Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 14: child soldiers

Shooting them before they can fly.

The UNICEF estimates that there are some 300,000 children (boys and girls under 18) involved in over 30 conflicts around the world. That means that over 300,000 children were abducted, manipulated, brainwashed, and were robbed of their childhood, their innocence and their free will. They were taken at the moment they are most vulnerable. They were "shot" before they could fly.

Thanks to Kony2012 the world is more aware, than ever before, about the horrors of child soldiers. You can join their movement to help bring a man responsible for a good percentage of the 300,000 children abducted,Joseph Kony, to justice.

Also check out Emmanuel Jal and his work to protect and save Africa. He himself was a child soldier and now uses music to tell his story and encourage positive action.

There are certainly more organizations and people working toward justice for these children; don't stop at just these two, but don't ignore them either.

Photos that didn't make it:



Day 13: refugee camps

Open hand. Fist.

Spread out. Compressed.

Space. Cramped.

This is the reversal that occurs when a person finds themselves in a refugee camp. They left their home where they were free, they had space, it was theirs to open or close; to find themselves in a camp where they are cramped with thousands of others, like themselves, but everything about their life has now become like this fist. What was once open and relaxed is now locked in this defense mode. They left freedom to escape a fight and now find themselves in another fight all together; the fight to survive with more than just ability but to maintain your will and dignity to do so.



Thursday, March 29, 2012


I was watching this baby boy who has eczema. He kept reaching up to scratch his neck and the person holding him kept having to pull his arms away. The little boy didn't realize that he was actually hurting himself more; by indulging in his felt need, he was causing himself more pain in the long run. Then I realized, I do the same thing.

Day 12: refugees

"A refugee is legally defined as a person who is outside his or her country of nationality and is unable to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. By receiving refugee status, individuals are guaranteed protection of their basic human rights, and cannot be forced to return to a country where they fear persecution."

This is my song called, "A Refugee's Plea" that may be able to help you understand what over 15 million people go through everyday.

"Run away. It's not safe here anymore. Runaway my child, we've got to go. We can't stay here another night. We've got to pack our things and flee our home.

My homeland is not my own. My nation is a different place than the one I've known. My country has turned against me. Wisdom and fear are what keep me running. I'm a refugee.

Run away. I can't stand it anymore. Run away. I'm not gonna settle for less. Cause I'm hungry but I'm starving for peace. This camp is not what I left for.

My homeland is not my own. My nation is a different place than the one I've known. My country has turned against me. Wisdom and fear are what keep me running. I'm a refugee.

Thought peace was a fair compromise. Leave to live or stay to die. But I lost my heart when I left that night.

This country is not my home. I long for the place my fathers are from. My nation was beautiful before the war. 'Refugee' is not my nationality or my identity."


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 11: justice

This symbol has been used for so many causes, and the cause can change the definition. But, despite the various causes or efforts, it's been used to promote; it has been a universal symbol of victory, peace and love. This is justice; overcoming injustice, having victory over the evil in this world. It's the fight for God's perfect peace and love to reign, as was originally intended. And here's the joy...there will be victory.


Day 10: sweatshops

This is a needle threader which is designed to help you pull the thread through the needle. It represents the injustice of sweatshops in that they have no help. Ironically enough this needle threader was made in China.

