Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Does Compassion Make a Difference?

There are children in the world whose parents cannot provide for them. They live all over the world, but mostly in third-world countries. These children have no access to food, clean water or an education. They have no future and no hope of changing their circumstances. While many people feel that giving aid to these third-world countries is the right and kindhearted thing to do, many others carry on the view that this only intensifies the problem and makes the situation worse.

Numerous organizations from the United Nations to World Food Bank are trying to help the problem. Trillions of dollars are poured into third-world countries from the United States alone. Still, there are people who live in poverty. In his article, "Third World Development: Foreign Aid or Free Trade?," John Majewski, discusses how when you bring food in from another source, the farmer has no one to sell his crop to, and so he is out of a job. Thus, people in third-world countries need the aid more and more. According to Nicholas Crawford, with the United Nations World Food Programme, one of the solutions to poverty is to provide people with an education. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, with Justice Africa, argues that because the people of these countries are powerless, the government spends the aid on wars, rather than food and education.

There is an organization that models a successful way to not only provide for the immediate needs of poor people, but also works to promote change. This organization is called Compassion International. They were established in 1952 by Rev. Everett Swanson. Compassion International is now lead by Dr. Wesley K. Stafford. When Compassion comes into a child's life, the basics are provided for; food, clean water, clothes and shelter. However, they seek to do more than keep these children dependant on the rest of the world. Compassion sets up schools, health clinics, and offers seminars to parents so they can learn how to take care of and provide for their kids. Compassion sets all this up within the community so that eventually, there is a change in the whole community. This tactic changes things from the inside out, going directly to the people rather than going through governments that are unstable. It also creates jobs within the community. Children have better social habits, mothers are educated on health, and fathers are taught how to do things more efficiently. When a child has completed their basic education, they have the possibility of being accepted into a college where they can become anything they desire to be. Many go back to their villages and try to make their communities better, giving back to their communities.

In 2004, there was a food shortage in Tanzania, Africa. Compassion International stepped up to the plate and provided food and shelter for the children in their program, about 10,252 families. These children did not just get food; they also got an education by being involved with Compassion International.

Compassion's Leadership Development Program allows students to go to college and gives them support spiritually and academically. Over 600 students have graduated from college through the program. According to Mike Hinckfoot, the director of the program, about 80 percent of the students that have graduated have gained employment, and 72 percent are employed within six months of graduation. About five percent are sponsoring their siblings to go through the program.

One of the many examples of Compassion's success is Jenifer. She enrolled in a compassion program when she was seven years old. After she completed the primary education program, Jennifer was accepted into college. She is pursuing a medical degree, so that she can help those in her community by providing them with medical care. People, like Jennifer, find hope and strength to break the cycle of their parents.

Another key argument for the people who disagree with aid is that there is no financial accountability. At Compassion International, 83.1 percent of the funds received go to the programs and the remaining 16.9 percent goes to administration expenses and fundraising. Since you cannot have a organization without people to run it, and you cannot get funds without getting the word out that you need funds, it seems like a wise decision to use the money in that way. Compassion sends out annual financial reports, and they also use independent auditors. Compassion has received four stars out of four stars from Charity Navigator seven consecutive times. They are listed in the American Institute of Philanthropy as a top-rated charity. In addition, they were on the list for 30 of the Brightest Shining Light Ministries from MinistyWatch.com, in August 2006.

Compassion has proven over the years that with the right structure you can break the cycle of poverty. They take children who do not have the basic essentials to live in the world and equip them to change the world. Through Compassion International, over one million people have had the opportunity to change their lives for the better. They have proven that a private charity can make a difference in the poverty crisis.

Works Cited


 

American Institute Philanthropy. Top-Rated Charities According to the American Institute Philanthropy. 19 January 2009. 19 January 2009 <http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html>.

Campbell, Brady and Henry Gurian. Compassion International: From Scamp to Scholar. 21 August 2006. 19 January 2009 <http://www.compassion.com/sponsordonor/features/compassionstories/082106.htm>.

