Will You Dare to Love?

By Seyed Mostafa Zamani

DARE TO LOVE
It’s all over the news. The world can’t stop watching. We shouldn’t stop watching. We know that all around the world there are people being persecuted. It may be for their social position, for their unique abilities, for their family status or it may be for their faith.

In Iraq there are many people who fall into that last category. You’ve seen it on the news if you are even remotely plugged in to what’s going on in the world. The President has spoken on it several times lately. In Iraq, Christians are being given an ultimatum. “Convert, pay up… or DIE.” Yep, those are the options. Give up your faith, pay them money, or ‘face the sword’. Wow, sounds like an offer they can’t refuse.

In a country where the national average is $5000, a lot of people don’t have the money to spare in order to pay ‘protection money’. 25% of the people in Iraq live below the poverty line. So they run. Leaving all they have known, towards the unknown with just the clothes on their backs. It’s all over the news. How can we see this and do nothing?

Forced to dig through garbage to help make a living for their families. Photo from UN.

Forced to dig through garbage to help make a living for their families. Photo from UN.

A sweet friend of mine, along with a few of her friends, have set up an organization called ‘DARE TO LOVE’. They aren’t a national organization, but they have their hearts set on the nation of Iraq. They are selling t-shirts and giving 75% of the proceeds to ‘Samaritan’s Purse’. I asked her a few questions and would like to share them with you.

Alex has been on my blog before. If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll remember her as we followed her journey with her sweet daughter Noel. Now, Alex has taken up the cause of many other families.

Thanks, Alex for chatting with me. Tell us, what is it about this cause that drew your attention?

As you know Caleb and I lost Noel 16 months ago. I’m a completely different person from 16 months ago. I may not physically look different but if you were to look at my heart, it would be crushed into a billion different pieces. Not only because I lost my daughter but because God reveals to me everyday that I’m not the only one with a heart in this condition. Reading and learing and seeing what is happening in Iraq would leave me speechless. I asked God to impress on my heart what the Iraqi people were feeling. An overwhelming amount of sadness and heartache and hopelessness came over me. I knew, this is how they feel times 100. I would wake up in the middle of the night and cry and pray. I can only imagine how it would feel to lose a loved one the way they have. To lose a child the way they have. So I guess to answer the question, my heart breaks every day for them.

How did the ‘Dare to Love’ idea begin?

I recently ordered a shirt from two girls to benefit The A21 Campaign, a campaign that saves and helps human trafficking victims. I wanted to do something similar, ok well the exact same, ha ha ha! I know it may seem silly but I really admired what they did and thought doing something like this was out of reach. I read something Christine Caine said, “If you can figure a way to make it happen, you need to DREAM BIGGER.” Well, I figured a way to make this happen, so I just need to dream bigger.

How did you determine the right charity to donate the money to?

I’m not sure if you know this but a Franklin Graham Festival came through El Paso, TX this year in April. I was blessed enough to work for them. Franklin Graham started Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse has been helping people who are suffering in Iraq. Since I worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association choosing Samaritan’s Purse was a no brainer. And of course I prayed about it!

Why shirts?

I think a shirt is a great way to promote anything. Not only are you donating to a worthy cause but you become a walking billboard. If someone asks, “What’s Dare to Love?” you can tell them what it is and why you decided to give to this specific charity and cause. I think we would be shocked by how many people are blinded by what’s happening in the world, so the shirt is a great conversation starter.

CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE HERE! Help Iraqi families and get your shirt to start the conversation!

Click here to help families in Iraq!

I’d love to add first names here of people who donated! Will you be the first? Let me know if you donate and I’ll add your name here!!

________________________

~Sarah

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Five Minute Friday ~ Home

When Friday hits, I sigh.  Not only because the weekend has arrived, but also because it’s time again for Five Minute Friday!!  I’ll share the details on how you can get involved at the end of this post!  You won’t regret it!  For now, the word for this week is HOME.

By mRio

GO

Home means so many things.  Most obviously it’s the building that you live in, but it means so much more than that.

Home (n.): a place of residence or refuge.

Home is where I am sitting, writing this post.  Where my husband works out beside me and I fight past the noise of hockey on the Wii to the worship on in the background. Where are my headphones?  Where my kids fly up and down the stairs, my girls in dresses and my son jumping in on the game they play.  Where the sun shines in, lighting up the room with warmth and peace.  This place where life is calm (for the moment) and I feel at ease.

But… I am so very aware of the fact that though this place I sit in, cook in, hope in, love in… isn’t really home.  Not the home I was meant for.

I love the definition above because the ‘refuge’ resonated with me.  There’s a song by Building 429 called ‘Where I Belong’ and the chorus says ‘All I know is I’m not home yet.  This is not where I belong.’  There are days that I am blessed with a brief glimpse of my refuge to come.  I am captured up in the joy, peace and safety for a moment in time.  Sorrow, pain, fear, anger, death.  These things do not exist in my refuge.  One day I will be swept away to the refuge that the Lord has gone to prepare for me.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ~ Revelation 21:4

On that day, when my tears are wiped by the loving hand of my Father and pain is no more… that is the day that I will be HOME.

Stop

Check out Building 429 ‘Where I Belong’ here

I hear you asking how you can get in on this awesome Friday fun!! Well, here’s the details:

Let’s write… unscripted, unedited, unchained.  Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right!

5-minute Friday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (click on the 5 minute friday image for the word prompt…it changes every week!)
2. Link back to Lisa-Jo’s blog (and don’t forget to invite others to join in).
3. Make sure to encourage the five minuter who linked up before you.

That’s it!  It’s awesome!  I’d love it if you would join in!  Please leave me a comment if you decide to give it a try so that I can come by your blog and visit!

~Sarah