Soulground Photo Essay
We also support literacy and livelihood training to empower the women and inspire their communities. People in much of the under-developed world, such as the Philippines, are unable to afford medical care for life-threatening diseases or access to life-saving medicines. Quality medical care does not exist, and travel to specialized clinics is too expensive.
Healing from cancer involves more than medicine; it requires a more positive and joyful attitude which is difficult to develop in impoverished communities. By providing medication free of charge to the patients in a systematic manner, we give the women undergoing cancer treatment a chance to fully recover, increase their lifespan and receive education and job skills.
This is especially important for mothers receiving treatment whose young children need their care and guidance. For child patients, our art programs conducted in hospital wards build a joyful attitude to embrace life and value education to enhance their healing process. This program is an international model of donor kindness and corporate social responsibility.
By surviving, and experiencing hope, the multi-ethnic children and women inspire their neighbors in large ghetto communities. Adult literacy and education will enable surviving women to provide better lives for their families. For children living in dire poverty the influence of violent crime and militant extremism is a constant temptation.
This holistic program can empower entire communities. Support our health programs today! All Rights Reserved. One the biological mom of a beautiful, joyful little boy named Kayden and the other his foster mom. Standing there together confessing those words with one heart and one voice. The story that brought them together is amazing. It is a real story of real hurt, real brokenness, and real love. Real love that laid me low when I witnessed it.
The honesty flowing from their lips and their lives shut my mouth.
Imagine the millions of reasons why these two moms should never have been in that room. Let alone together in the same row, in the same church, worshiping the same God with the same heart. How is it possible that a mom, forced to surrender her son to the care of the state, would choose to worship with the woman who she would soon willingly release her son to in adoption?
How is that possible? How about the radical love and humility necessary for foster parents to reach through the system to embrace a hurting mom so that she might experience wholeness and healing? How about the grace required from all sides to walk forward together? Imagine navigating all the hurt, all the fear, all the doubt, and all the pride in order to stand together as one. Do you see it? That is the life and beauty of the gospel.
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Every force of evil fights against that kind of love. Love overcame and made a spectacle of evil. Not in some flowery, instagram blessed way, not even close. I am talking about love that spends everything and stops at nothing to set things right. To see life and beauty here and now. It is not safe. It is not easy.
Counterfeit love is all around us. Shallow love. Self love. But we know the real thing when we see it; when we experience it. Andy Crouch describes the airport in Charlotte, N. By design they nourish the best in our design, functioning almost like greenhouses. They are good spaces that remind us of the very good and invite us to embrace it. Place matters. Dirt is good. Beauty is very good. The material world, with all its scars, is still part of the story.
And not a lesser part. Our bodies, the very roads we travel, the work of our hands and the spaces we rest, worship, and play … they are all a part of a magnificent creation.
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The places we build and the way we cultivate space give visible expression to our beliefs regarding dignity, beauty, generosity, pleasure, responsibility, community, equality, and even justice and mercy. The gospel lifts our view in these areas and leads us to a higher sense of stewardship that produces actual fruit in places where the whisper of the good news can be heard.
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I found one of these places in Tampa at Buddy Brew Coffee. Actually I heard the whisper from Buddy Brew just over four years ago when I was still out west in a land that pairs perfectly with good coffee. It was in the way that Dave wrote. Dave Ward is a gospel guy.
His company is too. That is no small thing. The whisper of good news can be heard in Hyde Park, on Kennedy, and floating through the halls at the Oxford Exchange because Buddy Brew is there. It echos through the beauty of each space and in the peculiar kindness of the staff. That whisper led me to an old wooden staircase in the back of the Kennedy location.
Both have the energy of a start up and the honesty of family. Dreaming and working out vision. It takes pioneers. It takes new hearts, transformed minds, and the careful and intentional work of loving hands to actually create and curate these places. It takes listening and learning. It takes humility and boldness, failure and resilience. It takes wrestling with big ideas and avoiding contests with anything less.
It takes training, staff meetings and money. Yep, money. It takes spending more money than you have to in order to care for people, source responsibly, provide quality and cultivate beauty.
Dave Ward is a visionary leader seasoned with grace. We need more pioneers like this.
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We need more places like Buddy Brew Coffee, but the cost of those words taking on flesh is a high. Until then, raise a mug and join me in celebrating Dave Ward and the team at Buddy Brew for dreaming, working and living out their vision. When you have a chance, stop by and thank them for filling Tampa with the life and beauty of the gospel.
The Irish son of a California cop. There was no fight left.
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The call came as I was working in my little country school district office with orange walls and no windows. The air was stale but you could hear a pin drop in there. He had a heart attack and is being transported to Newberg Hospital. I was doing my best to stay ahead of the fog, but I could feel it settling in. On the drive, a million thoughts passed through my mind. I tried to imagine how things might go once I arrived. What to say. What not to say. What to do. Finally I arrived. The hospital doors hesitated in front of me, staying shut just long enough for me to realize that none of that mattered.
Being stripped of our wisdom and strength is a strange thing. There is a terrifying beauty to that kind of honesty. So terrifying that we spend most of our lives fortifying ourselves from true vulnerability. And yet it is beautiful, because it is familiar. The moment we are born we are received by hands more capable than ours and in Christ, His capable hands will welcome us once again when we die. Most days, our wisdom and strength are sufficient. Most of the time our hands stay busy with immediate things until they are interrupted. He longs for us to experience the mystery of those hands holding us throughout the journey of our life until our strength finally gives way completely.
I found those hands holding me as I held my friend at the hospital doors that day. There are places where no words or works can go. Places where no pre-arranged plan, no earthly power, can meet the needs or take away the pain. So may we both be reminded that the same hands that hold us today will hold us when we get there. May we find rest in those constant and capable hands. Jimmie is one of the most wonderful parts of our Tampa adventure.
We met at the Oxford Exchange. Oxford Exchange is part restaurant, part workspace collective, part coffee shop and part bookstore. As you enter you pass the bookstore and follow the foyer down to the coffee shop and an open common area enjoyed by some of most prominent culture shapers here in Florida. Just the other day I met Governor Rick Scott while having coffee with a friend. Were it not for Jimmie Marshall, I would feel really out of place working there.
Jimmie operates his shoe-shine business in the foyer area, and I will never forget the first time I met him.