My Heart I Give …

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Jeanne’s new book: “Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and a Church That Helped Them Find It” – (Available on:

Consider this:

What would you do if soldiers broke into your home and held your family hostage?

What would you do if your children were screaming, “Mommy! Daddy! Help Me?”

Where would you hide if you wended your way through the forest, only to find hucksters nestled in the bush, ready to rob and kill you?

In March of 2014, Antonio Guterres, then the United Nations’ High Commissioner of Refugees, stunned the world with this pronouncement: That 60 million people had fled the lands of their birth and were searching for a country to call ‘home’.

This marked the greatest number of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people (IDPs) in recorded history.

“Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom . . .” and a Church That Helped Them Find It’  recounts the story of “Every Refugee” down through the ages. Transcribed when a family of refugees found asylum at the Lick Creek Church of the Brethren in Bryan, Ohio, the church’s day-by-day experiences with their refugees reflect, in many ways, the tragedy of ‘Every Refugee’ down through the ages.

Cases in point:
. . . Moses leading the children of Israel to the Promised Land;
. . . Mary and Joseph fleeing with Jesus to escape King Herod’s henchmen;
. . . Now, let’s fast forward to the common era:

. . . During World War II, refugees in Hitler’s Germany fled by the millions to receiving countries;

. . . In 1975, 400,000 escaped Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos when Communist soldiers invaded their country. This was followed by another exodus of 400,000 who left under great duress.

By the time the conflict drew to a close, 1.5 million were among the desperate people who survived. Thus, history echoes the refugees’ story in every generation.

. . . Today, in 2016, we are no exception. As this post goes to press, world-wide, more than 65,000,000 people are searching for a country.

.  . . Approximately one-third of these are Refugees who can never go home again; another third are Asylum-seekers who are searching for a safe place until the violence has subsided, and another third of them are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are living in their home country, often with relatives or friends, but at a safer distance from the violence.

The time has come in our history whereby we must open our doors to ‘the other’. Only in doing so can we become the ‘hands and feet of Jesus’. It is a moral decision, a political decision, and it requires a humanitarian response.  We must work together to salvage these vulnerable people.



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How do advocates for racial justice move forward after Dallas?

Emmett Eldred is right on here. The man knows what he is talking about: “BLACK LIVES MATTER”!

Dunker Punks

Just before I was going to go to bed tonight, I saw news of several police officers being shot in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter protest. As the story developed, I watched in horror the news of at least eleven officers shot and four dead by two snipers with high-powered rifles. By tomorrow, we’ll know more information. We’ll likely wake up to knowledge about who conducted the shooting and why, and we might (though I pray not) learn of more police officers or other individuals killed or injured.

As with so many instances of horrific violence lately, there are no words. To see any lives claimed by senseless violence (and I believe that all violence is senseless) is indescribably tragic. No doubt, these officers did much to serve and protect their communities. No doubt, they had loved ones whose lives will be forever changed. Jesus reminds us that blessed…

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Seun Oke at 2014 PET Annual Conference

Seun Oke from Nigeria came to the US earlier this fall. She was scheduled at several PET shops around the US to talk about receiving her PET wheelchair and how it made a difference in her mobility. Today, she’s engaged to be married and holds an office job, both of which she attributes to her ability to use the PET. I was impressed listening to her. She, also, has a neat sense of humor. Listen to her story for yourself on You-tube here. You will be amazed.

Mobility Worldwide

produced by Arla Gabrielse

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PET: What if we took it seriously?

This is Seun Oke from Nigeria. A few years ago, she received a PET wheelchair. The film below is an example of how a PET can transform a life. Currently, this young lady has completed two years of college in her PET, and she is engaged to be married. Not a bad track record for one who was considered helpless just a few years ago.
I might add that there are more than 20 PET shops in the U.S., plus another in Zambia, Africa. The one near us is PET-Kansas. It’s an empowering vehicle for the poor, and it gives them a chance at life. Enjoy!

Mobility Worldwide

PET UPDATE: 11-25-14 Built since 1-1-14 1292

What if we took it seriously? A week ago I was in Nicaragua with Rainbow
Network, and representing PET. After leaving the asphalt road and traveling
in low gear by washed out bridges and at walking speed in a 4-wheel drive
pickup, we arrived at a local health clinic where Rainbow’s doctor was
treating the half-day’s list of 20 patients. In due time we were introduced
to a mother and her son, Leni. Leni looks to be 4 years old but is probably
6. He is a victim of Down’s Syndrome, and had been discovered hidden away in
a back corner of his mud-stick home when Rainbow did its recent census of
all the 45,000+- persons in its area of work. He cannot walk and his hands
could not crank a PET, so we had the privilege of seeing this young man

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