Archive for the Travel

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Escape through your kids’ escape literature

girl readingIt’s that season. Summertime. School holidays. Children. Boredom.

You’re planning to travel . . . or wishing you could. And some days, you’re thinking how nice it would be if you could send your children on a trip somewhere.

You’ve heard of escape literature. Well, I’ve just discovered some of that genre for your kids. If they curl up in their favorite reading nooks and escape with some of these books, it might be as good as your own escape.

Or maybe they’ll discover a destination you’re actually planning to visit and can read about what to expect.

 

__________

Subscribe to NoelPiper.com by using the one of the Subscribe links to the right or by clicking here.

__________

Please visit my travel blog too–Tell Me When To Pack

  • Leave a Comment (0)  

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Time travel via photos

nelson kiddy car

nelson kiddy car

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I get a kick out of then-and-now photos–getting a glimpse into the past and discovering how different things are now, or how much the same. When I was in China this time last year, I had my eyes open for scenes that were what Esther Nelson would have recognized when she was there 1924-1951.

If you like these two pictures, hop over to Tell Me When To Pack to see more of Esther’s and my shots of China’s children then and now.

While you’re there, why don’t you go ahead and subscribe so you don’t miss other then-and-now topics I’ll be posting.

  • Leave a Comment (0)  

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Black History: Nightingale wasn’t the only pioneer out there

Quick! If I say, “Crimea . . . Bosporus . . . lantern . . . nurse,” who do you think of? Most of the western world would answer, “Florence Nightingale,” the pioneer nursing reformer.

Several years ago, Talitha and I turned our backs on Westminster Abbey and the Tower of Big Ben and hiked across the Westminster Bridge toward St. Thomas’ Hospital, looking for the Florence Nightingale Museum, which we finally found hidden away on a side street. St. Thomas’ was where Miss Nightingale worked for change when she returned to London from Turkey at the end of the Crimean War. (I’ve reviewed the museum at my travel blog, Tell Me When to Pack.)

As always, the last stop and climax for Talitha was the gift shop. As always, she persuaded me to buy something for her–”Just one thing? Please?”

mary seacole

Mary Seacole, by Albert Charles Challen
National Portrait Gallery, London

The one thing was a book on whose cover was the picture of a black woman: Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands, her autobiography (available in several paperback editions and free for Kindle).

I’d never heard of Mary Seacole, who traveled from her Jamaica home to London to volunteer as a nurse for the Crimea. She was rejected, and so went to the Crimea at her own expense to labor for the war wounded and ill.

It seems common to think of Seacole and Nightingale as rivals, but as one writer says:

The manner of their service was drastically different. Even before she went to the Crimea, Nightingale knew that surmounting the bureaucratic problems of the army’s medical services and establishing a female nursing group which authorities and medical men
alike could respect was going to be more
important than any individual patient care she might do. Nightingale gained her reputation by the organization of nursing services during the Crimean War. . . .

Mrs. Seacole’s strength seemed to be more in hands-on activities such as direct patient care. She was an entrepreneur who was able to use her skills as a merchant to finance her medical and nursing practice. It is probably true that Mrs. Seacole had more practical experience, especially with tropical diseases. However, both administrative and hands-on care are necessary for the effective delivery of health care. Both women made a great contribution to the history of nursing in their own way and, hopefully, there is room for both of them. . . .

Mary Grant Seacole rose about the barriers of racial prejudice and demonstrated determinism, compassion, and caring and is a fitting role model for both blacks and non-blacks. There is much to admire in both of these women who had different roles in nursing but the same goal. Although forgotten for many years, Mrs. Seacole has been rediscovered.

Today, Florence Nightingale is a widely viewed as a heroine, as she should be. Mary Seacole was forgotten for a long time, but that is changing. One example: The design is complete for a monument to be erected on the St. Thomas’ Hospital grounds.

__________

Subscribe to NoelPiper.com by using the one of the Subscribe links to the right or by clicking here.

