Monday, July 2, 2012

day 20: why i cannot be silent

Why cannot I not be silent? Why not just go on about my life? Why not just have a normal life like everyone else? I cannot. It is simply an impossibility. After what I have seen, I cannot remain silent on the subject of children suffering. We must do something. Or else all seems meaningless, and life, this world we live in, a total irony and contradiction to what we know about how we should live.

We must unite and overcome what the world has done to them. Myself and anyone who would care to take their time to read such a blog as this (you), we're a minority, but a passionate minority, and there's something unstoppable about those with passionate voices and convictions. So let me be a little fan to your flame, and just say, all hope is not lost, we can do this, and we are doing it. There are little girls in our education center near this slum colony who have hope, who's lives have been changed. That's progress, that's light, that's hope in the darkness.

I'm dedicating day 20 to this little girl who recently followed me around in this slum colony in Hyderabad, India. At one particular moment she started spontaneously posing for me, and she really responded to seeing herself after showing her what she looked like on the screen. Here she symbolically posed with the "keep silent" gesture. To me, it says "I cannot speak" which for her is true. She cannot speak up for herself. She has no platform, no voice by which she can express her struggles, her burdens, her dreams, her hopes. So here, sweetheart, I'm speaking up for you. This is what it's all about. We must tell their story. We must not remain silent.

Today we received another $100 toward our goal putting us up to $4,153 of the $5,000 goal. This is incredibly encouraging to me. Today I sent over the first $4,000 and instructed our native team to let the families or guardians of the next 8 children on the wait list to get ready to enroll at The Children's Hope Center in Hyderabad.

There, they will receive new uniforms, their first pair of shoes, hygiene items, and everything they need to enroll in a local school we're partnered with. Then, when we bring them back to the center from their school day, they will get daily help with homework and additional tutoring, time in our computer lab, and a fresh-cooked meal before we take them home. I cannot wait to post the photos our team will capture of these newly enrolled kids embarking on their new journey of hope. Here are a couple of the bright scenes of hope from our program there.

Our momentum on reaching the $5,000 goal has slowed a bit. Would you consider chipping in even a small amount, just $1, $5 or $10 toward the goal? Let that be your way of saying you want to overcome indifference, to do something, even though you often feel you cannot do anything with as little as you can afford to give. I just want to challenge you in your thinking--what you feel is nothing, is huge to these kids. Let them hear your voice, give something, however small it is.

If you cannot give, that's ok, then be a voice for them. Share with friends your concerns, your burdens, tweet about it, post about it on Facebook, Pinterest, wherever you're plugged in. Do something!

Oh, I'm so excited, I almost forgot to tell you! The Children's Hope Center is in the midst of a huge upgrade with a brand-new building and a new clean water well going in as I type this! I'll write more about it tomorrow. I can't wait to share with you what a difference this is going to make. And, a little breaking news--that new center I wrote about, the one we hope to launch soon (where I shared about the lady making chai tea for us), it looks like we're going to be taking the first steps to start that very soon!

For those of you who enjoy taking a look at what I've managed to cook up for just $1, here's the recap from today. I felt somehow inspired again by all of your support, and overall this was a good day. Hunger? Yes. Cravings? Definitely. But, sustained and thankful.

Breakfast. I did the carrot and raisin oatmeal again. It's amazing what a little natural sweetener like raisins and carrots will do to give you an added boost. It really fortifies the oatmeal. Breakfast taco with one scrambled egg, rice, beans. I rationed my tortillas conservatively at the front end of the challenge so that now, I have one tortilla for each meal for the remainder of the challenge! It's the little things that make a big difference!

Lunch. I'm calling this one the Southwestern Cabbage Salad. Let me just say, that for about 33 cents, you can't go wrong with this. This is a very tasty salad. I seasoned and toasted a corn tortilla I had cut into little strips, mixed with one leaf of chopped cabbage, half a cup of cold pinto beans, half cup of cold brown rice, 1/3 of a chopped carrot, tossed with maybe about 1/8 cup of vinegar, seasoned with season-all. Boom! I'd eat this any day, you really should try it. The beans and rice create a complete protein, so this is a very healthy meal.

Snack. Snack? What? Yes, you read that right, I tried baking a little granola treat type of snack today, to tide me over, thanks to a suggestion from a comment on last night's blog entry (thanks Annetta). Just a tiny bit of oatmeal, raisins, a splash of canola oil and sesame seeds, and a half teaspoon of sugar, mixed and pinched into a little ball, baked at 400F/205C for 10 minutes. Explosion of flavor and massive addition to the variety chart.

Dinner. This one was really good, folks. I'm not patting myself on the back, but just saying, you really should try these recipes. You'll be so surprised at what you can do with so little. I had enjoyed the potato/pasta combination so much the other night that I decided to give that another twist. This time, I just added a 1/3 of a brick of ramen noodles with the same previous small amount (half of a small potato) cubed and boiled with the pasta for 9 minutes, mixed with two teaspoons of pasta sauce, and seasoned with season-all. Delicious combination of textures and flavor. Also went for a new variation on the re-fried beans--simply added a half-cup of brown rice to the recipe, mashed together with a half-cup of pinto beans! With the homemade corn chips, this was an amazing addition to my meal, and another complete protein! All for about 33 cents!

Take Action!

1) Please consider giving toward my goal of 10 scholarships for children of the Indian slums. So far we've raised $4,153 of my $5,000 goal to cover 10 scholarships. Every little bit helps!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to Peace Gospel. If you're in the UK, use this link.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. One of the main goals is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!


  1. I was hoping you would post pictures of the kids being enrolled. I really look forward to seeing them! I'm so excited for them! And I must say, the dishes you've been preparing look delicious. I will never again complain about not having anything to cook in the house. You have made me see so many things differently! Have a great evening, Kirby!

    1. Michelle, thank you so much for your incredibly encouraging words. So great to hear from you. Have a great 4th of July!