A Life-Changing TED Talk

There have been a handful of times in my life where I can viscerally remember my world being turned upside down. I can remember where I was, what was said, and how everything changed in that moment.

Hearing Gary Haugen speak was one of those moments.

Like so many of you, I am someone who has a picture of a sponsor child on my refrigerator. I have supported missions trips to build water for clean wells, written checks to educate girls, bought a stake in a goat to feed a hungry community.

But until I learned about the Locust Effect, it had never crossed my mind that it was little use to provide a vegetable garden to a widow in Uganda, if her greedy neighbor can steal her land and produce and get away with it. It is of little use for me to pay for school fees and uniforms (and menstrual supplies) so that girls can go to school, if they are so afraid of being raped on the way that they cannot go. It is of no use at all to send clothes and books and staples to impoverished communities in India, if the people are enslaved and physically cannot leave the property to avail themselves of help.

Compassion needs to move us to address the heartbreak of poverty. (And, thank God, it does.)

But wisdom needs to inform our compassion so that, in addressing poverty, we are also addressing the violence which so often keeps poor people poor.

Maybe you’re not a reader. Maybe books like the Locust Effect and Half the Sky are not your thing. But maybe you have twenty minutes to watch a video clip, or to cue this up to listen to as a podcast. It’s a game-changer.

Please listen. This is the best TED talk I have ever listened to. And, I dare say, probably the most important. (Click on the picture, and it will direct you to the talk.)
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Share the video, find out more and follow up with International Justice Mission here.

“History will convene a tribunal of our grandchildren, and they will ask us…. “what did you do?” – Gary Haugen

I want to have a better answer to that question.

An incredible movie and a book giveaway – The Locust Effect

Yesterday I introduced you to a book I believe is going to change the way we look at global poverty: The Locust Effect. If you missed yesterday, here’s the link to The Beginner’s Guide to the Locust Effect, and the  link to The Locust Effect website. Today: there’s a free movie and free books (yes! that’s plural! BOOKS!) up for grabs.

Watch the Movie

Maybe wordy words are not your thing. Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words. If so, here is a short video to introduce The Locust Effect.

This week, we are spreading the word about the plague of everyday violence and the urgent need for us to address it for the sake of the billions of vulnerable and victimized poor in our world. This calls for courage on our part: courage to not look away, to ask hard questions, to get involved in something messy for the sake of loving the least of these.

Share and Win!

The goal this week is to be AWARE and SHARE. We want to get the word out. IJM has generously offered to let me give away a copy of the book. A hard back copy of The Locust Effect is up for grabs to all entrants within the USA. However, I want to add another book to the prize pile – and so I am offering a Kindle version of the book to a winner outside of the USA, which can be received by email. That’s right folks – there are TWO COPIES OF THE LOCUST EFFECT UP FOR GRABS!

To enter, leave a comment and tell me what action step you took from the suggestions below (share on Twitter, sign the petition, watch the video, etc…). For multiple entries, leave a separate comment for each action step you took.  I will choose a random winner on February 9th. Suggested action steps:

Spread the word about the Locust Effect: Shine a light into the dark places by talking about The Locust Effect with friends and sharing links on social media.

  • Share the video on facebook, twitter, google +, or email it to someone.
  • Share the Locust Effect website
  • Share a blog post about it.
  • Sample Tweet: Can watching a video change the lives of the world’s 4bil poorest? Maybe not, but it’s a start. Watch: http://bit.ly/TLEveryday#LocustEffect
  • -Sample Tweet: It’s time! Buy @garyhaugen’s #LocustEffect this week & $20 will go to @IJM to fight violence against the poor. A win-win:http://bit.ly/BuyTLE

Grab a button and make it your profile picture or cover photo:

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Buy the book It is available in major stores and online. (From now until February 8th, $20 will be donated for every copy of The Locust Effect sold, up to $40,000 or 2,000 copies. This would fund 8 rescue operations and rescue hundreds! All author royalties go to IJM to help fight violence against the poor.)

Sign the petition – Send a message to the U.N. now. Ask that violence against the poor be elevated as a global issue. (You can sign with one-click by connecting to Facebook, it only takes a few seconds)

Donate – IJM (the International Justice Mission) is on the ground all over the world bringing rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. Give freedom, give justice.

Be creative – share about the Locust Effect in your small group, mention it in a lecture where international affairs are being discussed, write a letter to a newspaper, write a song and share it, shoot a short video with some friends saying “I know what the Locust Effect is!” and upload it onto youtube.

Leave a comment with your action step to enter, and don’t forget to say whether you’re a US or International entrant. Good luck, and thank you for helping spread the word!