__________

If you decide to purchase an item here, I do appreciate it if you link through from this site or from the sidebar at my travel blog. That way, I receive a small commission, which costs you nothing extra. I recommend only items that I think will be of interest to my readers and that I probably have used personally or wish I did. 

__________

Please visit my travel blog too–Tell Me When To Pack

  • Leave a Comment (1)  

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Dear traveler

If you love a traveler or love to travel, you might want to take a look at the gift ideas at Tell Me When to Pack.

  • Leave a Comment (0)  

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Glad you asked that question #1

 

 

 

 

I really meant it when I asked you to ask questions about Compassion. So thanks to Vicki for breaking the ice:

The only question I have is what is the criteria (denominational, doctrinal, etc). Compassion uses for selecting which local churches they will work with?

That’s an important question, and it just so happens that my daughter-in-law Molly Piper answered a similar question a couple of years ago, so I’m going to take the easy route here and just copy and paste her good answer.

Laura asked:

I sponsor a child in Kenya and wonder about the theology that she’s taught. How does Compassion choose which local churches to work with? Are they mostly theologically uniform, or is there some diversity of belief about what might be called “non-essentials” among the projects?

Answer:

  • Compassion International sets up their child sponsorship “projects” through local churches. That’s the only way they do it in every country they work in.
  • In the early days, Compassion had to go looking for church partners. Now, most of the time, churches come find them, because their reputation is so upstanding and the local congregations see the benefits of hosting a Compassion project and want that for the children in their neighborhoods!
  • All churches must subscribe to the statement of faith of the National Association of Evangelicals. No exceptions.

So if this was the burning question you had that’s keeping you from sponsoring, and you feel satisfied with this answer, go ahead and sponsor.

Or if you’ve just been undecided or forgetful or apathetic or confused (really, you can just insert any of those adjectives here & you would’ve been describing me a few months ago)… go ahead and sponsor.

Thanks, Vicki, for asking. And thanks, Molly for the answer.

__________

Subscribe to NoelPiper.com by using the one of the Subscribe links to the right or by clicking here.

__________

If you make a purchase after you click on a product link in a post here or after you use an on-line shopping link in the sidebar at my travel blog, I receive a small commission, which costs you nothing extra. I recommend only items that I think will be of interest to my readers and that I probably have used personally or wish I did. 

__________

Please visit my travel blog too–Tell Me When To Pack

  • Leave a Comment 2  

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

What else do you want to know about a Compassion Child Development Center?

 

 

 

 

You can tell by its name that Tell Me When to Pack is my travel blog. I’ve been writing there about the Compassion Sponsor Tour Talitha and I took to Guatemala, because that was definitely a trip.

But we’re home now and as I’ve said before here and here, the ministry of Compassion International is intertwined with other special interests of mine. Adoption, disabilities, and poverty are not limited to places one must travel to, so I’m shifting to this blog to write my remaining thoughts and observations from Compassion and Guatemala.

Today, I’m thinking about Compassion’s Child Development Centers. Before we traveled, I was fuzzy about how Compassion relates to an individual child. One of the days of our tour was spent at a Center. Here’s some of what I learned, in no particular order.

