April 12, 2011

The One Percent

At some point this year, I came to the realization that every brand and product that Corporate America & the rest of the Corporate world make....are for the 1%.

Last semester I attended Campus House' week of critical Christian information [name has escaped me for the moment]. Jason Tennenhouse, Director of Campus House, talked about the 1%. Get ready for this: Less than 1% of the world's population is NOT stricken with poverty. That means that we college students, middle-class, normal job Americans are the richest people in the world. Those of us who own cars, buy shampoo on a regular basis, and frequent at IHOP and McDonalds have got it made.

Think about this: we may be working in a campus bookstore or the dining court and have $12 to our names, but we are rich. Filthy rich. So rich it's disgusting. Frankly, this upsets me. Because on those days that I overslept and didn't have time to make lunch [in my fully-stocked kitchen] I grab a sandwich from Subway and go on my way. To college students, when you really look at it, $5 for a footlong sandwich is a "great deal". While we're feasting, there are people who literally are drinking out of the same muddy ravine their cows drink in. This upsets me. My $3 frappe from McDonalds can feed a family, longer than it would feed my American stomach. I came to this revelation last semester and I can't let this go.

What upset me most recently, however, is when I look at products. I don't have cable right now, because my roomate and I don't want to pay for it. But I want you to turn on the tv and watch your sitcoms and commercials. Everything on the television is literally for the 1%. No one else in the world can afford both Herbal Essence shampoo, a 12-pack of toilet paper, buy a couple songs off iTunes and hit up Burger King on the way home. No one else can buy concert tickets, buy iPods, buy apps for iPods, and buy Halloween costumes that you're never going to wear again. Who else hits up Redbox, goes to the movies, eats 5lb of popcorn and still has money left over to buy Christmas decorations for your 1st college apartment?

Satan has been telling us this aweful lie that EVERYONE believes: "I can't help, I'm just one person, I don't have money to spare."

As the last of my college refund check is drained into my gas tank, I realized this was a lie. We are not without. Even when my friends and I have only a loaf of bread and some milk left in our tiny kitchens, we are still blessed. So much more blessed than we realize. Think about it this way: everything on this earth and in this universe belongs to God. Everything, including your bank account and your time. If God asked us to transfer some of HIS funds from our hands to someone else or give some time for the widow and orphan in your town, how can we not?

We are LITERALLY God's hands and feet. We need to move. We can skip out on one action movie this month to send food or supplies to Japan. We can put one shirt back on the rack at the mall and send aid to Haiti, who is STILL in ruins, even if the news stopped talking about them.

an orphan in Japan

destruction after the tsunami & earthquake

Haiti, one year after the earthquake

Hope 61, an organization created to help trafficking victims

God's been convicting me of sending what I DO HAVE, time. I volunteer at a transitional housing center, where the homeless come for food and resources. I have money, $3 to my name and He's still providing everything I need. Connections, I am blessed to live in America. I already own a passport, if God told me to GO, what should stop me? What should stop us from running to rescue children in the darkest places on Earth? Or women and children trapped in sex trafficking? Or Haiti, New Orleans, Japan and every other natural disaster. We are the ONE PERCENT. We are it; if we don't bring the name of Jesus to them, who will?

Until we meet again!
Jess ♥

P.S. Michael Jackson's 'Man in the Mirror'

Photos borrowed from the websites of CNN, Huffington Post, Charity Water & Hope 61.

April 4, 2011

My 1st WinterJam

And hopefully not my last!

I had such an amazing night with 4 of my Sisters in Christ. Earlier on Saturday March 26th, I had a 6-hour meeting with my Guatemala team. Around 4pm, I was invited to join my girls for a roadtrip to Champaign, IN for Winter Jam 2011! We didn't get on the road until 5:30 and danced our way into the city at 7:30. We were half an hour late but we found awesome seats to the left of the stage. I feel so blessed to have a chance to worship with some awesome people of God.

We got to worship with Francesca Battistelli!

And Kutless!

As well as Sidewalk Prophets and Newsboys! [Favorite S.P. song is definitely "Love You Anyway"!] It was such an amazing night. We missed some great artists, like RED and Newsong, but it's ok! My sister decided to support a sweet little baby boy named Tuan through Hope International. [I'll post his pic soon]

Our amazing night ended at this shady-looking IHOP (and their incredibly large receipts).

We got back to Purdue at 3am! God bless Arika for driving us and Jazmyn for staying awake with her. :) If you ever get a chance to go to WinterJam (they're touring all over right now) GO! GO GO GO! It's only $10 and it's truly a blessing.

Until we meet again!
Jess ♥