On March 15, 2019, an angry, white- supremacist from Australia (following the request of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, I will not mention his name) entered the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch and began systematically shooting persons there. When he finished, he drove about 3 miles to the Linwood Islamic Centre, where he repeated his attack. Thanks to the brave actions of Adbul Aziz Wahabzada, this attack was cut short. A total of 43 persons were killed at the Al Noor Mosque, and eight more at the Linwood Islamic Center. Another 50 were wounded.
Through a FaceBook friend I “met” online while working in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (she works at the Auckland University and has a research interest in the Kurdish people), I was invited to bring a message of peace and love to the members of these grieving communities and others in New Zealand who were shocked and traumatized by this attack. I departed from the USA on May 20 and returned home on June 3. It was an amazing and emotional trip. I was able to visit both sites of the massacre and met many of the wounded and survivors. I was also able to speak in another mosque, three churches and a group at Auckland University.
The world is messed up. Yes? There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t hear of a bombing, shooting, murder, rape, act of war or crime against humanity. Since the time of Adam and Eve, human history has been written in blood and tears.
The world is an amazing place. Yes? There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t see someone helping another, going out of their way to give of their time, talents, gifts and service to those in need. Since the time of Adam and Eve, human history has been written with grace, peace, mercy and love.
We live in this bi-polar reality, where good and evil fight each other in a cosmic struggle for supremacy. We can choose which side of this divide to be on: we can choose good over evil, we can be peacemakers.
I established the Foundation 4 Orphans for two primary reasons:
- To help mitigate the plight of orphans around the world today who number 150,000,000 million and who are comprise the majority of the 16,500 children who die daily around the world from extreme poverty, and
- To create a peacemaking non-profit where, through our common work with orphans and vulnerable children, we can build bridges of peace and justice between disparate groups of people.
While in New Zealand, a new friend, Gilbert, filmed and created two new videos for the Foundation 4 Orphans. If you have four more minutes, I invite you to watch this brief video.
I invite you to partner with us and help us help those in need while, at the same time, working to build a world of peace and justice for all of God’s children.