Beauty out of ashes. Hope out of tragedy. Life out of death. Dream or fantasy?
One moment our friend was driving home, and noticed another car drifting into his lane. He swerved. The next moment, an airbag exploded into his face. Smoke and dust clouded the air. Stunned, he realized his car had landed on the other car.
The sight of the other driver, bloodied, shocked him
into action. He jumped out, ran to the other driver,
and started first aid. Relieved, he discovered the other driver would be OK.
But the arriving paramedics and police were
focused elsewhere. That’s when he saw the leg
and arm of another passenger crushed
under his car. Instinctively he checked
that passenger’s pulse. Nothing. He was dead.
Our friend’s eyes began watering. He struggled
to breathe. The weight of the world
crashed in on him. He felt any good he
had done in his life evaporated. Self hatred
Before he knew what was happening, he was handcuffed and
booked into jail. This was as much for his protection from retaliation as for his alleged fault.
But soon he was transferred into the nation’s most notorious prison. The atmosphere was brutal; the weak did not survive. Dread overwhelmed him, fearing he could spend his life there.
But one fellow prisoner made all the difference. He was tasked
to open and close the door to the visitors’ room. Every time our friend went to talk with his parents, this inmate would open the door with a big smile, asking “How are we today?”
That smile gave him hope. This prisoner practiced Mother Teresa’s
simple adage, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the first act of love.”
Even in prison, one person can impact another’s life. Our friend didn’t know how, but that day in prison,
he vowed to find some way to help at least one person every single day.
His life began anew.
The grandfather of the young man killed in the car accident was himself at death’s door, and
needed a blood transfusion. This patriarch had negotiated reconciliation with the extended family of
the deceased to secure our friend’s release from prison. Without delay, our friend rounded up
his friends to donate blood. That grandfather’s life was saved.
Our friend discovered his mission in life. “This is it! This is how I will help someone every day!”
That first gathering of friends to donate blood for a grandfather has morphed into a voluntary network
matching blood donors online with patients in need. Their movement, Donner Sang Compter,
means Donate Blood Without Counting. Their mission aims “to pump hope in a conflicted society
through voluntary sacrifice, even blood, for a holistic reconciliation to the glory of the Creator.”
Because of his own journey, our friend knows that every person can experience the transformation of
tragedy into redemption.
“People say that I killed a man. True. But I say otherwise: that man saved my life.
Because of him, I dedicate my life to every person who needs some hope, some love, and
The outcome of that dedication to voluntary sacrifice? Until now, 53,623 volunteers have signed up.
Their donations of 102,609 blood units have saved many lives. And most remarkable,
relationships with The Other now bridge sectarian divides in every district nationwide.
Transforming tragedy into hope. Dream or fantasy? Even as the Middle East is spiraling into further chaos, that dream is alive and well, redeeming lives.
The frenzy of daily news cycles recount the despair
of violence that begets more violence in compounding tragedies. But there’s another way forward.
Tangible hope is on offer, harnessing the redemptive
power of voluntary sacrifice with and for The Other.
We are committed all the more to stand with these local visionaries to obey their dreams.
Thank you for joining us in the redemptive power of sacrifice with and for The Other for dreams that save and transform lives.