  • At this point, in Guatemala there are 140 Compassion projects, ranging in size from 150-400 children, serving more than 33,000. At the Compassion Guatemala office we heard that there are 38,000 children now.
  • The Child Development Program is a holistic program “dedicated to helping children find a path out of poverty through the love of Jesus Christ. By working with local churches, the Child Sponsorship Program offers educational opportunities, health care and health-related instruction, nutrition, life-skills training, and opportunities to hear about and respond to the gospel.
  • Each center program is church-based, established by a local church in conjunction with Compassion. None is set up by outsiders coming in and deciding this must be done. Rather, Compassion responds to the needs presented by the church. Many of the churches already were doing similar work among families, children, and youth even before they connected with Compassion. Many of the centers meet in the sponsoring church’s building. Otherwise, the church obtains another location. The minimal paid staff and the many volunteers are all local people. All of this reinforces sustainability.
  • There is no requirement that a family or child be confessing Christians in order to be part of the program, But each family is told very clearly that their child will receive explicit Christian teaching and training. This happens even in countries where the prevailing religion may cause parents to decide against their child’s participation.
  • Children in the program range in age from 3-4 until about 16-7. I’m not sure what determines the top age, but I think it’s probably when a young person finishes school.
  • Program facilitators are the link between the national office (Guatemala, in our case) and the Child Development Centers. Each facilitator  visits 12-15 centers per month. He or she provides leadership training and ensures that each center is providing the services, resources, activities, Christian training, educational help, hours, etc. that is required.
  • It is expected that a center provides 8 hours of programming for its children. Some programs are after school, 2-3 times per week. When the children come from farther away, the program may be just on Saturday.
  • A healthy meal is provided for each child each time they are at the center.
  • At about 11, children begin learning different handicrafts and skills that help prepare them for life after school, if they don’t go on for further education.
  • Centers may also provide parenting training for families.
  • From its beginning, Compassion has had the policy that at least 80% of every sponsor’s monthly gift goes to the project where the sponsored child is a participant. We were told the reality is more like 83-4%. Compassion is a founding member of ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). When a gift is designated for a specific project or family need, 100% goes to that specific need.
  • Through the children, whole families are helped. The project director where we visited said, “They come. We teach them the love of God. And God makes great things of these small children.” When God makes great things of a child, his or her family is blessed.
Below are a few pictures from our visit to a Center. If you want to see more, they’re at my Shutterfly travel share site.

Does this answer questions you’ve had? Are there other things you’re wondering about Compassion’s work?

 

__________

Subscribe to NoelPiper.com by using the one of the Subscribe links to the right or by clicking here.

__________

If you make a purchase after you click on a product link in a post here or after you use an on-line shopping link in the sidebar at my travel blog, I receive a small commission, which costs you nothing extra. I recommend only items that I think will be of interest to my readers and that I probably have used personally or wish I did. 

__________

Please visit my travel blog too–Tell Me When To Pack

 

  • Leave a Comment 2  

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Check out our next trip

I’m out the door in a couple of minutes, so please link over to my travel blog to see what’s happening.

 

__________

Subscribe to NoelPiper.com by using the one of the Subscribe links to the right or by clicking here.

__________

If you make a purchase after you click on a product link in a post here or after you use an on-line shopping link in the sidebar at my travel blog, I receive a small commission, which costs you nothing extra. I recommend only items that I think will be of interest to my readers and that I probably have used personally or wish I did. 

__________

Please visit my travel blog too–Tell Me When To Pack

  • Leave a Comment (0)  

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Romanian Worship (video)

As I worshiped this weekend at Bethlehem, I remembered being with brothers and sisters in Romania just a few weeks ago.

I thought perhaps you’d enjoy a few moments with the worship team from Holy Trinity Baptist Church in Bucharest.

And don’t miss the video and story about music that I posted at Tell Me When to Pack.

__________

Subscribe to NoelPiper.com by using the one of the Subscribe links to the right or by clicking here.

__________

Please visit my travel blog — Tell Me When to Pack.

  • Leave a Comment (1)  

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Serendipity & mystery gifts

In the fine tradition of Serendipity, I don’t know what I’m looking for. In fact, I expect to find something I didn’t know I was looking for–several things even. When I see each I will know, “Aha! That’s it! That’s what I didn’t know I wanted!”

And since I don’t know what it will be, neither do you, and that’s why each item is called a mystery gift.

Check out the info on mystery gifts from our destinations in Europe–BucharestGeneva, and Hamburg–which we’ll be visiting this month. Johnny will be speaking (and me too, once) at conferences in each city.

Anyway, so far there’s a Bucharest giveaway and a Geneva giveaway. While you’re over there, subscribe to Tell Me When to Pack so you’ll know right away when more giveaways are announced.

  • Leave a Comment (0)  

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

The Secret Piano

The Secret Piano: From Mao's Labor Camps to Bach's Goldberg VariationsMy mother’s a pianist, and right now my mind’s still in China, so this book caught my eye: The Secret Piano: From Mao’s Labor Camps to Bach’s Goldberg Variations, by Zhu Xiao-Mei.

