Rev. John L. McCullough | July 31, 2014
Today, I have decided to risk arrest with more than 135 other faith and immigrant rights leaders outside of the White House. I have not come to this decision lightly, but out of my deep discontent and disappointment at the lack of action by our President to stop the needless deportations of millions of immigrants and the suggestion that our nation should expedite the deportation of thousands of Central American children who are fleeing violence and seeking protection.
As someone who has benefited from the courage and civil disobedience of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, I cannot stand idly by as I see unjust immigration laws damage our communities and our nation. It is a moral imperative that we take action now, particularly after the House Republican leadership has miserably failed to enact immigration reform that the majority of Americans roundly support. While I have been proud to stand alongside courageous Republicans like Rep. Jeff Denham, I do not believe that history will be kind to the dysfunction of this Congress and House leadership.
Jen Smyers | July 30, 2014
As original published in Roll Call, July 30, 2014 at 5 a.m.
A family in Guatemala City received a knock on the door. Standing there were several gang members with one demand. “We’ve come to take your daughter,” they said, according to one of our local Church World Service partners. “Our boss wants her.” It was an emergency and the family had to act quickly.
The young teenage girl had no choice but to leave the country the next day, for her own protection. In the words of a local pastor who helped them, “Her sin was simply being pretty.”
Daniel Christopulos | July 23, 2014
To sit and listen to hard-working people who have just lost their homes and sometimes livelihoods to disaster is indeed humbling. As they come to ask us for help, it helps us realize that, regardless of how faithful or hard working we might be, in the world we “will have tribulation” (John 16:33).
As U.S. Country Representative for International Orthodox Christian Charities, a Church World Service partner, I often travel to disaster-affected communities and meet survivors.
For example, during a visit last September to recently flood-ravaged Loveland, Colo., I met Matt. He said he lived west of Loveland next to the Big Thompson River and told me his story.
Julie Brumana | July 21, 2014
I had an amazing opportunity this fall to travel to East Africa with several other U.S.-based CWS staff colleagues to visit with CWS staff, partners, and projects throughout Kenya and Tanzania.
I met many people whose lives had been touched by their partnership with CWS. I met schoolchildren enjoying the benefit of desks, latrines and water as well as their parents who now have a voice in the education of their children. I met community leaders who showed us greenhouses, livestock and beehives which are providing food, income and hope to their communities. I met youth taking charge of their own futures by supporting one another and lifting up the inherent value each one possesses. And I met Christopher.
Yukiko Maki-Murakami | July 15, 2014
Three years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, CWS continues to support local partners working to help survivors. Yukiko Maki-Murakami, project officer for CWS Japan, visited Fukushima with one of our generous donors in May 2014 to see firsthand some results of CWS’s recovery work with survivors of the disaster. Following are some of her impressions:
I regretted that due to my overseas assignment during the period it took me over three years to make my first visit to Fukushima after the nuclear power plant disaster. When I heard the stories of actual victims, I felt ashamed of the superficial knowledge I had gained from secondhand reports.
I accompanied Eiichiro Kuwana of the Japanese American Association of New York. The association was one of the donors to the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami project, which ended after three years. Kuwana was very much interested in seeing and knowing the current situation and issues toward the recovery of Fukushima.
Kelli Siddiqui | July 10, 2014
“It was Friday, and I was out looking for daily work. I waited until around noon where laborers gather to find daily work. On that day, no one selected me for work so I returned to my village. This region is very hilly. As I passed a hill near my village, I saw a lot of people standing by where the landslide covered our village and homes. At first, I thought I was dreaming or my eyes were not working. Then, I realized it was not a dream.
“I could see from the upper part of the hill that there was a landslide and part of the village had also slid away. I could see in the valley a lot of mud where my home and children would have been. As I came closer, I could see people from our neighboring village removing dead bodies."
Chris Herlinger | July 8, 2014
KAMPALA, Uganda – A telling moment as I finished up an assignment here in Uganda came not when I was in the impoverished Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda, the focus of my work, but here in the capital of Kampala.
Getting lunch at my hotel, I spoke to some fellow visitors and they asked me what had brought me to Uganda. When I told them I had been in Karamoja, one woman looked surprised and said, “Did you find food there?” When I asked another woman how people in Kampala perceive Karamoja, she replied without a beat, “Backwards.”
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