11 Facts About Sweatshops:

  1. 85% of sweatshop workers are young women between the ages of 15-25.
  2. Sweatshop workers earn as little as ½ to ¼ of what they need to provide for basic nutrition, shelter, energy, clothing, education and transportation.
  3. In order to meet the basic nutritional needs of their families, sweatshop workers spend between 50% to 75% of their income on food alone.
  4. Almost 75% of the retail price of a garment is pure profit for the manufacturer and retailer.
  5. For less than 1% of Nike’s advertising budget, wages could be doubled for all workers making Nike university clothing.
  6. While the garment industry is notorious for their involvement in the sweatshop industry, they aren’t the only culprits. Common sweatshop goods include tires, auto parts, shoes, toys, computer parts, electronics, and nearly every other kind of manufactured good.
  7. The U.S. government often gives foreign aid to those same countries whose poverty is directly linked to exploitation by US businesses operating abroad.
  8. A recent poll showed that 76% of Americans believe that workers should be protected just as corporate trademarks and products are in the global economy.
  9. According to the Department of Labor, over 50% of U.S. garment factories are sweatshops. Many sweatshops are run in this country's apparel centers: California, New York, Dallas, Miami and Atlanta.
  10. There are probably sweatshops in every country in the world - anywhere where there is a pool of desperate, exploitable workers. Logically, the poorer a country is, the more exploitable its people are. Labor violations are, therefore, especially widespread in third world countries.
  11. Many Americans believe the clothing they purchase is manufactured in America. In fact, the majority of private label clothing is manufactured in at least 48 countries around the world, not in the U.S.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 8: coffee farmers

Coffee farmers?!.....Injustice?! Yes.

Watch this to understand why.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 7: slavery

Can I leave?

Will I get paid?

Am I safe here?

Will you let me go?

Is my family safe?

Don't I have rights?

Am I free?!


Slavery, simply put, is a whole lot "no's." There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today hearing, "no." from outside and within.

"NO, you won't escape."

"NO, you don't deserve better."

"NO, you'll never be free."

"NO one cares."

The last statement doesn't have to be true. Stand up and show you care. If you need help to know how to start, just ask.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 6: generosity

Generosity means that empty pockets are not an issue. Generosity looks past what you lack, looks to what you have, and gives it.

What do you have? What can you be generous with?

You may not be able to go half way across the world and fight injustice with your bare hands, but what do you have? What are you able to give?

Think about it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 5: extreme poverty

When something doesn't go the way we expected or planned we say it "went down the drain." We say it because we feel that what we were doing was wasted or lost. But when you are living in extreme poverty, you live in a drain; it's as if you are in the drain and everything you are doing is fighting against the flow.

Global poverty facts: (

  • $1 challenge. More than 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day and more than 2 billion live on less than $2 a day.
  • Check your assumptions. Americans believe that their government spends 24 percent of the federal budget on aid to poor countries, but the actual figure is less than 1 percent.
  • Daily disasters. HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria—all treatable diseases—claim the lives of over 8,000 people every day in Africa due to lack of access to health care.
  • The water walk. Women in developing countries travel an average of almost four miles each day to collect water.
  • The poor pay more. People living in the poorest slums can pay as much as ten times more for water than those in high-income areas of their own cities.
  • Gender disparity. According to the U.N., the majority of people in poverty are women, who globally earn roughly half as much as men.
  • Daily bread. Food prices have risen 83 percent since 2005, disproportionately affecting those in poverty who spend a higher percentage of their income on food.
  • No school for you. In 2005, a conservative estimate stated that 72 million children around the world of elementary school age were not enrolled in school.
  • The global wealth gap. The richest 20 percent of the world's population receives 75 percent of the world's income, while the poorest 40 percent receive only 5 percent of the world's income.


Day 4: trash

How is trash injustice? Well let me ask; is it just that some have to live off the filthy waste of the privileged? Is it just that some have to make their homes amongst the things others discarded from theirs?

I don't believe so.

The first responsibility! as humans, we were given by God was stewardship. If there are people eating garbage...we have failed.

I took this picture in Thailand last year. What amazed me in Thailand was the dichotomy between God's beautiful creation and man's disasters. To have a country filled with so many beautiful things and equally bear so many heart-wrenching sights.

This is not the worst.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch this:



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 3: homelessness

It is estimated that in a given year 3.5 million people, half being children, experience homelessness in the US. (

This picture was taken looking through an empty beer bottle. We often think that if we look through their eyes that we'll find a life muddled with alchohol; but is that really the whole picture?

You can choose to look and see that they want the kind of change that fills their empty bottle or you can choose to see that they want the kind of change that fills another, more profound emptiness. What do you see?

