Tag Archive: India

apart from having one of the greatest full names known to personkind [say Lara Harler Lahr out loud or sing it to the tune of ‘Deck the Halls’] Lara and her husband Chris and their daughters Alexa, Moriah and India are good friends of ours that we met in Philly in our previous season of life…

having made some very similiar decisions to Nigel and his family in the previous post and demonstrating some true inspiration of what incarnation is really about and how perhaps more of us are called to live like this, here is Lara Harler Lahr…

from left: Moriah, Lara Harler, India, Chris, Alexa

from left: Moriah, Lara Harler, India, Chris, Alexa

We started raising our kids to be world changers before they were even conceived. The day we returned from our life changing summer in  India in 1997, we decided to live differently. It was that experience that led us to name our first daughter Alexa, which means defender of mankind. Soon after, we moved from Wilmore Kentucky to Philadelphia PA. We sold everything except what we could load into our van and bought a house in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Philadelphia 13 years ago. I knew that bringing an almost 1 year old to the ghetto of Philadelphia made no logical sense to our family or much of our friends…and there were days that I thought we were crazy as well!

Our next door neighbors fought a lot. I remember fearing for the woman next door and for those sweet boys of hers. As the screaming went on for hours on end, all we could do was pray…or so we thought…. We started talking to our neighbors a little here and there and eventually decided to take down the little gate between our two back “yards.”  We went in halfsies and bought a baby pool.  I never had any deep conversations with them during that first year, and never pried into their problems. One day Chris was on the front porch hanging out when he saw our neighbor talking to other neighbors. Afterwards she came to Chris and said “Did you see that?! I just talked to a neighbor!! I never talk to neighbors, but I have been noticing you and Lara talking to neighbors and I decided I shouldn’t be the neighborhood bitch anymore!” Then she went on to say that she had noticed our relationship and it really brought hope for a healthy marriage!!

We realized at that point that having a healthy marriage and a healthy relationship with our kids does change the world!  Especially in the area where we live…where hardly and kids have a two parent home!!

Fast forward 13 years to today. We have three daughters who go to a local charter school. We have been part of a local church in the heart of the “Badlands” of Philly.  They witness the reality of poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, incarceration, shootings, and other violence. We have had to listen to our girls share heart breaking stories that they have heard from friends at school. My younger ones love to play homeless like most kids like to play house! This is just the world they know. Because my girls are exposed to such difficult and seemingly unchangeable circumstances, we put a lot of energy into teaching them to pray.  We have had morning devotions every morning for several years now and we are teaching them to pray and believe.

Two years ago we were able to travel to India to visit with our friend and her 48 kids and the child that we have been sponsoring for years. I had been in a car accident that left me with a settlement that covered our trip, and I wanted to go there more than do anything else so that my kids could witness and be a part of the faith of these kids in India. I could go on and on with stories of how much faith these children have and how God answers their prayers. I want my girls to know that closeness with God and to have that kind of faith. My girls hearts were changed. They are being molded more and more every day by their experiences which give them love for people and a deeper reliance on the power of prayer that does change the world.

[For another exciting story on raising children as world affecting people, click here for the story of Lisa Scandrette and her family]



i didn’t watch a lot of the South Africa/India match because i was busy helping my friend make a short film and then mc’ing a charity event, and so was following mostly on radio and cricinfo, but i did get to see the start of the India innings where Sehwag glanced a ball behind him between the keep and first slip and the keeper didn’t even move – it was crazy bizarre cos it seemed like a straightforward catch but he literally just stood still… that is until i read this article…

Kolkata – Morné van Wyk didn’t just appear to be asleep behind the stumps in South Africa’s thrilling victory over India last Saturday – he was!

Confusing a sleeping pill for a vitamin pill Morne van Wyk gobbled one up before the game and was literally fighting to stay awake. Fortunately we won the game, altho that miss could have been costly [altho i had Sehwag in my fantasy dream league team so he scored a bit AND we won which is the way to go] but it wasn’t and so the whole thing is pretty funny… and probably a lot easier to believe than when shane warne got bust for drugs and claimed his mom gave them to him a few years ago…

you can read the rest of the story here…

do you see yourself as rich? i would imagine probably not

if i had to put myself on a wealth scale i would probably rate myself as below average

i would compare myself to the people i know who have so much more than me – own houses, better cars, holiday house, huge screen television, able to fly overseas on holiday (or even have lavish comfortable holidays here), more impressive toys and so on

would i see myself as poor? definitely not – having lived in a township for a year and a half i have witnessed a small aspect of what poverty can look like and so i know that i am completely not close to being poor (altho to be fair there were a lot of people in the K who had better phones, cars, toys, clothes than me so i wasn’t even the toppest rich there)

but the reality is that if i can read (which i can) then that puts me in the top 30% of people in the world – if i own a computer (which i do) that puts me in the top 1% of people in the world – when you look at things like acess to safe drinking water, three meals a day and so on then suddenly my wealthometer reading is skyrocketing

the truth is that wealth is relative – apparently 6% of the people in the world own 59% of the entire world’s wealth – India and China (two of the countries with some of the world’s poorest people in them) are top of the list of most new millionaires this last year

to some of my friends and people in my church i am poor… but to some of the guys i work with in the K and to the guys lining up in the road down the road from where we stay every morning looking for work i am most definitely very rich – my ‘poverty’ is another man’s ‘incredible wealth’ and my ‘abundance’ is another guy’s table scraps

in the Bible in the book of Timothy (1. chapter 6.10) it says ‘for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’ – the bible doesn’t speak of money as evil (it’s the love thereof) and doesn’t even say you can’t be rich (but does say a lot that to be rich is more difficult and that rich people better use their money wisely) but it does teach us to use what we have well. very well.

i imagine wherever you appear on the wealth scale, there is someone less wealthy than you that you can reach out to and encourage and assist and help up, and so my question is, what are you doing with your wealth to ease someone else’s poverty?

and above all, i guess my point here is that as much as i would love to see myself as ‘below average’ i am in fact overwhelmingly rich, as are you if you are reading this.

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