Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A good conversation on a plane.

Recently I (Chris) flew east so that I could attend a conference in Nashville and see my Dad and sister for a few days. On my stupidly early flight from San Francisco I was pleased to find that I was by the window with no one next to me. This is a great comfort to large people (and probably to smaller people too). It’s that little extra breathing room and the ability to uncross your arms and be comfy for the flight. Well, as comfy as you can be belted into a metal tube with wings at thousands of feet. Oh, when you have no one next to you and that door closes...ahhhh!

I was seated in a 3 banger row. I had the window and an older man was sitting in the aisle seat. I noticed he was reading a Christian biography about a martyr in Soviet Russia. He smiled at me and I said ‘hello’ and that was all it took to spark a great conversation. This man was so friendly and his eyes were very kind.

I was sitting next to a retired 4 star general in the Egyptian air force. He was so pleased to find out I was in Christian ministry. He had been 9 years in the U.S. to be with his children and grandchildren. He attends an evangelical church in the Bay area but every now and then visits the Coptic church to hear scripture in his own language.

What did I learn from him?

I learned about lift. 

Here are the notes from the private lecture he gave me (he taught this stuff to cadets). He is so passionate about flight and LOVES to talk about it. Even though I don’t really care about how flight works, his talk drew me in.

“Flight is one of the things man accomplished before he understood it! We did it, then we learned how it worked.”

I learned about Egypt. 

“Egypt is so much more than what you see on the news. Most people want peace. We love to laugh. We love to share food. Even my Muslim brothers treat me this way. It is the very few that want to cause trouble.”

I learned that people seldom appreciate the wonders around them.

“Many Egyptians do not understand or care to learn about ancient Egypt. many have not gone to see the pyramids!”

Me: “I know quite a few people in California that have never been to Yosemite!”

“Yes, like that.”

I learned that if you turn off your iPod or put down your book, every once in a while, you’ll be glad you did.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Pink Room

This Wednesday, Zack, friend and regular volunteer at the 9th Street Cafe, will be hosting a film screening at the Peer Recovery Art Project in Downtown Modesto.  It's at 7pm this Wednesday. This film does not show graphic images but the film is about a graphic subjects. Parental discretion advised. Here is what Zack wrote in the facebook event page...


"The Pink Room follows the journey of Mien and other young girls in the turbulent world of sex slavery that at times seems unfathomable.
Mien grew up in Svay Pak, just eleven kilometers outside the capitol city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, a vast and vicious epicenter of child sex slavery. This is a country notoriously renowned for its devastating genocide under the reign of Pol Pot in the 1970′s. After burying over two million of their educated and religious citizens, the children of this horrific era are now the parents. At a young age, Mien enters life in a brothel, and her virginity is sold at a high price. After her innocence is brutally stolen from her, her value becomes less and less with each purchase of her body. She is held captive and raped and sexually tortured twelve hours a day. Even when help is within reach, obstacles that appear too great to conquer squelch her dream of freedom. The Pink Room shows passionate determination in attacking the complex issue of human trafficking with an even more complex and diverse response of rescue, restoration, reintegration and prevention. This is the story of redemption, ordinary people who become unlikely heroes, Cambodians rising up with compassion to take back their country and a town’s process of rebuilding from the inside out. Mien gives hope in the midst of a blinding darkness. In a world where it is estimated that there are over one million children held captive and sexually abused, a flower blooms in the heart of Cambodia."

Refreshments will be served after the film, and t-shirts made by Mien and the others employed with AIM will be for sale.