Calvary Love

A song by Jim Bloom, Minneapolis
Inspired and adapted from IF by Amy Carmichael

Calvary love does not seek its own interests
Calvary love seeks to empty itself
Calvary love seeks the good of another
Loves only the dust at the foot of the cross

Calvary love is not easily angered
Calvary love is both patient and kind
As a sweet-water jar that is filled to the brim
When this love is hurt spills only sweet-tasting good

The Bloody Feet Of Jesus

There was no one else home at Casa San Dimas when three young men showed up at the door, the day after I’d returned from my end-of-3-years discernment period. I was on a spiritual high from the worldwide conference, and from the decision I’d made to recommit to InnerCHANGE and Comunidad San Dimas for the next season.

One Batch of Bread At a Time

This past Saturday a man was shot on the corner right by our InnerCHANGE office.   Words can't adequately describe the sense of helplessness John, Birgit, our friend Ryan and I felt as we first heard the shots, then the commotion as neighbors gathered on the street to see what was going on.  Someone we know and love could've easily been the target of those gunshots.  Violence is so random and unpredictable here. Most of the perpetrators and victims, however, are young men roughly between the ages of 16 and 30.

Mi Cajita de Dulces

(My Candy Box)
by Melanie Avila, Guatemala

I’ll sell you a lollipop for un quetzal –
my stomach is growling, a cup of atol*
would curb my hunger

Or perhaps a cookie for Q2.50 –
tonight I need to prepare supper for myself
and my 2 brothers

I also sell gum –
I save every quetzal to pay the rent for my room (Q400/mo = $50 USD)

Here’s a cigarette if you like –
I need to buy a new cajita de dulces;
the police took my brother’s and he has nothing to sell…it’s been a month

"Where Are The Men?"

He’s one of those boys with a gentle, sweet smile / That makes you look twice / Here on the streets, you notice what’s nice / See, out here you get picked on if you’re not a little mean / So, he walks the line in between / Stepping from scene to scene / Just wanting to be seen / One day hopping fences with the gang / Another day dropping the game / Looking for respectable gain / But who does he have to show him how? / All these grown kids just sitting around / Having somehow missed the right of passage / From boyhood to manhood / Now lacking the tools to pass on what they should

A Visit to Sunrise

I leave the house at 6 in the morning -- coffee thermos and latest Cambodia Daily in hand -- my tuk-tuk weaves around early morning traffic and heads for the Central Market, where I catch the 6:30 bus to Kompong Cham, a provincial capital two hours north of Phnom Penh. The city streets and tall buildings soon turn into rice fields and wooden houses on stilts. The bus honks its horn to warn schoolchildren on bicycles, farmers taking their produce to market, and the occasional brahmin cow, to stay out of the road.

Experiencing the Coup in Cambodia 1997

In the fall of 1996 Susan and I moved to Cambodia. A few months later there was a military coup on 5-6 July 1997—how about those fire works! In these two days, the forces of Hun Sen’s CPP faction almost totally gutted the royalist FUNCINPEC faction, killing most of its political and military leadership and chasing Prince Ranariddh to Thailand. The fighting on these 2 days was almost exclusively between the soldiers of the two sides, largely concentrated in Cambodia’s major cities—like Phnom Penh where we were living.

Good News for Roaddawgs

Life for homeless young people is hard. Some struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction. Many struggle with the memories of past abuses, lost friends, broken relationships. All of this, compounded with the constant threat of another hard night on the streets, leads many to a thick and seemingly impenetrable hopelessness. The lyrics of the quintessential street punk band, Choking Victim, capture well the spirit that haunts many of the kids we love and spend our time among:

"God Cries For Us"

“Dios llora por nosotros (God cries for us)" was the phrase Jose used as he shared his testimony with the rest of the street youth. Jose is 38 years old and started working and living on the streets at age 9. He now sleeps in the dormitory at night and washes cars to earn a living. He goes to church on a regular basis and attends night school, working on his high school education. But Jose’s life was not always so clean...