Campbell, Brandy. 10 Questions With Mike Hinckfoot, Leadership Development Ministry Director. 26 March 2008. 19 January 2009 <http://www.compassion.com/sponsordonor/features/ldpstories/ten-questions-with-mike-hinckfoot.htm>.

Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator. 1 September 2008. 19 January 2009 <http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=574>.

Compassion International. About Us: Compassion International. 19 January 2009 <http://www.compassion.com/about/aboutus.htm>.

—. Financial Information: Compassion International. 2007. 19 January 2009 <http://www.compassion.com/about/financial/default.htm>.

Majewski, John. Third World Develpment: Foreign Aid or Free Trade? 19 January 2009 <http://www.theadvocates.org/freeman/8707maje.html>.

Malila, Erasto. Arush Times: CIT supplies relief food to the "poor of the poorest". 22 April 2004. 19 January 2009 <http://www.arushatimes.co.tz/2004/16/front_page_2.htm>.

Ministry Watch. 30 of the Brightest Shining Light Ministries. August 2006. 19 January 2009 <http://www.ministrywatch.com/mw2.1/pdf/SL_Top30.pdf>.

Nicholas Crwford, Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem. BBC News Head to Head: Africa's food Crisis. 6 Febuary 2006. 19 January 2009 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4670744.stm#top>.

US Census. U.S. Government Foreign Grants and Credits by Country:. 2007. 19 January 2009 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/09s1257.pdf>.


 


 

Are general aviation airports good for a comunity, or are they a hinderance?

Thousands of pilots across the world enjoy flying. Most people can get their private pilot license. Many people enjoy traveling, and pilots enjoy the freedom of going wherever they want to go, when they want to go. All they need is a plane, a runway and good weather, and off they go. Many private pilots use their planes for family vacation, getting to work and other things that would otherwise take a long time to commute back and forth.

When a pilot gets ready to fly, he or she considers many factors; weather, instruments, safety, passengers, birds, other aircraft, and the maintenance of his or her aircraft. The pilot also takes into consideration where they are going, and for more than 54.2 million flights, the destination is a general aviation airport. These airports are based mostly in small towns and cities offering a quick way to get from city to city. There are groups such as, No Oldham Airport, that are against General Aviation airports, saying that they cause noise, less security and unwanted expenses to their communities. Where is the balance? Do the benefits outweigh the negative points?

Many people that own homes near airports complain about the noise an aircraft makes when it is taking off. Airplanes are noisy, that is a fact. Trains, automobiles, motorcycles, and lawn mowers are also noisy. Noise happens every day in many places. An aircraft taking off is only in a flight pattern for about fifteen minutes, and therefore the noise does not last for long. Having you neighbor mow their lawn makes more noise for a longer period of time than an aircraft takes to do run-ups and take off.

Since the events of 9/11, security on the ground at airports has become a major concern. The Transportation Security Department has published recommendations to make airports more secure. It is however, up to the General Aviation airports, to act upon the advice. Some airports have acted on it and others have not. At some airports you can just walk-in; others, you need a security code to get anywhere on the airport. A number of airports have fences that are 20 feet high with barbed wire on the top, and others have picket fences. It is completely up to the management of the airport on how secure it is. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you have too much security and it seems like the airport is constantly on lock down, it takes some of the fun away from the public. However, if you have no security at an airport, you have a perfect opportunity for things such as theft or damage of property.

Often, non-pilots express the idea that flying is unsafe. According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, there were 632 general aviation fatalities, compared to 42,884 highway fatalities in the US in 2005. In the cockpit, there are many ways you can prevent accidents. All of the organizations that teach pilots how to fly also teach safety measures such as, proper loading of the aircraft and simple run-ups to test the engine(s).

General aviation airports are usually home to at least one or two businesses with airplanes or even their own hangers on the felid. They attract local business, because they can get in and out of a general aviation airport faster than a commercial airport. In business, being where you need to be on time is important. General aviation gives them the flexibility to leave anytime he or she wants, without having to deal with large crowds, flight cancellations or delays unless he or she calls for it. In addition, when they need to meet someone in a more rural area, they can be there without waiting on an airline, and then driving hours away from a large airport. That saves business expenses, time and makes their clients feel closer to them.

