Somewhere in America

two bites

Neither boy had traveled a particularly smooth school morning. At lunch time he held a container, tiny in size. “My Mom made this cake.”

With a plastic fork he scooped out half, and placed it in his classmates waiting palm. Left in the container was approximately one bite of that cake. Two bites total and he gave one away. The generosity of children to one another sometimes makes my eyes watery.


Brave New Voices is an international youth poetry slam festival.

This week I came across Somewhere in America, spoken by three young ladies in the troupe Get Lit. They recently opened for John Legend in the Hollywood Bowl.

See their electrifying performance here. 


Somewhere in America… there are people waiting for our voices.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day many come together for a day of service.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


A tiny cake, shared. Two bites total and he gave one away.



to give voice

ENDING_NEWBORN_DEATHS_REPORTCOVERSave the Children presents its annual report Ending Newborn Deaths Ensuring Every Child Survives. About Proximity is partnering with Global Team of 200 to share the report with people invested in making a difference.

The statistic that stands out to me is that 40 million women give birth alone, without any health care worker or midwife present. 

FIRSTDAY_INFOGRAPHIC2The report is worth looking through especially the human faces that represent newborn health: Shefali of Bangladesh who has lost three of six babies, Derese of Ethiopia who lost his wife in childbirth, Rose from Congo who walked in labor to give birth at the nearest clinic, Pushpa of Nepal recently trained in midwifery and has saved countless lives, and Hawa of Somalia a health care worker for twelve years and who has delivered over eight hundred babies.

The momentum of universal health care in many countries, is a defining feature of the report. Health coverage that is available to all at birth will serve to benefit the most vulnerable. The report will be presented to the World Health Assembly in May 2014.

How can you help? Sign a petition here that urges President Obama and Congress to increase investment in early childhood, maternal and newborn health, as well as nutrition programs.


Let us give voice to the most vulnerable among and around us.

Love Your Voice Series: Melanie Groen

Family PictureName: Melanie Groen

Your Family: Married for 7 years with a 3 year old daughter and a newborn son

Your Location in the World:  Southern California

Three favorites: Visits back to Michigan to visit family and friends, being outside and The Gilmore Girls.

What is your calling? 

I believe that God continues to refine your call as you grow in him.  All my life, I knew that God had called me to work with children.  It is easy for me to build relationships with youth and I have worked and volunteered for a variety of organizations that have allowed me to do this.  Lately, I feel like God has shifted my calling to witness to unbelievers in my life that are my age.  I’ve always found myself surrounded by a group of strong believers and lately God has placed me in groups and in a job where that isn’t the case.  I feel like he has called me to be a light in these relationships that I’m building.

Share a way God has worked through you, part of your redemption story: 

I am a planner.  I have to do lists at work and at home, completed every day.  I have schedules and routines that I like to follow.  Believe it or not, everything doesn’t always go my way or in my time frame. God has taught me that although it is okay that I have these schedules, I need to honor Him through prayer, knowing that I don’t always get to see the big picture.  I have learned to trust that God has his hand in everything.  Knowing this, I feel like I have been able to be a support to other people who question where God is or what his plans are for them.

How do you place yourself in the proximity of renewal? 

I place myself outside of my Christian circles for the proximity of renewal.  Although this is difficult at times rather than the “easier” friendships of my close Christian friends, I make efforts to ask people out to lunch or coffee that I know are not believers.  I go to an exercise class in which very few people walk with Christ.  In my workplace, my closest co-workers all don’t consider themselves Christians.

(Thank you Melanie, full of sunshine and the joy of Christ.) 

i love your voice series