"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded.
And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager

With Ya, my Ga tutor in Mallam
The Rev. Mike Kinman
Executive Director
Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation
Age: 38

Check out Forsyth School ...
where Robin teaches and
the boys attend.

Since you're already blowing time surfing,
why not do some cool stuff

  • Watch the Make Poverty History videos
  • Watch Sara McLachlan's "World on Fire" video
  • Take a seat at Oxfam America's Hunger Banquet
  • Look at the "Eight Ways to Change The World" photo exhibition
  • See how rich you are on the Global Rich List
  • Make a promise to do something cool -- and get people to do it with you
  • Use your computer to fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases

    While you're at it, do these things
  • Join the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History
  • Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network
  • Join Amnesty International
  • Subscribe to Sojourners Online newsletter about faith, politics and culture
  • Sign the Micah Call and join other Christians in the fight against poverty
  • Subscribe to a great new magazine about women and children transforming our world

    People who show us What One Person Can Do
  • Liza Koerner (Teaching soccer and doing mission work in Costa Rica)
  • Erica Trapps (Raising money so Tanzanian children can go to school -- check out her photo gallery)

    What's happening in Sudan might
    surprise (and shock) you

  • Episcopal Diocese of Lui
  • South Sudanese Friends International
  • The Sudan Tribune
  • SudanReeves -- research, analysis and advocacy
  • Save Darfur
  • Darfur: a genocide we can stop

    For your daily fix on the irreverent...
  • Jesus of the Week
  • The Onion

    Interesting People Who Are Great To Read
  • Beth Maynard's excellent U2 sermons blog
  • Global Voices Online
  • Neha Viswanathan - poetry, commentary, humor, reflections

    Some interesting organizations and programs
  • Borgen Project - poverty reduction through political accountability
  • CARE
  • Center of Concern
  • DATA: Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa (Bono's site)
  • El Circulo de Mujeres/Circle of Women
  • Engineering Ministries International
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship
  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • FreshMinistries
  • Global Campaign Against Poverty
  • Global Ministries
  • Global Work Ethic Fund -- Promoting philanthropy and fundraising in developing and transition countries.
  • Karen Emergency Relief Fund
  • Magdalene House
  • The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Natural Capitalism
  • NetMarkAid - Humanitarian Entrepreneurs
  • North American Association for the Diaconate
  • Peace Child International
  • People Building Peace
  • Project Honduras
  • Results - Creating political will to end hunger
  • St. Paul's Institute
  • Stop Global AIDS
  • TakingITGlobal -- connecting youth for action in local and global communities
  • Tanzania Educational AIDS Mission
  • TEAR (Transformation, Empowerment, Advocacy, Relief) - An Australian Christian anti-poverty movement
  • Working For Change
  • Xigi.net -- an open-source tool to aid discovery in the capital markets that fund good.

    Some Episcopal churches and dioceses doing cool things
  • Companions of Swaziland - Diocese of Iowa's Companion Relationship
  • International Development Missions -- St. Paul's Church, Sparks, NV
  • The Malaria Villages Project - St. Paul's Church, West Whiteland, PA

    Must-read books and websites about them
  • What Can One Person Do: faith to heal a broken world -- Sabina Alkire & Edmund Newell
  • The End of Poverty -- Jeffrey Sachs

    Learn more about things you really should know more about
  • UN Millenium Development Goals
  • The Millennium Campaign
  • AIDS Matters - a resource for global AIDS professionals
  • Christian Aid's in-depth report: "Millennium Lottery: Who lives and who dies in an age of third world debt?"
  • Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Poverty Mapping
  • Solutions for a water-short world
  • Transparency International: The global coalition against corruption
  • UNICEF's State of The World's Children report 2005

    General cool and/or goofy stuff
  • Alicebot chat robot
  • Bono Quotes -- but what's really wild is that it's from a page on Boycottliberalism.com!
  • Buffy Slanguage
  • Big Bunny

    Useful web tools
  • Gcast - make your own podcast
  • Podzinger - podcast search engine
  • Orb - streaming digital media

    July 2003August 2003November 2003January 2004February 2004March 2004April 2004May 2004June 2004July 2004August 2004September 2004October 2004November 2004December 2004January 2005February 2005March 2005April 2005May 2005June 2005July 2005August 2005September 2005October 2005November 2005January 2006February 2006March 2006April 2006June 2006July 2006August 2006September 2006October 2006November 2006December 2006January 2007February 2007March 2007April 2007May 2007September 2007October 2007December 2007February 2008July 2008December 2008April 2009

    Listed on Blogwise
  • Wednesday, July 21, 2004
    I guess you can say my sabbatical is officially over. I'm back at work today!