Like any other structure, building and maintaining an airport costs money. At any airport, you need fuel, hangers, a Fixed Based Operations office (FBO), at least one runway, taxiways, and lights. After the airport is built, a work force and equipment is needed to keep the airport maintained. The average general aviation airport needs at least four to five people to run it. It requires, someone to manage the airport, a team to take care of the grounds, a mechanic, and if the airport has a tower, you need at least one person dedicated to running the tower.

The Transportation department in Texas did a study in 2005 and found this of General Aviation: When totaled, general aviation and commercial service activity account for more than 783,700 jobs, $20.6 billion in payroll, and $48.8 billion in economic output. These impacts are substantially higher than compared to the last time Texas measured the economic benefits of its aviation industry in 2001. Since that time, jobs attributed to aviation have grown 12 percent, payroll has swelled by 26 percent and economic output has increased by 20 percent.

Such a statement shows that General Aviation airports are capable of producing enough wealth to stand on their own.

Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, North Carolina, has 50 businesses based on the airfield. Among them are FedEx and Honda; collectively they are projected to create 950 jobs at their airport facilities. A local community college also has a campus located on the airport, creating jobs for teachers.

Some public schools have set up aviation programs at their local general aviation airports. One example is Toledo Public School's program at Toledo Express Airport where attendance is at an average of 50 students. Adults that are certified mechanics and pilots teach kids about airplanes. The students, after graduating from the program and taking FAA regulated tests, have become air-traffic controllers, pilots and mechanics.

There are social advantages in having an general aviation airport, clubs like the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA), Young Eagles and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), offer opportunities for everyone to be involved in aviation. Young Eagles is a club that offers free general aviation rides and safety education to kids. The Civil Air Patrol is a group that teaches people how to fly, but also how to use their aircraft to give back to the community. They run search and rescue operations, disaster relief and some homeland security operations. The EAA offers classes to adults to learn how to fly safely; they also attract a diversity of aircrafts to the airports. The EAA has two big events every year, Sun N' Fun in Florida, and AirVenture Oshkosh, in Wisconsin. Each event brings over 500,000 people from across the world to learn about aviation. These events give an economic boost to the areas where the events are held.

General Aviation airports have good points, and some bad points. They can provide a fun, safe place for teens to learn with adults. They require funding, management and security from the local governments. Building an airport is expensive, but it can also be a source of revenue and resources to the local community. What makes a successful airport seems to be how much is going on there. As long as people are spending time taking care of it and learning, it seems to be a community changing and exciting place.

Works Cited

AOPA. Fact Sheet. 2004. 22 January 2009 <http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/factcard.pdf>.

—. General Aviation Security: Airport Watch. 2008. 22 January 2009 <http://www.gaservingamerica.org/Airport-Security.htm#tsa>.

Civil Air Patrol. CAP Programs. 2009. 22 January 2009 <http://www.cap.gov/visitors/about/our_programs/>.

Experimental Aviation Association. EAA. 2009. 22 January 2009 <http://www.eaa.org/>.

Herman, Nick. Aviation: Toledo Public Schools. 2006. 21 January 2009 <http://www.tps.org/content/view/50/37/>.

Hirschman, Dave. Aviation infrastructure spending creates jobs, spurs innovation. 15 January 2009. 22 January 2009 <http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/region/2009/090115nc.html>.

No Oldham Airport. Just Say NOA. 2008. 22 January 2009 <http://www.nooldhamairport.com/>.

Simonds, Fred. Non-Flying Jobs. 15 October 2008. 22 January 2009 <http://www.aviation.com/business/081015-non-flying-jobs.html>.

Texas Department of Transportation; Wilbur Smith Associates Inc. Economic Impact of General Aviation in Texas. 2005. 22 January 2009 <ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/avn/tx_econ_summary.pdf>.

