On Freedom

10 July 2012

Here we are halfway between the 4th of July and Bastille Day, the days the land of my birth and the country where I reside both celebrate freedom.

The American colonies were seeking freedom from taxation without representation at first and, by the time 4 July 1776 rolled around, separation from England.. The French sought freedom too, from an unjust civil system and a corrupt church which did nothing to stop or try to curb the excesses of the monarchy.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom this past week. And as I was, I came across this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our world is a neighborhood… We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” This is part of an incredibly erudite, yet accessible, letter written from a jail in Birmingham, Alabama. The whole piece is worth reading. You may find it here.

For me these were connected ideas because of our work here at OSAi. We’re in the business of hope, yes. But we’re also in the freedom business. Freedom from certain ills and freedom to enjoy life and hope, simply because these folks are not alone. Our goal is to offer this freedom and hope to those who seem to be forgotten by the rest of the world.

Lily, our first client, was looking at homelessness. She was told in January she’d need to move at the end of May as the apartment owners were selling the property. At the same time she was being sued for back payment of utilities. The only problem was she didn’t have a job and still hasn’t been able to find one! So there were no funds for the utilities and no way for her to rent an apartment.

With help from some new friends in Romania, we paid the deposit on her apartment, got her moved into her new place, paid the utilities (the suit was dropped!!), and covered her monthly expenses by current monthly contributions. That’s fabulous — and we’re so thankful.

Now Lily’s most pressing needs involve dental work. Just yesterday we learned that her lower bridge has fallen out. Her top bridge is expected to go any time as well. We knew dental work was going to be needed, but this is earlier than we expected. At 45 years old and willing to work, Lily still needs teeth in order to be able to talk, eat and interview successfully.

If you pray, would you please join us in seeking God’s answer to these needs? We’re happy to discuss other types of help you may wish to offer as well. Thanks so much.

 

Credits: Digital scrapbook page made with “World Beat” by ViVa Artistry. Fonts used are Fontastic, Eight Fifteen and Exmouth.