Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why We Give Lipstick to Homeless Women and Other Women Living in Poverty

A couple of years ago I received this letter from my friend Jodi Potter and felt it was worth repeating as Hope 4 Women International steps out to put lipstick in our hygiene packets to homeless women here at home and prepare to hold tea parties in Uganda this summer.

Here is what Jodi wrote:
"I have shared with some that my first reaction to the tea parties held for widows in Uganda--well--I just didn't get it. I thought. . . these ladies need food, medicine, beds,etc. Seriously--lipstick, nail polish? How are these things important in their lives? Well, I have changed my mind based on the witness of the people involved and have seen the hope & dignity this time with the widows brings.
Yesterday I was reading a book, Sex God--Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality & Spirituality. Hey. I bought it at church. . .
There was a story about a concentration camp in Germany where a British soldier described the disgusting, tragic conditions that they encountered while liberating a camp called Bergen-Belsen. The horrors he saw designed to strip people of their humanity was unbelievable. He said: "It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we wanted , we were screaming for hundreds & thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it. It was an action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets & no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the postmortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. at last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.
Because sometimes, the difference between heaven & hell, may be a bit of lipstick." Wow! So, when you see pictures of us loving on these women & putting otherwise frivolous cosmetics on them, just remember that we are a part of this--We will be meeting their needs of food, shelter, etc. but, first & foremost, we will be reminding them that they are human beings! They are not objects or numbers in the vast expanse of widows in Uganda that appear to be forgotten by the world. They are beautiful children of God. Created by Him in His image!
'For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10)' "

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Can You Help Little James Owori?

Pastor Ruth of Smile Africa Ministries is at it again. She found little James Owori—or should I say they found her. His little feet are twisted and he will need to go for therapy once a week and also have his feet in casts to straighten them.

Recently Pastor Ruth took another child who is a bit older than James—in eight months of treatments she is now able to stand. Here’s what Pastor Ruth wrote about James:

James Owori is one and half months old. His mother is 20yrs old. She is a single mother and has headed a family of four as a child headed family since their parents died when they where young. She told me that she thought marriage would solve her problems but instead the man she trusted got her pregnant and left immediately when he noticed that she was pregnant, adding more responsibility to this girl. It broke her heart when she gave birth and realized that her baby was disabled. It was when she heard the testimony of Auma the girl who got surgery recently,that she gained hope that God might have a way to save her baby from being disabled.She visited Auma's home and that is where she got directions to reach Smile Africa.”

Can you help little James have a normal life? For a donation of $20 you can pay for one treatment. If enough people send $20 we can give little James the gift of using his feet and legs. Please send $20 to:

Hope 4 Women International

P.O. Box 74010

Phoenix, AZ 85087

Or contact