Young Eagles. What is EAA Young Eagles? 2009. 22 January 2009 <http://www.youngeagles.com/programs/youngeagles/info.asp>.


Friday, December 26, 2008

One Step at a time

It’s been the typical around here… crazy! There never seems to be enough time in the day.

My Dad and I are in the Easter Production at church. About 35,000 people are expected to attend. Admittedly, it’s “all my fault” because I made my dad sign up, but I’m scarred to be on a stage in front of that many people. I’m too prone to do the exact incorrect thing! The whole thing was manipulation on my part to get my parents involved in church… and I ended up signing up so they would. That backfired just a little bit. Consequences always show up in the end I guess.

I’m almost done with my first college course, English 101. (Wait… am I really that old??) It seems like just yesterday I was in 8th grade; It’s not right that I’m a Junior in High school trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I’ve questioned God’s will for my life lately. What direction should I go in? I’ve asked a lot of people for their insights on how much God really wants for my life, everyone seems to have a different answer. I’m not sure about anything right now. Maybe someday I’ll be able to understand it. (Hold the phone… am I really a teenager admitting to feeling old and not knowing something in the same paragraph?) I know I don’t have to know everything today, but that would be so much easier than relying on Christ for answers to my questions. That’s exactly what I will do anyways; rely on Christ to take me through life one step at a time.

My sister is home from college for winter break. Christmas was really nice this year. We didn’t get very many presents but it felt like a special day. I can’t really tell you why, we really didn’t do anything. Maybe that’s why. We just enjoyed each other’s company rather than just passing each other and waving as our lives took us in different directions. Whatever it was, it was nice.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a Great New Year. I'm praying for you!

Giggle Fritz

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First College Paper

I wrote this for my first English 101 assignment. Let me know what you think!


A Story Worth Remembering
November 13, 2008
English 101

Love, commitment and loss are what you find in this very romantic story of a couple who walked through life together. While the song, “Walking Her Home,” was made into a short video, using scenes from the movie “The Notebook,” it was originally written for Henry and Liz, the artist’s next door neighbors from Nashville. They fell in love, had children, walked down the old road called life, held onto each other, saw the good in each other and never let go even past the end.

The story and it’s beautifully put together piano melody, make it seep into a persons heart, leaving a lasting impression. The first two lines, “Looking back” and “He sees it all,” take you into a story that seems to have taken place a while ago. The lines are accompanied by piano quietly playing chords. The whole song is sung with emotion by Mark Schultz. As the song goes on, a guitar and drums come into the song giving the words more significance.


Mark Schultz is known for his ability to write songs that go straight to the heart. He’s had several songs recognized with awards and was part of the U.S. Army’s “Stay Safe- Make It Home” campaign in 2004 with an analogous song, “Letters from War.” He has been a well known Christian artist for six years, writing many songs that resonate with his audience.
The song, “Walking Her Home,” starts off with a promise from a young man to a father. The young man says that he will stay by the daughter’s side until he takes her home, presumably that night. The rest of the song shows how he fell in love with her and completed the promise, spending his entire life with her, until he took her home to heaven.


My first impression of the song was that it is just another sentimental love song. It is, in fact, a sentimental love song, but this song seems to hold hope and raw truthfulness. When the song refers to “[walking] down that old road,” Mark Schultz is painting a picture of life not being easy, hard to walk down. Other lines like, “He walked her through the best days of her life”, show that there were times when he was rewarded for keeping her safe.

The end of the song leads you right back to the beginning, making you think about the commitment he made to her father about not leaving her side. He seems to further his first commitment with the line, “Oh the way she smiled when he said, ‘this is not the end,’” saying that he will remain with her, even when the end is in sight. “For just a while they were eighteen” may allude to a heaven bound journey. In the book “The Hiding Place” By Corrie Ten Boom when her sister dies, her body reverts back to her beauty before the concentration camps. It may be that the couple in this song, because of their love for each other, do not see each other’s faults, they sees each other as they were at eighteen years old.

