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Body and Soul
On the surface, the staff of Word Made Flesh might seem easily pigeonholed as standard-issue evangelicals. These are the kind of Christians who close their eyes and raise their hands while singing worship tunes. The stereotype is that these are also the kind of Christians for whom faith means only individual piety. But these young people are choosing to live in the world's most destitute urban slums, among the poorest of the poor. Why? Because the Bible tells them so.
In Galati, Romania, Word Made Flesh's largest drop-in center is a fully functioning three-ring circus of street kids, staff members, and stray dogs. The center has the usual services, but also offers amenities that are meaningful to children who sleep in alleys - laundry facilities, an art center, a woodworking and stonemasonry workshop, and individual lockers. The Galati center also has a terraced garden for which the children share responsibility. "[It will] teach the kids a usable skill as well as provide food," staff member Bill Haley notes. "Part of their learning is to participate in the work of...the place that is meant for them and is truly theirs."
In El Alto, Bolivia, initial research revealed that women in prostitution were receiving little attention or care. After visiting brothels and becoming acquainted with the women who worked there, Word Made Flesh built a drop-in center that has become a safe haven and lunchtime gathering spot. The women named it "House of Hope," and in addition to the reading groups and social gatherings it hosts, it will soon offer free medical care, counseling, legal services, and job training to the women and their families.
Turning Rhymes Into Votes
Blue Nuns Go Green
Nicknamed the "Blue Nuns" for the blue habits they used to wear, the Catholic sisters of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have renovated their motherhouse and campus...
Churches Protest Rios Montt
The Conference of Evangelical Churches of Guatemala vigorously protested a ruling by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court
This Land is Our Land
The land is God's gift to everyone," affirmed leaders from Latin American and U.S. churches in a statement supporting Brazil's Landless Workers Movement.
No Women? No Aid
Church organizations in Malawi supported by Norwegian and Danish Church Aid have been told to "vigorously" advocate gender and human rights issues.
Youth For Sale
The sex trade is often seen as an industry that plagues remote developing countries, but a Washington, D.C. conference in July broke that stereotype
President Bush completed a five-day, five-nation tour of Africa this summer, promising those he met that they are not alone in their fight against AIDS.
Can I Get That in Forest Green?
Tired of the clear-cut lumber you get at Home Depot and Lowe's? The Canadian Eco-Lumber Co-op lets you feel good about your wood.
Open Season on Activists?
Standing for peace in a war zone is never easy, but it's becoming next to impossible for Middle East human rights groups.
In April, Saskatchewan's Rosthern Junior College sponsored "In Exile...For A While," a new youth immersion program launched by the Mennonite Central Committee...
Children Lead - Who Follows?
In Nairobi, 700 children walked out of school and through the streets this April, calling for an end to their country's debt burden.
Planning a stint in the federal pen? Don't leave home without Clare Hanrahan's Jailed for Justice: A Woman's Guide to Federal Prison Camp.
The (Other) Boys from Brazil
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met with Catholic bishops in May to discuss his Zero Hunger Program.
A new report from the University of North Carolina's National Study of Youth and Religion confirms the old saw: A family that prays together, stays together.
Good Shipping News
Harbor City Services Inc.
Yeast of the Kingdom?
Cistercian monks in southern Poland hope to become the country's first distributors of an ale brewed from a 17th century recipe.
Shoes of the Fisherman?
This spring Europe was rocked by a religious fashion war when the Danish superstore Kvickly started selling flip-flop sandals featuring images of Jesus and Mary.