Easier than writing lots of individual emails

Archive for Africa


MAN PAGEANT ’08….tonight…7pm…Valencia High School.
You’re invited…everyone you know is invited….seating is limited…$7 at the door.
You will not want to miss it…it’s for the kids!
watch the manly promo….
post the manly flier…

Man Pageant…do it!



I’ve been quiet on this front due to a non-stop schedule.  Here’s the recap:

-Threw out my back
-Flew to DC with highschoolers from VHS ICU to Lobby in DC
(it was awesome and there’s waaay too much to say in this post)
-Through the course of the trip we had great conversations about life, purpose, the gospel, etc.
-We met hundreds of people who are helping Northern Uganda and we took part in the largest organized lobby for an African country ever in the history of the US!!!!
-I got sick and lost my voice on Monday 2/25 🙂
2/27 Wednesday
-flew home and got home around 12:45am on Thursday
-was supposed to sub but had NO voice (and had the flu?)
-instead stayed in bed; tried to reply to 100+ emails etc.
2/29-3/2 Friday-Sunday
-went to Kern River on the surprise ‘retreat’ that our worship team threw for Brad’s b-day; we had a great time! That should be it’s own post too.
3/3/08 Today!
-went to the doctor and learned that I have a variation of all the sicknesses that are plaging our nation; I have codine cough syrup for the wretched cough, I have antibiotics for the infection that seems to be running through my body, and I have a follow up appt in 2 weeks for the doc to check on the broken blood vessels in my left ear (which he suspects is from coughing) and he told me to stop talking and rest my voice!
-am in negotiations for a client who is trying to buy a house (trying to do as much on email as possible since i have no voice)
-Mike Butler came over for lunch while I stayed in bed and we watched National Geographic (sumo wrestling and Sri Lanka lizards)

3/4/08 Tuesday
-stay in bed as much as possible and sleep and heal
3/5-3/7 Wed-Friday
-Drive up to SF and attend the funeral of a dear friend’s mom who passed away while I was in DC
-continue to negotiate and wrap up these counters for my buyer
-Attend the Irish Fair down in Pomona…several people from my family will be there and some friends! Should be super fun (if i can make it that long!)
-Sing with Worship Team at church (I hope my voice is back by then)
-lunch with the Harveys who will be passing through on their way home.
-show houses to a client 🙂

-I know that I still have not posted the winners of the 1st annual ‘Cardies’ awards!   EWZ, thank you for the reminder.  I want to present the most deserving winners, so it does take time to decide (since everyone did a GREAT job 🙂 )…and as you can see my current schedule is going to delay it a bit longer 🙂

Hope you all have a  GREAT week!



Greetings from Washington DC!  I’m here with 3 VHS ICU club members and we’re part of a group of 1,000 people who are going to Capitol Hill tomorrow to address our Senators and Congresspeople regarding our desire for the U.S. to publically back the peace talks and to commit to helping Uganda rebuild (and more).

I have MUCH to say about all that we’ve learned here with 3 days of conference speakers from all over the political world and physical world, and from films, from panels, etc.  It really is an unbelievable experience on every level.  However, I will refrain for now. 

The purpose for this post is to ask for a simple action from you, tomorrow Tuesday (and for you to encourage anyone you know to do the same).  We learned that if a Senator gets at least 7 inquiries on the same day regarding the same issue, they are required to do a briefing and to reply to all inquiries as to what they intend to do about that issue.  Only 7!!!!  So, though you’re not in DC and able to walk into the offices of your elected officials (California alone has 120 constituents slotted to address the Senator tomorrow!), you can dramatically enhance our efforts by making a 3 minute call with the info below.  Sincerely, if I’ve learned nothing else thus far, I have learned that using your constituent voice and communicating sincerely MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  It’s pretty cool to be an American and have this process available.  So, please help us use it (remember time zones).  And be sure to give your address…that requires your elected official to have to reply to you (which means they have to do a report and be exposed to the issues).  Please do this.  I rarely ask anything from my readers, but imagine if all 200+ daily readers actually called Capitol Hill on Tuesday…you would play a major role in helping people who are genuienly oppressed.  AND, it’s just cool to take part in the political process that America offers!  Thanx so much…and I’d love for you to comment that you did it and if there are any noteworthy stories :).  thanx again!