“Walking Her Home” is about two hearts, two souls and two minds being intertwined to form a lasting relationship. The soothing yet deep melody and the lyrical value of the song make a lasting relationship seem in reach; it penetrates the hearts and minds of many people, giving them hope for their future and a goal of staying with one person for the rest of their lives.

A God of Knowledge

Oh My Goodness. God is amazing. I've been keeping a diary of what has been taught to me at church and what I've been studying on my own, and he's answering all my questions in ways that I could have never imagined. He's turned my upside-down world right side up again. He's so amazing. For now I've gotta get to homework but I'll try to post details later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Thoughts.

Oh boy. How I fall short of everything I hope to do is amazing. There never seems to be enough of me to go around. It never seems like I do much, but there are just so many little things that need doing. Laundry, spending time with people, Homework, dishes, working on the airplane, doing odd jobs around the house, taking care of three pets, having three jobs and somewhere in between all that spending time with God. It’s amazing that I know what I’m doing at all. I can’t wait for my time to be my own. And as I’m saying that I’m wondering if that will ever happen? Is my time really ever my own or will it always belong to someone else?

As I’m thinking about it, it strikes me that God is the last thing on the list and I fit him in the spaces that aren’t filled by other things. I almost squeeze him out of my day completely. It’s not that other things aren’t important, (After a couple of hours of not doing dishes I’d be in trouble with my parents!) it just seems like they are in the wrong place priority wise. And yet are they really? For instance, He instructs us to respect our parents. If I didn’t do the dishes like my parents expect me to do, would that be respecting them? No. So if I’m not respecting them I’m not respecting God. So maybe by my actions I’m spending time with him?? Maybe there’s more to spending time with him than always praying, diving into his word and being “quiet.” Not that those things aren’t a good starting point, but isn’t there more than just sitting at his feet listening all the time? At the heart of things is where your service comes from, or that’s how I understand it. When you set out to do things as if you were doing them for God and no other people, (in my case my family) are you not serving him? By being faithful in the little things am I doing enough for him? Will I ever do enough? I don’t think so. Actually I know I don’t do enough and never will do enough. But that’s not the point. I’m not here to repay him for saving me I’ll never do that. I’m here to Thank Him and Praise Him.

I know He (God) owns my heart. I know that he knows that I just want to worship Him with everything that’s within me. I know he knows my situation and that He’s using it to make me into the woman he needs me to be. I know that because I’ve handed my life over to him, that he has a will and a plan for it; He’s in control. I know that He loves me and pursues me every day no matter how many times I fail to pursue Him and to Love Him. I know He’s faithful and true. He will always be my protector and Hero.

A man called Jim

I was just going through my computer today and came across this. It touched my heart and I hope it touches yours.

A Man Called Jim

A minister passing through his church
in the middle of the day,
decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened,
a man came down the aisle,
the minister frowned as he saw
the man hadn't shaved in a while.
His shirt was kind of shabby
and his coat was worn and frayed,
the man knelt, he bowed his head,
then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed,
each noon time came this chap,
each time he knelt just for a moment,
a lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the minister's suspicions grew,
with robbery a main fear,
he decided to stop the man and ask him,
"What are you doing here?"
The old man said, he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time,
for finding strength and power.
"I stay only moments, see,
because the factory is so far away;
as I kneel here talking to the Lord,
this is kinda what I say:

"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN. DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM, CHECKING IN TODAY.

"The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.
Time to go, Jim smiled, said "Thanks."
He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar,
he'd never done it before.
His cold heart melted,
warmed with love,
and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim's prayer:

"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN. I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY."

Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried, but he'd given them a thrill.
The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, were his reward.
The head nurse couldn't understand why Jim was so glad,
when no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.
The minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse's concern:
No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile;
"the nurse is wrong, she couldn't know, that in here all the while
everyday at noon He's here, a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:

"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP, AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN. ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY, I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY, AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS CHECKING IN TODAY."