Light Gives Heat – A Winning Opportunity!

Over the last few weeks I have had a number of conversations about mercy ministries vs. development ministries.  Questions have been asked like… “When is ok to give money to a ‘homeless person’ who is flying a sign ‘will work for _____’?” As Christians, is it really all that radical or weird to hand out money, buy food, or  give things away for free?

With the Superstorm Sandy rolling through, yes…there are needs to be met.  And it’s a perfect opportunity to give what is needed and asked for.  The LA Times recently had an op-ed The donations Sandy’s victims don’t need which speaks perfectly to this topic.  We saw and heard about items that went to waste in Haiti, because it’s not what is needed or it’s not useful.  Our friends and missionaries, The Salvants, at New Hope Haiti Mission recently blogged about similar ‘giving’ in non-emergency times – The Ministry of Stuff.

Dr John M. Perkins once said “The best welfare program is a job”.  Last year, I even wrote more about it here >  “The Best Welfare Program is a Job”  Dr. John M. Perkins and here > PART 2 ~ “The Best Welfare Program is a Job”  Dr. John M. Perkins

That’s what I love about this organization…they partner with Ugandan artisans to “provide consistent incomes where there were none.” Please keep reading to learn about them…how they help provide winning opportunities to the Ugandan people.  You, too, will have a chance to win!

Light Gives Heat (LGH): A 501c(3) Non-Profit, based in Grand Junction, CO (with a second location in Jinja, Uganda and surrounding areas).

  • Mission: Empowering Africans through the encouragement of economic sustainability and creative endeavors. Motivating people in the west to “be the change they want to see in the world.”
  • Vision: To See Africa rebuilt and renewed from the inside out and to see people in the West living with Hope

Your Winning Opportunity!

As you prepare to purchase Christmas gifts or something to treat yourself, please consider supporting LGH.  Support providing someone a job versus providing handouts.  To encourage you to buy and support LGH, you have a chance to win a $25 LGH gift card!  Complete at least one of the following.  The more you do, the more chances you have to win. Just remember to comment when you do!

1.  Buy something from LGH! Comment below what item you bought.

2. Donate to LGH!  Comment below that you made a donation.  You don’t have to share how much, but I am hoping it will be more than the $25 gift card prize!

3.  Share the great work that LGH is doing in Uganda by sharing this post on FB or Twitter!  Comment below how you shared it.

Deadline:  Friday, November 9 at 12noon eastern time.  Go ahead and do it now.  Don’t wait!  🙂


‘There’s only one race…


the human race.’ I could listen to Dr John M Perkins all day every day. We are at the Verge Conference in Austin, TX.


Louis and I are leaving for Chicago in 27 days…to earn our Christian Community Development (CCD) Certification while attending CCDA Institute|immersion (click the link for more information). As I previously posted in Go to the people…, we were told that we would have 10 books that we would need to read.  I started reading one ~ thinking it would be on the list.  GREAT BOOK!  I got about 1/2 way through, when I learned it was not on the reading list.  So, that one has been placed on a shelf for another time.  Actually…I’m lending it to a friend while I read the 10 books by our deadline.  Over the last 2 days, they have been hitting the mailbox with quite thud.  Here’s my reading list for the next 27 days…1276 pages in 27 days…averages 47.259259 pages a day.  I guess I better get busy!

  • Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor by Robert D. Lupton, 136pg
  • Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development by Dr. John M. Perkins, 192pg
  • Theirs is the Kingdom by Robert Lupton, 144pg
  • Communities First by Jay H Van Gronigen,  112pg
  • Real Hope in Chicago, by Wayne L. Gordon and Randall Frame  224pg
  • Generous Justice by Tim Keller, 256pg
  • Reconciling All Things by Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice, 116 pg
  • Empowerment Toolkit by Mary Nelson,  96pg plus a dvd that came with it!!

Although this is all a bit overwhelming…I’m excited about being stretched….learning more…and discussing what I learn with others.  OK…my 47+ pages for the day are waiting to be read…so, I’m out!


Go to the people Live among them….Chinese Poem

Louis and I are going to Chicago the first week of April to attend the Christian Community Development Association’s (CCDA) Institute called Immersion.  Following the week-long program, we, along with a small group of about 50, will be certified in Christian Community Development.  We have been doing a lot in our community at a grass-roots level and are looking forward to gaining additional knowledge!  Financially, this a big commitment for us, but we are so grateful to God to have received a CCDA Scholarship that will assist us!

