva’s with socks. But we weren’t ready for the climate change… after all, Al Gore was talking about global warming and we were cool with that reality. But when we moved in… we experienced the arctic NorCal cold, and thus the discovery of the flaxseed pillow. Watching TV… sitting on flaxseed, going to bed… sleeping with flaxseed, watching a soccer game… cuddling with flaxseed. In fact, I can tell the temperature of the flaxseed pillow based on my wife’s face. Happy face= Warm flaxseed. Sad face=forgot to bring flaxseed to the 9:30 service at WestGate.

I wasn’t a big fan of the flaxseed pillow at first (it seemed a bit “relationally intrusive”)… but now, I’m thinking about getting two. There’s something heavenly when you get an unexpected burst of warmth when you’re freezing.

It’s funny… Beautiful Day was an unexpected burst of warmth this fall. Usually we do service projects in the spring, but this year we ventured into the fall with some “modest” plans that became larger than we imagined. Messy forgotten freeways got cleaned up, cold dim houses got Christmas lights, tired school playgrounds got fresh US maps, families in need got Thanksgiving meals, and desperate blood banks got replenished. Basically, we nuked up a flaxseed pillow called “Love your Neighbor” and tossed it on a community that didn’t realize how cold it was.

Living and Loving like Jesus brings an unexpected burst of warmth to a world that desperately needs to experience him.

So to my leaders… outstanding work!!!

To all the volunteers… way to go!!!

For everyone… here’s a challenge as you go into Thanksgiving this season, become a flaxseed pillow to someone in need of an unexpected burst of warmth!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Zimbabwe team travels

Tried to post this video on YouTube and FB... but they wouldn't let me. This is the 30 hr journey to Zim with my team... check it out!,

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chocolate Homelessness

Here’s a Love-Hate thing that you don’t see too often.

I LOVE Chocolate… and I HATE Homelessness.

I do

Those are both emphatic statements that I stand by… and I’m confident will be lifelong Love-Hate principles for me.

I love different sorts of chocolates… lots of caramel, almond, coconut. I’m a lover of dark chocolate. I love even thinking about chocolate.

Ironically, in contrast…

I hate different kinds of homelessness… loss of jobs, disabilities, mental-illness. I’m a hater of chronic homelessness. I hate even thinking about homelessness.

For me… Chocolate is the antithesis of Homelessness (yes, "antithesis"... I looked it up!)

On May 1st, I will respond to my Love-Hate dilemma by participating as the MC/Comic for the Rivers of Chocolate event at the Mountain winery in Saratoga CA.

Rivers of Chocolate has established itself as the premier chocolate tasting event in Northern California. Each year finds additional chocolatiers and restaurateurs creating confections to fit the theme. Proceeds from the event benefit EHC LifeBuilders, providing vital shelter and services for homeless individuals and families in Silicon Valley.

To purchase tickets or to find out more information, go to