Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Today I got an e-mail from a friend of mine, Timothy, in Uganda.  He uses a yahoo account and a computer at the local library to send me e-mails from time to time.  His English is better than my Lugandan, so we write back and forth a couple times a year.  We have some stuff in common as we both are parenting a grip of kids, share a passion for Jesus, and like a good bowl of ice cream.  However on a practical day to day level, our lives couldn’t be more different.

  • His house has no electricity, mine has like 50 places to plug into it.
  • His house has water from a well out front, mine has it from 5 locations inside my house.
  • His floor is dirt, mine is not.
  • His house has holes where windows would go, mine has windows where the holes are.
  • He has some clothes, my family has enough clothes for his whole village pretty much.
  • He is the sole pastor to many churches, I’m one of many pastors to one church.
  • He has no health care, I have medicines if my kids get a cold.
  • He has 2 boats to get across the lake, I have 3 or 4 cars to get my family across town. 
I could go on… for pages.  And if you don’t know people in situations like this, then it’s easy- especially for Americans- to assume their privileges are international rights.  But they aren’t.  I didn’t choose what country I grew up in or the kind of family I was born into.  It’s a privilege.  So from time to time, I need to get myself and my kids around those who have radically less than I do to remind me of both my gratitude and my responsibility to share the blessing.  I need to identify with the poor as a follower of Jesus. 
So, this week, I’m doing two things for this function, specifically in terms of shoes.
TOMORROW IS “ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES” sponsored by TOM’s.  I’ll be going shoeless all day tomorrow as a fast of sorts with people from all over the globe.  It’s a chance to remind myself that again, my shoes are a luxury, not a right.  It’s a chance to go without something I don’t have to, but need to go without for a day. 

THIS SUNDAY, my family will be joining our church to work with SOLES FOR SOULS to send shoes to Japan.  We’re going to buy new shoes for our family, then wear them to church, then we’re leaving them there as an offering and going home shoeless.  I’m praying it leaves an impression in our kids and reminds them that they are a luxury.

This picture is actually from our plane ride out of Uganda and Billy is realizing for the very first time in his life that he owns shoes.  As I snapped this picture he said, “I have shoes and socks!”  I just cried for joy for him.  I still cry at this picture.  It’s a privilege.

You can learn more about it here in this video if you want to participate. 

So join me.  Let’s go without and remind ourselves that most of want we NEED is really a WANT for the rest of the world. 


  1. love this.

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