I’ve ordered the The Secret Piano to read on my Kindle. It’s just $.99. I can’t tell if that’s the regular price or a special for today.

Zhu Xiao-Mei was just ten years old when she began a rigorous course of study at the Beijing Conservatory, laying the groundwork for what was sure to be an extraordinary career. But in 1966, when Xiao-Mei was seventeen, the Cultural Revolution began. . . . One by one, her family members were scattered, sentenced to prison or labor camps. By 1969, the art schools had closed, and Xiao-Mei was on her way to a work camp in Mongolia, where she would spend the next five years. Life in the camp was nearly unbearable, thanks to horrific living conditions and intensive brainwashing campaigns. Yet through it all Xiao-Mei clung to her passion for music and her sense of humor. And when the Revolution ended, it was the piano that helped her to heal. (from Amazon product review)

Bach: Goldberg Variations

 

 

She lives in Paris now and has recorded The Goldberg Variations and much more.

 

  • Leave a Comment 4  

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

How long is Easter?

I watched midnight quietly welcome Easter to Minneapolis.

At the same moment:

It was 8 am in Uganda. Nephew Luke might have been grabbing a bite before gathering with other believers.

It was 6 am in Cameroon. I’m guessing that Steve and Julie, my brother-in-law and sister, would soon be waking and preparing to celebrate.

It was already 1 pm in China. The church bell in Ya’an would have been heard 4 hours earlier. An hour after that, believers in Yibin would have been summoned by their church’s bell.

When my church service begins at 11 am, others–like my cousin Rachel and her family in Hawaii–will just be waking to Easter’s light.

How many hours does Easter last on our globe? My math fails me. And that’s just as well, because the reality of Easter is not a one-day thing–not a 24-hour event.

Easter is our reawakening to the ever-living Jesus. The celebration is our springtime springboard into the whole year of THE LORD IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED.

 

__________

Subscribe to NoelPiper.com by using the one of the Subscribe links to the right or by clicking here.

__________

Please visit my travel blog — Tell Me When to Pack.

  • Leave a Comment 5  

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Compassionate heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many reasons I thank God for our Talitha. The one I’m thinking about right now is this: I love to watch her tender heart in action. I see that compassion especially when she’s reaching out to young children. Whether it’s nieces and nephews or strangers, none views her as a stranger for long.

Last year, we visited Redeemer Bible Church one vacation Sunday. They had visitors representing Compassion International. At the end of the service, Talitha made a beeline to Compassion’s table at the back of the sanctuary. By the time I made my way there, she was clasping to her heart a photo of Juan. “Please, please, please. May I sponsor this sweet little boy in Guatemala?”

Now she writes to Juan, and he writes to her. A few months ago, a translator sent Talitha this message on Juan’s behalf:

When he saw you [a photo], his face lit up in smiles and tears of happiness. He asked God to meet you one day in person, to be able to speak to you.

So you can imagine the “Please, please, please” that followed when Talitha found out there’s a Compassion Sponsor’s trip to Guatemala in July, when she will indeed get to meet Juan, Lord willing.

And she invited me to come too. A mother doesn’t take it lightly when her teenager wants to be with her. So both of us are preparing for Guatemala.

Talitha’s excitement about Compassion’s ministry doesn’t stop with sponsoring and traveling. On her own, she’s taken the initiative to set up and man a Compassion information table at Bethlehem Downtown campus on Compassion Sunday weekend–before and after the service Saturday evening, April 21, and the Sunday morning services April 22.

Please stop by to pick up information about Compassion International. If God is leading you to sponsor a child, you’ll find packets there to choose from, so you can sign up on the spot. It would be hard to measure what a blessing that would be to Talitha, to see you blessing a child who lives in a difficult situation.

Request to you:

1. If you already are sponsoring a child through Compassion, please comment here to let us know.

2. If you’re familiar with Compassion, and can help Talitha at the Compassion table Saturday evening or Sunday morning, April 21 and 22, she’d love to hear from you.

 

  • Leave a Comment 3