    Actually, my sabbatical doesn't officially end until July 31 ... but the annual vacation we are taking with Robin's family is not next week as I had thought but the week after (the first week of August), so I am working today through next Wednesday as a tradeoff for that time.

    So ... I'm back! And it's GOOD to be back!

    I'm over the jetlag adjustments to America ... and frankly, the culture shock in re-entry hasn't been as much shock as it has been an increased awareness of things. I have fallen pretty easily into my old patterns of living, but at least for now (and I hope it continues), I'm aware as I'm doing them of how different they are than how people in Ghana (and in most of the world) live.

    I'm much more aware of the life of absolute luxury I live. The 1992 Nissan Maxima that I used to think was just about to fall apart now purrs like a kitten in comparison to the trucks and trotros I rode around Ghana in. I still haven't gone into a Schnucks yet, and I don't know how that will be ... but I'm less shocked seeing the choice when I open my own refrigerator -- but thankfully still remembering what a blessing that choice is.

    Overall, I guess I thought I was a glass half-full person, but I'm realizing now how much of a glass half-empty person I was -- and at least right now, I'm not feeling that way. I know it will take work to remember that.

    What hits you over the head like an anvil in a Warner Bros. cartoon is how you are just inundated with violence and sexuality in this culture. That is just one of the biggest daily differences between life in Ghana and here. Advertising and media is everywhere here, and the content is all high in sex and violence.

    RIght now, one of the bigger problems we have as a church is that we don't have a coherent sexual ethic. It's a big problem because we end up making major decisions without a common, comprehensive and rational foundation. I'm beginning to realize now what a huge task it will be to come up with that ethic in this culture where you pretty much cannot help be bombarded with sexual images wherever you go. It's difficult not to fall into the traps of succumbing to them or reactively wanting to completely isolate yourself and everyone else from them.

    Same with violence. It's not just that every time you turn on the news or pick up a paper it's a story about a shooting, stabbing or kidnapping. It's the violence in our language ... how we use the word "kill" ALL THE TIME. How violence is just a part of our thinking and acting here ... and how dehumanizing that is.

    I wasn't so conscious that that wasn't the case in Ghana (though I did notice the lack of crime stories on the TV news), but coming back here, it really is like being hit between the eyes (talk about a violent image!).

    Looking back, it's ironic that some people were worried about our safety traveling to Ghana. I remember telling them that it was far more dangerous for me to go to North St. Louis than to go to Ghana. Boy, how right I was. In Ghana, my biggest worry was being stranded briefly in a trotro or car that broke down or being involved in some freak accident or getting sick and having to enter Ghana's sketchy health care system (but, of course, if things were really bad, I had my travel insurance). Here is St. Louis, we've got teenagers opening fire on people at garage sales. Yikes!

    Gotta go. Can't wait to see all of you who are in town! Leave your comments and email me and let me know what's up!

    Love you all.

    Mike at 7/21/2004 09:32:00 AM

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    Episcopalians for
    Global Reconciliation

    EGR is an organization resourcing a grassroots movement of spiritual transformation in the Episcopal Church to end extreme poverty on this planet.

    The structure for this movement is the Millennium Development Goals -- 8 goals committed to by all member nations of the UN and a unique partnership of governments and civil society to:

    *End extreme poverty
    *Achieve universal
    primary education

    *Promote gender equalty
    *Improve maternal health
    *Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
    *Promote environmental sustainability
    *Build a global partnership for development

    EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.

    Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.

    "Christ's example is being demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy, which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here. If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't, it will be irrelevant."
    - Bono


    What I'm Reading
    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
    by Doris Kearns Goodwin