Archives for the month of: February, 2016

Feb 29

Haitian girls pick up the pieces by retrieving household goods from a Port-au-Prince neighborhood reduced to rubble by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake which struck on January 12, 2010. Even now almost one million Haitians still live in refugee camps.

“You said, ‘Woe is me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.'”

Scripture Reference: Jeremiah 45:3, New Revised Standard Version

Photo Credit: Chris Hondros


Feb 28

People mourn and pray during a candlelight vigil after an explosion tore through a fertilizer plant on April 17, 2013. The explosion leveled buildings throughout the small town of West, Texas and killed 15 people, injured at least 200 more and damaged 350 homes. The explosion occurred after a fire broke out in the plant.

“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me for good?
    How long will you hide Your face from me?
How long will I harbor cares in my soul
    and sorrow in my heart by day?
    How long will my enemy loom over me?

Take note and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Brighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.”

Scripture Reference: Psalm 13:1-3, Modern English Version

Photo Credit: Ron Jenkins

Feb 27

Jesse Owens salutes during the presentation of his gold medal for the long jump, after defeating Germany’s Lutz Long during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

Jesse Owens and the German athlete on the right Luz Long became friends during the Olympics. Luz Long gave tips to Jesse Owens that maybe saved the competition for him, and congratulated and embraced him after the win with the utmost sportsmanship They remained in correspondence until Long was killed in Sicily when the Allies invaded the island. Owens said: “It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler. You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn’t be a plating on the twenty-four karat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment”.

“Keep on loving your friends; do your work in welcoming hearts. Don’t let the bullies kick me around, the moral midgets slap me down. Send the upstarts sprawling flat on their faces in the mud.”

Scripture Reference: Psalm 36:10-12, The Message (MSG)

Photo Credit: Time Magazine

Feb 26

At the end of World War Two the city of Dresden was in ruins, all its buildings destroyed and thousands of civilians dead. The order by Allied commanders to heavily bomb Dresden towards the end of the war has become one of the most controversial decisions made in the European theater. Of 28,410 houses in central Dresden, 24,866 were destroyed. 15 sq km totally demolished—of which there were: 14,000 homes, 72 schools, 22 hospitals, 19 churches, 5 theaters, 50 banks, 31 dept stores, 31 hotels, 62 administrative buildings. This photo shows the ruins of Dresden after the Allied bombings in February of 1945.

“Then Hezekiah prayed to God: ‘God-of-the-Angel-Armies, enthroned over the cherubim-angels, you are God, the only God there is, God of all kingdoms on earth. You made heaven and earth. Listen, O God, and hear. Look, O God, and see. Mark all these words of Sennacherib that he sent to mock the living God. It’s quite true, O God, that the kings of Assyria have devastated all the nations and their lands. They’ve thrown their gods into the trash and burned them—no great achievement since they were no-gods anyway, gods made in workshops, carved from wood and chiseled from rock. An end to the no-gods! But now step in, O God, our God. Save us from him. Let all the kingdoms of earth know that you and you alone are God.'”

Scripture Reference: Isaiah 37:15-20, The Message (MSG)

Photo Reference: Rare Historical Photo Archives of 1945

Feb 25

Protestors hold signs behind Richard Fuld, Chairman and Chief Executive of Lehman Brothers Holdings, as he takes his seat to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the causes and effects of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, on Capitol Hill in Washington in October, 2008. Fuld told Congress that U.S. banking regulators knew exactly how Lehman was pricing its distressed assets and about its liquidity in the months before its collapse.

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost through some misfortune… Naked a man comes from his mothers womb, and as he comes, so he departs….”

Scripture Reference: Ecclesiastes 5:10-15, (NIV)

Image Credit:  Reuters

Feb 24

Before the Tribhuvan Highway was built to link Kathmandu to the Indian border, the only way to get to Kathmandu was via foot or via air. In Nepal, coolies were used to transport items, like this car. In this photo, there are 60 coolies, moving to the rhythm of a chant, moving the car.  Their teamwork is phenomenal.

Now since we have chosen to walk with the Spirit, let’s keep each step in perfect sync with God’s Spirit. This will happen when we set aside our self-interests and work together to create true community instead of a culture consumed by provocation, pride, and envy.”

Scripture Reference: Galatias 5:25-26, The Voice (VOICE)

Photo Credit: Volkmar Wentzel, 1948.


Feb 23

The photograph shows a sailor removing the manacle from a newly-freed slave.

The Africans featured in the photos escaped in a canoe from a slave-trading village on the coast on hearing that the Royal Navy ship was in the area. In his report dated 15th October 1907, Commander Litchfield wrote that the ship received ‘six fugitives’ on a cruise off the Batineh Coast, Oman between 10th and 14th October. One of the fugitives had been manacled for three years and had escaped with his leg irons still on.

…no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a beloved brother—especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.

Scripture Reference: Philemon 16-17                                                                                                                       Photo Credit: This photo is part of a small collection donated by Samuel Chidwick to the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth. 


Feb 22

In November 1990 LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man named David Kirby — his body wasted by AIDS, his gaze locked on something beyond this world — surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths. The haunting image of Kirby on his death-bed quickly became the one photograph most powerfully identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic that, by then, had seen millions of people infected (many of them unknowingly) around the globe.

O God, you are my God, I seek you,
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Scripture Reference: Psalm 63:1, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)                                                 Photo Credit:  Therese Frare, LIFE Magazine

Feb 22

This picture is widely considered the photo that changed the face of AIDS. It showed AIDS victims as humans and people with families.

In November 1990 LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man named David Kirby — his body wasted by AIDS, his gaze locked on something beyond this world — surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths.

My soul is exhausted awaiting Your rescue
    yet I keep hoping in Your word.
My eyes are strained as I look for what You promised,
    saying, “When will You come to comfort me?”
Even though I have shriveled up like a wineskin left in the smoke,
    I still remember what You require.

Scripture Reference:   Psalm 119:81-83 The Voice (VOICE)                                                                          Image Credit: Therese Frare, LIFE Magazine 

Feb 21

Navy chaplain Luis Padillo gives last rites to a soldier wounded by sniper fire during a revolt in Venezuela. Braving the streets amid sniper fire, to offer last rites to the dying, the priest encountered a wounded soldier, who pulled himself up by clinging to the priest’s cassock, as bullets chewed up the concrete around them.

Even more intense about this picture is the setting, in the background is a carnicería (a butcher’s shop). In Spanish a carnicería means both a “butcher’s shop” and “slaughter, carnage”. The phrase “fue una carnicería” (English equivalent: “it was carnage”) is so common in the Spanish language. The parallel really catches one’s eye and draws the horror of the scene even further.

Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.

Scripture Reference: Luke 1: 76-79 The Message (MSG)                                                                                     Photo Credit: Hector Rondón Lovera, for the Venezuelan newspaper, La Republica