Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Global View

Today's snapshot comes from a young woman living in New Zealand. A quick glance at the country reveals a strong indigenous people group, the Maori. The Maori were highlighted in the 2002 award winning film, Whale Rider. The movie's star is Keisha Castle-Hughes, born to a Maori mother and English-Australian father. According to an October 6 AP release, 16-year-old Castle-Hughes is pregnant.

The World Population Fund's website states that, "Pregnancy is a leading cause of death for young women aged 15 to 19 worldwide . . . girls aged 15 to 19 are twice as likely to die in childbirth as those in their twenties." Thankfully, Keisha Castle-Hughes will more than likely have access to proper healthcare during her pregnancy and delivery. For many around the world, healthcare is not available.

In this year's Save the Children Mother's Day Report Card, the ten worst places to be a mother and a child are: Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Yemen, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

The UN has adopted the improvement of maternal health as one of the eight Millinneum Development Goals. Click here to learn more and to find out what we can do to make a difference.

So, New Zealand, country of strength and heritage is where we find today's contributor to Sparkfly. Did you know that New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote? Ok, Ok, here is the interview . . .

Born in Africa, Sarah Stiles Bone is a 25 year old woman who lives in Wellington, New Zealand. On September 30th she married the love of her life and will soon be moving to her husband's native country of the US for one year.

Sparkfly: What are your dreams for the future?
Sarah: I want to love God's children . . . wherever it is that God leads us. I want to live in community within the developing world. Being born in Blantyre, Malawi, I am uncomfortable with western living. Take me to Africa! I want to help through the promotion of education. I believe it is the key to breaking the poverty cycle.

Sparkfly: What keeps you motivated as you seek to obtain your dreams?
Sarah: Listening to missionaries out there living their dreams. Last weekend I met a couple who lives in Calcutta, India. They are back in New Zealand for the birth of their second baby. They shared about their work in a bag company that has about 100 women sewing these trendy bags instead of being prostitutes. Wow! This couple was beaming and they had such a peace about them.

Sparkfly: What are obtacles that deter you from following your dreams?
Sarah: The usual, silly doubts and fears about not being good enough. Money struggles, family ties, wanting to control instead of surrendering to our awesome God and God's better plans for me.

Sparkfly: Have there been influential people in your life that encouraged you and motivated you as you moved forward?
Sarah: The itinerant pastors from the church I attended at university. They travel all over the world ministering at YWAM bases. They are genuine about their faith, they really live it. Despite their importance they would sit and chat with me. They prayed for me and ministered to me in a very powerful way during a pivotal time in my life.


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