The following info was taken from www.ResolveUganda.org (the organization hosting the Lobby Day)
“If you’re looking for something you can do right this minute to keep up the pressure for peace, picking up your phone and making a quick call to your member of Congress is a great way to do it.  Our representatives keep a tally of how many calls they receive on an issue, and the more they hear about northern Uganda, the more likely they are to act.

To make the call, dial (202) 224-3121. This is the Congressional Switchboard, where you can ask to be connected to the office of one of your Senators or Members of Congress.

A few things to keep in mind when you call:

The more prepared you are the better.  Take a few minutes to go over the points that you want to make and what exactly it is that you’re asking for.

  • Ask to speak with the legislative aide handling the war in northern Uganda. If the  person is unavailable, leave a message with your name, address and phone number.
  • Remember to mention that you are a voting member of their state calling to express concern about the crisis in northern Uganda to request that they take serious action.
  • Always ask the name and contact information of the person with whom you speak.
  • If the person you speak with asks you a question for which you do not know the answer, don’t panic! It is perfectly acceptable to tell them you will get that information and send it to them.

The message for your call is simple:
Members of Congress should do everything they can to make sure ongoing
peace negotiations result in an end of the crisis, and should direct resources to help displaced communities return home.
Facts to keep in mind:

  • The war in northern Uganda has lasted for more 21 years.  This is Africa’s longest running conflict.
  • Over 1.5-million people have been forced into squalid displacement camps that lack even the basic necessities.
  • Over 30,000 children have been abducted and used in this brutal conflict as frontline soldiers and sex slaves. 

Here’s a suggestion of what you can say:
”Hi.  My name is _________ and I’m calling from _________ to ask you to do more for peace in northern Uganda.
Currently, there are ongoing negotiations between the Government of Uganda and rebel Lord’s Resistance Army taking place that represent the best chance ever to end the twenty-one year war in northern Uganda.  By increasing diplomatic and financial support for the negotiations, you can help ensure their success and by providing funding for rehabilitation in the north, you can help allow people displaced by the war to return home.

As a constituent in your district, I would appreciate your efforts to help make sure this opportunity for peace is not lost. Thank you.” ”

Seriously, please join in our efforts with a simple phone call!  And, invite everyone you know to do the same.  Look, you have the easy option.  I got a plane, am chaperoning high schoolers, am braving the cold and will have to muster it up to address my Senator face to face  tomorrow (oh, and i threw my back out on Thursday night, right before boarding the plane AND I lost my voice today to a massive sore throat).  So, help a sister out…pick up the phone….


Ok.  Look.  i KNOW that my blogroll is…vast.  I get comments on it all the time.  Comments like:
‘Sam, YOU’RE like the real TMC alumni site’ or ‘It’s crazy how many people are on your blog.”  However, usually the very next line is, ‘But it’s so awesome.  i go to your site when i’m looking for anyone.’  There have even been some posts written by friends on their own blogs about people they’ve met or rekindled with through my blog.  Cool.
Deep down, the blogroll is the technological reflection of one of my hearts’ desires…I like connecting people (intentionally or otherwise).  I like when peeople with needs find people who want to meet needs.  I suppose that’s why real estate is a good business for me…the heart of it is meeting people’s needs by connecting people. 

So, on Monday I got an amazing email from a beloved former RA.  I will include some excerpts,
“I have been meaning to write you for a looong time now…for many reasons, but most recently because of the cool event that came about after your post about the needs at Lambano Sanctuary.  I had visited their website about 6 months ago and cried for about an hour as I read the names of the children who had died while in the care of the people at Lambano.  All that to say, when I read your blog about the current needs of Lambano, Jesse and I decided it was time to do something practical.  We have been reading Future Grace (Piper) with the highschoolers at our church and from that began talking about mercy ministires, life purpose, etc.  So I gave them the website to go to and together we all were really excited to be involved.  

Most of the kids in the youth group are incredibly musically talented, so we decided to have a concert. It was scheduled to be outside…bring a blanket etc. on Sunday the 30th of September.  It rained the entire day, so we quickly changed plans and moved the event inside my parent’s house.  There were not as many atendees as I was expecting, probably due to the rain, but those who came were very generous!  

