Piercing the Darkness November 2012
No electricity. No showers. No transport. And deep losses.
Seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel. The experience of many in the wake of hurricane Sandy? Yes. And the constant struggle for survival for many served by Dreams InDeed visionaries? Yes again.
- Abundant Life Despite Poverty.
- Redemptive Love Overcoming Rejection.
- Every Life Celebrated in Crossfire.
- Fueled with Trust.
- Help Us Help Them.
You Must Dream! June 2012
“I’m a dreamer! People think I’m crazy,” exclaimed an elegant socialite.
David had just showcased a dreamer case as chair of a panel at the American University of Beirut business school. She had made her way upstream through the departing crowd to him. She added, almost pleading, “Can I dream?”
David’s response stunned her: “Can you dream? You must dream!”
- More Than Good Intentions
- What is the Dream?
- Discerning a Dream
- Keeping Dreams Alive
- We’re Dreamers, Too!
Birthing a New Community – by C-Section February 2012
The frigid air flowing through the broken window didn’t cool the flaring tempers.
No surprise there. These women are urban survivors in a sectarian no man’s land. It’s what came next that shocked me. A plucky teenage girl jumped in with both arms raised high.
“Stop! No fighting! STOP! No politics! This is not us! We are Joy of Giving. We practice love, forgiveness, respect. We gathered here to talk! To work together!”
- Celebrations or Conflagrations?
- Cultivating Trust
- Friends InDeed
- Rewarding Labor
- Lend a Hand
Dreams of the Dead Come Alive December 2011
“Dead man walking…” shout the guards, signaling the last steps of the condemned. Execution awaits.
But can you imagine an entire community declaring itself “dead man walking?” No sentence debated by law. Or deliberated by a jury. Or handed down by a judge.
But a dead-end destiny just the same. Confirmed by open sewers. By drug addiction. By gun fights.
Welcome to life in a “no man’s land.” And welcome to the adopted community of one of our dreamers.
- Sacrificial Love
- Dogged Perseverance
- More Than Talk
- Lasting Change
- Long-term Commitment
- The Power of Hope
- Call to Action
The Power of Life on Life Rub November 2011
Huddling around my small computer screen in the dim light sifting through the bamboo grove, we heard, “Hello…hello…hello? Can you hear me? I’m skyping from New Jersey.”
“Yes. Can you hear us? We’re in Thailand.” Thus began our virtual friendship with Jinju Pottenger.
Later we resumed our chat from Jordan, when she was in China. Our dialogue paused during her summer off-line in North Korea. Finally, after nine months of cyberspace links, we met in person. We’d arrived home just twelve hours earlier ourselves, but returned to the airport to greet Jinju.
And so began another in a long series of custom-crafted internships.
- Investment for a Lifetime
- Practiced Values
- Mutual Benefit
- Lasting Change
- Everyone Has Something to Offer
- Family Ties with Respect
- Helping Lights Shine
The Antidote For Heartsickness June 2011
It’s that time of year.
Graduations! Congratulations! Celebrations!
But, not for everyone. Not for the Tunisian vegetable peddler, Mohamed Bouazizi.
His dad died when he was three. So at age 10, Mohamed started work to support his widowed mom, ill uncle, and six siblings. In a town with 30% unemployment, his job hunt went nowhere. So after 16 years at work, he still earned under $5 a day pushing a vegetable cart. But he was popular around town; he shared food with those too poor to pay.
His kindness got him no slack from bullying officers. Harassment, year after year. Grabbed produce. Imposed fines. Confiscated scales. The unabated abuse snuffed out his hopes.
One Friday last December, he’d had enough. He argued back. The result? Spit. Swear. Slap. Seized livelihood. Public humiliation. His demand for a hearing? Spurned. His dignity disgraced, voice ignored, justice denied. Despairing, Mohamed was desperate. He doused himself with fuel in front of the municipality authority.
And he struck a match.
- A Recipe for Heartsickness
- Deeds, Not Speeches
- Jobs with Dignity
- Healthcare with Love
- Housing with Hope
- Family Ties with Respect
- Helping Lights Shine
Dreaming: Not for the Faint of Heart February 2011
Bludgeons. Tear gas. Water cannon. Live ammunition. Upheaval is rocking the Middle East.
We tracked the action on-line while on assignment in Southeast Asia. A photo-journalist who’d covered our dreamers in Beirut was man-handled in Cairo’s alleys. Our Egyptian friends dropped into a black hole with internet and phone service severed.
And then, we suddenly got a line back into Cairo
- Passion: the Fuel of Dreams
- Dreamers: Starting at the Bottom
- Face-time, Not Just Facebook
- Networks, Not lone rangers
Accompaniment An Amazing Journey December 2010
“Hah! You deserve it!” I laughed out loud.
The rooster outside my hut had just choked after three hours’ crowing since 2:30 a.m. I rolled over in the steamy heat on my floor mat wishing exhaustion from yesterday’s 10-hour drive might put me to sleep. With another 8-hour drive ahead, I needed it. But no such luck. That rooster let loose again. I lost my battle for sleep that night. But that’s just a bit of what it takes to accompany, in person, on the ground.
- Accompaniment’s Fruit: Trust
- Accompaniment’s Need: Expanding
- Accompaniment’s Invitation: Join In
- Accompaniment’s Commitment: Passionate
Overcoming Evil With Good October 2010
With a nervous Lebanese taxi driver at the wheel, we headed into the unknown at night.
David and I had assured John, our board chair, that we’d play his visit to Lebanon safe. But we should have known better. We called one of our wilder dreamers when we touched down in Beirut. After David snapped his cell phone closed, he said, “Melhem insists we come straight to him immediately, now!”
- Sowing Seeds of Peace
- Building Trust with Living Stones
- Injecting Hope through Values in Action
- Enduring Sacrifice as an Act of Passion
Making Headlines Below the Sight Line June 2010
You may have seen the Thailand crisis headlines…
- Bangkok like war zone as military cracks down on protesters.
- Are Bangkok protests just a taste of things to come?
- Heartland of Thailand, still angry and divided.
“This is the worst crisis Thailand has had, ever….and where we go from here I don’t think anybody knows, “noted Charles Keyes, career Thailand specialist and Anthropology professor emeritus.
But some insiders do know. They are living an alternative, below the sight line. And we’re in their corner.
- Seeds of Transformation Grow Quietly
- A Little Child Will Lead Them
- Turning Their Dream into Deeds
- Sustaining Their Momentum