I wrote a song based from conversations I had with friends I made amongst the homeless of Auckland, NZ and when I shared it recently with a man currently living on the streets he confirmed that it is a true testimony of what they experience. So I'd like to share that with you.

Verse 1: Wake up but not sure why. Stomach pains from last night. Don't want to go anywhere and be the focus of other's stares, but what choice do I have? Starve or face the shame? So I go back to my normal spot, lay my hat down for spare change. Hundreds of people passing by and I've only made three bucks. I wish I had a sign to say, "I'm not trying to get drunk." But I don't think that they even see me here. I am just trash that's yet to be picked up.

Chorus: I'm homeless not a criminal. Human not a sideshow. If I had another way I wouldn't be sitting here. But your blank faces don't help me and your coins don't do much either. There has to be a better way. Where are the hands of Jesus?

Verse 2: Am I just a pebble in the church's shoe? A check mark for Christian service? Does Jesus even see me here? Am I really unimportant? I know I've made some bad mistakes but these mistakes have left me here in chains. And I can't seem to break away; all I need is an escape. I see your angels. Do you see my demons? They're choking and they're mocking me. Can't you see me screaming?

Tag: I once heard a man speak of hope in God above. But why should I serve a God who isn't here below? In passing they say, "God bless you." Is that some kind of joke? Because I've been here for seven years and the blessing isn't coming.

Homelessness is everywhere. It shouldn't even exist, but here it remains. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to choose to see and do with what you see?

Pictures that didn't make the cut:



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 2: no water

Over a billion people don't have access to clean drinking water. And in most parts of the world, "access" to it requires walking an average of 3 hours a day; Africans alone, spend 40 billion hours a year walking to collect water. (

Water is our most basic need and too many people lack it. March 22, 2012 is World Water Day. On that day, many (including myself) will go 24hours without water. And for every time that we are thirsty, reach for the fausset, a glass, a bottle, etc...we will pray for the millions without water. Join the event, find out more and share it with your friends here:


Photos that didn't make the cut:





Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 1: hunger

There are around 925,000,000 starving people in the world. Hunger is killing them.

Find out how you can help at


Photos that didn't make the cut:



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

30 Day Justice Cam Challenge

This challenge is for all those who love photography and are passionate about social justice. Take the 30 day challenge, take a picture everyday that you feel corresponds with the given topic, and upload it to your instagram, flickr, Facebook, pinterest, tumblr, blog, etc. The great thing is you don't have to be an amazing photographer to participate in the challenge; you just have to have a camera. So go for it! And help our world, your friends, and your family grow in awareness and understanding of justice!

Do me a favor: if you like this or know someone who might like it, SHARE IT. Thanks

Note for participants: Be sure and send me a link so that I can see your pictures :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kony 2012


I don't know how you felt, but at the end of the video I was sold. I've followed Invisible Children's work for a while, I even looked at applying for a job with them; so maybe for me it was an easier jump. I went right to the website, went to the store, clicked on the action pack and got all the way until the point of no return when I saw the big number behind the dollar sign and I came to a halt.
I have about $25 a week budgeted for my personal expenses. I have no job besides the full time volunteer work that people support me financially to do. People entrust their hard earned money to me to live and to work. So I prayed...

...and I bought it. Let me explain why.

I have given my life to help the broken. The only way that I can do that is firstly through the help and power of Christ and secondly, through the things that I have in my hands. I cover my blogs, my twitter, my facebook, my lyrics, my music, my art, my work, my speech, my thoughts, my reading, myself and my environment with my passion for justice in an effort to stand in the gap for the voiceless. How could I halt? How could I not click and put my money where my heart is? The money that I've been entrusted with to accomplish this work for which I've been called. Yeah it was expensive and I'm going to have to make some serious adjustments in my budget for the rest of this month, but it proves to be far more valuable than the pennies that would have been saved.

Let's put our money, our time and our efforts where our heart is.