Voices from the Night: The Power and Promise of Community Change is now out there for everybody to see and read. It is a “story book.” I am a story teller! I have had the opportunity to be a witness to so many events in so many environments. Whether it is the preacher in me, the teacher in me, or the advocate in me, or all of the above, I cannot tell a story without applying a lesson.
The book is about creating and inspiring change — personal, community, and national change. It may be pretentious on my part to assume that anything I have to say could incite change in anything or anybody. However, I hope the voices found in the book will at least prompt some serious thinking. This is not an academic treatise, but rather an invitation to the reader to come into the world I have experienced over the past 20 years. If you accept the invitation, there is always a risk that you may want to join me in this journey. That would be fun. For sure, it will be transformational.
In preparing the manuscript for final submission, I had to read the book again, several more times. I wrote the book on airplanes, in African villages, in police stations, in coffee shops, and yes, even in my study. I read it once for cohesion and clarity and then again, for those dreaded and perhaps overlooked typos and grammatical errors. Each time I read it, I was taken back again into the lives and experiences of the people I have met and the people who have walked along side me in this adventure called life. I am humbled, not an easy thing to recognize in me, that I have seen incredible resiliency on the part of amazing people in extremely difficult circumstances. They have taught me – they have guided me, their lives have often served as a “correction” to my own course. A mother fleeing Somalia and finding refuge in a camp in Kenya but determined to bring recovery and wholeness to her children moves me to action. A nurse in Swaziland, a policeman in Wichita, a teacher in western Kansas are all facilitators of change in the lives of individuals and remind me that ultimately all of the work we do will affect the individual and must have a positive impact. At the end of the day, the voice we hear and the life we engage is an individual living in a community.
I want you to be inspired by this book and to hear the voices of those crying in the wilderness. Recently, the voices I have been hearing are from women and children. The gender equity issues that remain in our world continue to challenge me and to frustrate me. I am convinced that religion is the biggest culprit in this historical drama. Imagine if the monotheistic religions would get their act together on gender equality. What it would mean for how we treat women in the workplace, the classroom, the culture as a whole. Therefore, all the proceeds from this book will be used to support the gender based violence prevention work of Servant Forge and our partner Tough Angels. These organizations are making a difference on this issue and they deserve our support in their efforts to stand with the oppressed. So, buy the book! Let me know what you think, get engaged in your local community and know that in buying the book, you are helping to rescue women and children from the hell of gender violence and abuse.
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