We had little menus with espresso beverage selections on them, and the highschoolers served drinks, played music, and helped cover the costs so that all of the money raised would go to Lambano to build the hospice.  We had a silent auction, raffle, and general donation table.  The kids put together a power point to help people get a feel for the incredible needs of the children in Africa, printed out stories etc.  All together, people donated $3,335!  Jesse and I are so excited to send that check, Sam! A reason to praise the Lord for the bloggy dog world we live in…:)!

We had a reflection time tonight, during youth group, about what we have been learning, thinking about, and how to make generosity, serving others, caring for those in need a part of everyday life.  It was a good time to hear from them.  All that to say, the last few months have been very encouraging in terms of increased communication.  Sometimes things don’t happen as organically or as fast as you are hoping.  I was reminded of how important it is to be still and meditate and actually reflect on the day, a big event, an argument with Jesse, something enjoyable with Caed, the beauty of God’s creation etc.”How cool is it that individuals are taking the initiative to help other individuals?!?!?!?!  A little background…Beth Mack (former Sweazy RD) helps run Lambono (an orphange for kids dying of AIDS) and posted on HER blog about their needs in South Africa.  Courtney, my former RA, has a huge heart for those in need…during college she traveled to Liberia and saw what life in one of the poorest countries in the world is like..and how children live.  I’m sure that helped reinforce her natural compassion and kindness.  After her time at TMC, she then married another TMC RA/graduate who also has a heart of gold.  They live up in Washington, have a son, Jesse has a job, they are involved in their church.  Regular people…who love the LORD.It’s amazing how God moves in individuals’ lives and then crosses their paths.  I guess the question is…are we open to His preparation of us and His leading of us?  Almost always, His leading involves other people…which is why I’m convinced that networking is so valuable.  here’s to ‘the blog’!


So, ICU is going to the 3rd annual Gulu Walk, held in Pasadena this year.  It’s a really cool few hours where you meet lots of likeminded people who care about Uganda and you walk for a couple of hours (to replicate the commute that the kids in Uganda do becasue they fear abduction by the LRA).

Jennene and I would love it is you joined us.  It’s a really good opportunity with the Valencia Highschoolers from our club.    Come join us!!!!

-Saturday, October 20th
-we usually meet at McDOnalds in the am (exact time TBD)
-the walk starts at 11am in Pasadena (usually last a couple of hours)
-We’d be back in the afternoon sometime

Year One-Gulu



CLICK HERE for a really cool resource!  Thanx Josh


517jg1ppv8l__bo2204203200_pisitb-dp-500-arrowtopright45-64_ou01_aa240_sh20_.jpgWho are the major preachers in our Western culture these days?  Bush? Oprah? Dr. Laura? H. Clinton? Paris? SNL? 

It seems like it’s good for Christians to be ‘up on’ what gospel these preachers are preaching.

One such icon/preacher is Bono.  I want to know what he’s about, since he’s one of the most powerful men around these days and he’s flexed his muscles in issues fighting for justice/mercy/compassion.  Ironically, it’s been rumored that he does actually do a lot of preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ…to feed the poor and needy, to protect the widows and the orphans, etc. in the name of Jesus Christ.   So, I wanted to read for myself what Bono preaches.  It’s been a GREAT book.  Fascinating.  Convicting.  Murky.  Transparent.  I’m glad I’m reading it:  I’m glad that it was recommended and I’m glad that someone gave me a gift card to Barnes and that they had it in stock.

I’m about 1/3 through the book and Bono’s not my new hero and so far, it seems he’s not really preaching the full gospel (sin, repentance, forgiveness, the cross, resurrection, etc, though he reads and studies Scripture faithfully), but I am grateful that he’s doing a lot of work in Africa that is paving the way for so many powerful things…it seems that the LORD uses any sinner He pleases:  you, me, Bono…  (I just want to make sure that I am fixed on and am preaching a salvific gospel rather than a social gospel.) 

I do wish that I could hang out with Bono (and Ellen Degeneres too…maybe at the same time) because it seems like it would be less than 10 minutes before we were into some really meaningful discussion about life, calling, influence, Christ, relativism, power, death, heaven/hell, salvation…etc.   He seems like a cool cat.