Tag: social justice

Mar 11 2009

Finding our voice

Lenten reflection: Week 3
By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

In the Gospel of John, we see Jesus entering the Temple in a fury of righteous anger at the unjust practices of Temple and driving out the money changers and vendors. He knew his fellow Jews had to pay to buy Temple sacrifices. Thus, a system of commerce had been established for Temple worship that would exclude the poor who could not pay to worship. (John 2:13-22)

At CFCA, we do not get involved in the politics of the countries or local areas where we work. However, just as Jesus became a voice for the poor and took on those who would keep them subjugated so, too, when poor find they have a voice (both personally and as a community), they discover the strength to take on the powers that keep them oppressed.

In Hyderabad, India, there is a CFCA community called Church Colony. It is about half a mile from the main road, so everyone walked that unpaved distance to catch a bus or get anywhere. The women in the CFCA mothers groups went to the local officials to demand that the city pave their “road” so vehicles could get to their community and walking would be easier. The local officials agreed. Then, the mothers asked the officials to pay their community members to do the construction, instead of outside laborers. Again, they agreed. So, Church Colony got a road as well as some temporary employment.

After some time, the women returned to the officials to say that the road was great, but they needed it to be well-lit at night for safety reasons. They got their lights.

The women then turned their attention to water. The community only had access to water a few hours a day, but the adjacent neighborhood (which is slightly better off) had water all day, every day. The women realized that, because of the way the local roads were laid out, people from the neighboring community often used the new road the women had petitioned for.

They organized a blockade of the road, aimed at people from the neighboring community and said that they would share the use of the road if the neighboring community would share its water. Now Church Colony has water all day, too.

Sometimes making changes in society requires righteous anger, marching, protesting and turning over tables, like Jesus did in the Temple. But not always. Creative community building, tapping into gifts of the individuals in the group, and a little non-violent opposition can go a long way toward changing opinions.

Reflection questions:
1. When have you ever felt indignation or anger? Looking back, was it warranted or were there other motives?
2. What are the elements in our society that do (or should) make us angry, and what does God require of us at such times?

Watch a video about this community in India >

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Oct 6 2008

Blog for CFCA and join the discussion on global poverty

Join the discussion about global poverty on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008.

We know that people in the blogosphere can learn so much through your CFCA sponsor experiences: what it’s like to join with families living in poverty; telling about how your own view of poverty has changed through your sponsorship, and how poverty now has a personal meaning for you.

Blog Action Day ’08 gives bloggers around the world a chance to focus one day Wednesday, Oct. 15 – on one topic – poverty.

Blog Action Day ’08 gives bloggers around the world a chance to focus one day  Wednesday, Oct. 15 – on one topic – poverty.

Here’s how the Blog Action Day Web site describes it:
“Blog Action Day is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.”

To be a part of the event:

  1. Register your blog on the blog action day site (blogactionday.com) between now and Oct. 14.
  2. Start preparing your blog message based on your experiences as a CFCA sponsor.
    (e-mail us if you have questions)
  3. Post your blog entry on Oct. 15.


At the end of your blog post, please feel free to include the following description of CFCA:

CFCA is a Kansas City-based international movement serving people living in poverty in 25 developing countries. We help families put food on the table, send their children to school and have a decent place to live so that together we can end the cycle of poverty. Founded by lay Catholics acting on the call to serve the poor, CFCA serves people of all faiths. To learn more, or to sponsor a child, visit www.cfcausa.org.

If you don’t have a blog, but would like to start one to post your message about poverty, here are a few blog sites that make it quick and easy:

Thank you for joining CFCA and sharing your personal story to help the world gain a better understanding of poverty and ways to help.

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