I just learned Friday, that there are 10 (yes…I said 10, ten, diez, dix, zehn) books were are to read before we get there.  They have shipped them to us.  So…I guess you know what I will be doing between now and when we leave on 4.2! (And…what I will probably be writing on!  Thanks for letting me process with you!!)  I’m hoping I have read some of them, at least!  One that I have had on my shelf for a while now is called Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together & Doing It Right, which I started reading Saturday night.  It’s the “Official Handbook of the Christian Community Development Association”….so I am hoping, expecting and praying that this one is on their list, because I’m about half done!

Dr. John Perkins and some other urban ministry gurus like Bob Lupton, Noel Castellanos, and Mary Nelson share their wisdom gained from decades of experience.

In chapter 1, Perkins asks and answers the following question…

…How do we affirm the dignity of people, motivate them and help them take responsibility for their own lives?  By beginning with the people’s felt needs we establish a relationship and a trust, which then enables us to move to deeper issues of development.  This idea of beginning with people’s felt need is what is called the felt need concept.  It is summed up in a Chinese poem…

Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Love them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have:
But of the best leaders
When their task is done
The people will remark
“We have done it ourselves.”

Then, Perkins describes how Jesus engaged the Woman at the Well story located in John 4.  How Jesus started by talking to her and asking her for help — demonstrating she had something of value that she could share with him–Jesus affirmed her dignity and broke down the wall of distrust–before he talked with her about who He was or anything about himself.

Some however sometimes go in like this…

Go to the community with an agenda
Observe the people (maybe)
Tell them what to do
Enable, manipulate and take advantage of them
Even lie to them
Start with what they don’t know
Tell them what YOU think they should know
But the worst of leaders
will do things TO the community
instead of WITH the community
The people will ask
“What have they done to us?”

It’s easy for some of us to come into a situation with all the answers…because although we would never want to admit it…we see ourselves as smarter, more educated, more experienced, more whatever…fill in the blank.  We often think we know what is best for a community.  We force our opinions, thoughts, ideas, etc on a community. When in fact, we do more harm to the community than help.  The community isn’t transforming or coming together, but being torn apart instead.

I’m excited about what we will learn in Chicago…and grateful that we have the opportunity to attend this year.  It’s been on the bucket list for a while…and this is the year!  Praying that we will continue to learn how to see our community and our city through the eyes of Jesus.

Happy Birthday, John Perkins!

Earlier this morning, Louis and I were meeting with a couple of friends to discuss what the Lord is doing in our hearts out of their response to my post “it’s a dangerous thing to let Jesus use your boat.” Bob Lupton.  And John M. Perkins‘ book, Beyond Charity (one of our favorites!!!) was on the table as we discussed the best way to approach sharing the Gospel, being the feet of Jesus and the on-going Urban:Suburban Challenge in doing that.

Louis has had the chance to hear John M. Perkins speak on more than one occasion.  The first being in college at Davidson, when John M. Perkins officially became Louis’ hero! I (green with envy!!!), however, have only had the opportunity to hear him through reading his books and admire his heart, passion and action!!!  I, too, can say…he’s my hero!!!

This was sent to me on FB from a new friend, Kathy Armstrong….but was found posted on Sara Groves’ FB Notes page.   Let me introduce you to John M. Perkins….on his 80th birthday!  Told through Jon Foreman, of Switchfoot and Sara Groves.

Happy Birthday, John M Perkins!!  May there be MANY, MANY more!!!

Last year Troy and I had the opportunity to meet Dr. John Perkins. He spoke for one hour, pulling from his experience as a pastor, civil rights leader, near martyr, and inspired follower of Christ. We were given a ten minute break to move from that session to the next thing, but I needed time. I wanted to go to a quiet place and grieve, to face what he had said, to process how I would respond. And I wanted to hear more – here is a near octogenarian who has lived through one of the most turbulent, dark episodes in our history, and he has clarity on life, and on our role as a people called to carry out the love of God. This week is Dr. Perkin’s 80th birthday – here is a tribute to him written by John Foreman in the Huffington Post, with a link to their new song called THE SOUND, inspired by Dr. Perkins: All of us grow old, but how many of us turn and turn and turn and turn our anger and our questions and our fears and confrontations with injustice, over to God, bent on redemption! This is what Dr. Perkins has done, and at 80 years old, he has good things to say to us. I’m listening!