Friends, this is not a regular type of Mama:Monk post and I try to keep posts here reflective rather than instructive. But I feel like what I'm sharing is in line with Mama:Monk's values, and I'm hoping you'll feel the same way.
This is Parzheen. She's an Iraqi girl waiting for life saving heart surgery. How sweet is that face? Underneath there's a picture of Mohammed, who is also waiting. Today’s post is bit different than usual: Instead of talking about me and my kids, I want you to see the faces of a couple of children whose lives we have the opportunity to help heal. That's a big deal, right?
I’m writing this just after learning that Osama Bin Laden was killed. The Twittersphere is a blurry blob of “welcome to hell, Osama” tweets, news updates, Jack Bauer trending topics, and a few humble reminders that Jesus invites us to “love our enemies” and “pray for those who persecute” us.
The thing I’m sure about is that it won’t take long for the justice Americans feel tonight to translate into a larger divide between our culture and Middle Eastern cultures. That’s why it’s appropriate for us to all take a look at Parzheen and Mohammed, and consider their parents, who are desperate to save their lives and get them the heart surgeries they need.
This is where I tell you that I’m in love with an organization called Preemptive Love Coalition. PLC is working with Parzheen's and Mohammed's families to bring them the surgeries they need. There’s not room on this post to tell you all about what Preemptive Love Coalition does, but the gist is that they raise money to offer heart surgeries to Iraqi children. They raise the funds by selling hand-made Kurdish shoes. Watch a video about it here.
In case you don’t want to click on this link and read what I’ve written about PLC before, I’ll share a paragraph from a post last summer:
In a time when all we seem to hear about is the discord between the “Christian” and the “Muslim” world. When yahoos who want to burn the Koran in the name of Jesus are the only picture most people in the Middle East have of the US or Christianity, Cody and Michelle shared tonight about doing more than simply loving the idea of peace. They described their longing to be “peacemakers.” For them, that means seeking to bring wholeness into the lives of the people they encounter in Iraq. By loving families who are frantically searching for a cure for their dying children, they are slowly building peace between Muslims and Christians. And, as Cody shared tonight, even desperate enemies, like the Kurds and Arabs of Iraq, whose families are waiting for life-saving surgeries for their children, are building peace out of their equal understanding and longing for the health of their children.
Here’s where I tell you how to be a hero for Mother’s Day. PLC is teaming up with another beautiful organization called Prosperity Candle and this week they're asking for our help.
According to their website, Prosperity Candle invests “in enterprising women living in distressed areas of the world…places that are torn by conflict and social unrest, devastated by natural disaster, and trapped in never-ending poverty…We believe that when a woman is offered the opportunity to develop her entrepreneurial skills and create a thriving enterprise, she feels empowered and self confident, knowing that through her resourcefulness she can support her family with dignity and realize her dreams for a better future.”
Prosperity Candle in Iraq is now working with PLC, allowing the funds from their candles to go toward funding surgeries. When we purchase candles through PLC’s site, our money is not only empowering these Iraqi women as entrepreneurs, it's offering Mohammed and Parzheen wholeness.
I can’t think of anything more beautiful we can do for our mothers: Giving women the ability to care for themselves and their children, and in doing so, offering life to two children who are on the verge of losing theirs.
Here’s my petition:
1) Will you join me this Mother’s Day in purchasing a candle for your mother from Prosperity Candle?
2) Will you blog about it? Or tweet about it? Or say something on Facebook about it?
Let’s spread the word and see what we can make happen this week for these precious kids. Our world is broken. Wouldn’t it be beautiful if we brought some healing? You lovely readers are brave and compassionate and full of mercy.