Sunday, January 25, 2009

Charging yaks

This video was created by my friend Jamie Nofsinger in July 2007. We were in an Amdo Tibetan village in northwest China, elevation 11,500 feet.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Malnutrition and Plumpy'nut

Every year, malnutrition kills about five million children. That's the population of the state of Colorado. I don't know about you, but I've never considered that an option for my kids. Every day, they have plenty to eat. Consider this:

  • My son's school now offers four choices for the main course at lunch, not to mention choices for vegetables and fruits.
  • With refrigeration, we can store food for quite a while.
  • Every day we give our kids multi-vitamins to ensure they're getting the proper nutrients to help them be healthy and grow into healthy adults.
  • And then there's the fact that we have clean water at our fingertips ... but that's a subject for another blog entry.
Five million kids die from malnutrition every year. That's not the case where I live. The number one health issue for kids here isn't lack of food; no, it's too much food: childhood obesity.

Five million. Dead from malnutrition. The Nazi holocaust killed an estimated six million Jews. This decade alone, an estimated 45 million children have died from malnutrition. By the end of this year, add another five million.

In ten years, 50 million children will have died from malnutrition. That's more than the populations of New York and Texas - combined.

That can change. Recently, two of my good friends told me about a product called Plumpy'nut, "an unusual name for a food that may just be the most important advance ever to cure and prevent malnutrition." This story by Anderson Cooper is worth watching. Take a look. Then do something to join the fight against malnutrition.

What you can do next:
Join the World Hunger Campaign (CARE)
Join Bread for the World
Join World Vision

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Long-haired Mama

Tonight I was reading to my kids from The Child's Story Bible. Isaac, my oldest, picked the story of Jeroboam and Ahijah (pages 172-173). In the story, the wicked king Jeroboam has encouraged the Israelites to make and worship idols, something that is disgraceful in Israel and specifically prohibited by the 2nd commandment. Jeroboam's youngest son becomes quite ill, and Jeroboam sends his wife to the prophet Ahijah to inquire if the child will live. Informed by the Lord that she is coming, Ahijah tells the woman that when she goes back to her city, the child will die. He goes on to tell her that all of her other sons will die a violent death due to their father's wickedness. By the end of the story, Jeroboam has died, his son Nadab takes the throne, and Baasha later leads a coup by murdering Nadab and the rest of Jeroboam's family. So, the prophet's words come to pass.

When we finished reading the story, I recapped with Isaac and Anna and then asked Isaac, "What kind of daddy do you want me to be?"

He wisely replied, "One that loves God and doesn't worship idols."

I then asked him, "When you grow up, what kind of daddy do you want to be?"

He said, "A good one that worships God and not idols."

So I thought I would try the question on Anna. "Anna, when you grow up, what kind of mama do you want to be?"

Anna carefully chose her words, "When I grow up, I want to be a long-haired mama."

[Recommended reading: The Child's Story Bible]