Monday, April 27, 2009

Mobilization to End Poverty: Sunday Kickoff

I'm so exhausted I'm not tired anymore.

The contagious electricity pulsating through M2EP is still inside me, driving me to write this blog, even though my bed is calling out my name.

It'll be very stream of consciousness, though. And I can't guarantee logic or sense of any kind.

What a RIDE.

Oh man. I get to be surrounded by more than a 1000 social activists for 4 days. All walks of life. And God has blessed us with enough foolishness to believe we can do it: we can end poverty.

What a RIDE.

I just finished day two and it was all kinds of good stuff, but I don't want to leave out the amazing Sunday afternoon kick-off and it's too much to cram into one blog, so I'll compromise and get myself a day behind.

Three months ago I didn't know Priscilla, but still, I'm pretty sure we're friends for life, because only a true friend would let me rope her into spending hard earned dough to volunteer at a conference we both knew very little about.

I'm so so glad she's in it with me. Ending poverty is a lot more fun when you have a friend around.

We got to hear Jim Wallis, the President of Sojourners, speak. He's fantastic. And I love the fact that he's a little league coach and he spent the day leading up to the kick-off playing baseball.

I also had the privilege of hearing Congressman John Lewis preach. This guy has been through it. He has! He knew Dr. King. He played a part in the Freedom Rides and participated in sit-ins. Nearly everything out of his mouth was quotable. I scribbled furiously in my notebook throughout the whole affair. Here are a few of my favorites:

"I asked my mom and my grandparents and the rest of my family, 'why segregation?' And they said, 'That's the way it is, John. Don't you go and get in trouble.' But, let me tell you, I was inspired to get in trouble! I was inspired to get in the way!"

"What does it profit a great nation to gain the whole world, and lose her soul?"

He told a story of being in his aunt's house, a kind he called a "shot-gun" house. And a storm came and it was so bad they thought the house was going to blow away. And his aunt gathered his cousins and brothers and sisters and they huddled together and stayed in the house so that it would remain intact. He exclaimed to us, "We never left the house! Brothers and sisters, we must never leave the house." We must keep America, keep the people, keep the environment from blowing away.

I want to tell you about the phenomenal choir from Howard University, and the inspiring testimony of Rev. Darren Ferguson, who obtained his Masters Degree in prison.

I want to. But I am done, I think. And I would not do them justice.

Quick cool thing: God's Politics, the Sojourners blog will dive into the details I missed, complete with pictures and videos. My funny face even made it into a few shots. And this blog offers a little shout out to Priscilla and me [and lots of super spectacular volunteers and scholars]!

Better blogs to come, scouts honor.



brandyglows said...

Real quick before I nod off: I've been having a bit of trouble with the layout. I'm html-challenged. Not crazy about the gray background, but it will have to stay for now [I'm trying to figure out this analytics thing, it's all blundered up].

Anonymous said...

Gray? The background is purple everytime I check it. Purple with white words and green links. I like everything but the green links. They are difficult to read.

I love you. And when you update.
Sorry I didn't call. It has literally been the busiest two weeks of my career. And I hate talking on the phone. But for you I will try to get over that.

Can I call you on Monday?