Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Little Ezer Effect!

This little ezer's story is shaking things up on the airwaves and proving once again that we dare not underestimate what God might do through one ezer—even a little one. Her story also brings to light a larger issue that needs to shake up our views of little ezers in other ways.

Rachel Beckwith heard from her church about the need for clean water in Africa. So when her 9th birthday approached, she opted to forgo the party and presents and instead set out to raise $300 to bring clean water to those who desperately need it. She came within $80 of reaching her goal.

Tragically, soon after her birthday, Rachel was killed in an auto accident. Her story was picked up by the press and is spreading. The impact of this precious little life is stirring others around the world to give.  Her starter fund has exceeded $1,000,000. Go to Rachel's 9th Birthday Wish if you want to join this effort. Nicholas Kristoff's article, "Rachel's Last Fund-Raiser," shows Rachel's campaign for water is only part of the giving she did in her brief life.

Rachel's story should leave us all wondering what this little ezer might have done if she had enjoyed a normal life span? Who's to say where haircut donations to Locks of Love and $220 for clean water might have taken her had she lived to carry on as an adult what she started as a child?

I'm hearing from women who have been reading Half the Sky and Half the Church and who are moving forward to do something (and mobilize others) to address the suffering of women and girls in the world.  Rachel's story is a reminder that all of us can help. A little creativity goes a long way. The fullness of Jesus' gospel calls us to this.

Rachel's story also reveals something that can be easy for grown-ups to overlook: the enormous potential of little girls to make a difference for others if only given a chance. What would the world be like if more little girls were encouraged to think about raising $220 to help others?

Beyond this, Rachel's story puts in perspective just how monstrous it is that in today's world 200 million girls are missing because they've been aborted, abandoned, or neglected. (See "It's a girl!") The horror of these deaths is bad enough. But look at one little ezer's life and ask yourself how much the world has lost when 200 million little ezers are gone.  And what else goes missing when girls are denied an education or not cheered on to discover and employ the gifts God has given them?

People are looking for ideas.  What are other little ezers doing to make a difference?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"It's a girl!"

I woke up Tuesday morning wondering, "What will the Stock Market do today?" and fearing the worst. Instead, my attention was diverted by a link I received from a friend to the video above.  It's a trailer for the documentary, "It's a girl!"

Amazing how quickly a 3-minute video can put things in perspective.

Who knew that words spoken when I was born or the joyous announcement at my daughter's birth are, in some places, "the three most deadly words in the world." I'm still trying to absorb the fact that each year China and India eliminate more girls (for no other reason than they are girls) than girls born in the U.S.  The loss of these precious lives and the trauma to their mothers is beyond appalling. But there are other serious consequences, for the resulting gender imbalance has a destabilizing effect on a culture leading to such things as an increase in violence and sex trafficking. 

Last week I met with Chai Ling, founder of All Girls Allowed, to learn more about what's happening and her tireless efforts to get governments to act and to reach out to women who have suffered or are facing forced abortions or have courageously managed to keep their daughters. If you're asking what you can do, Ling's website is the place to go for information and ideas. The least we can do is to sign the petition asking President Obama and Congress to put pressure on the Chinese government to end the One Child Policy that is responsible for the deaths of millions of little girls. I hope you will do that.