We're happy to announce that we will be donating all of our profits from the 8.5 x 8.5 paper back to the Nazarene fund at Mercury One. From the very first time I heard about the atrocities that ISIS is committing in the middle east I was sickened and heartbroken for the people over there. I thought for sure the United States would put forth some kind of solid effort to help. While I don't care to go into what has and hasn't been done to thwart ISIS, the fact is: right now every day men, women, and children are being slaughtered for nothing other than their beliefs. I cannot abide the thought of this. The last few years, I have become increasingly aware of how extremely blessed I am. I have what might be considered an ordinary American life. I am happily married, I am firmly planted in the middle class, I have 2.5 (very soon to be 3.5) kids, I work 8-5, get holidays and weekends off, and life is everything I ever hoped it would be. I live in the greatest country on earth which still affords me the opportunity to pursue and achieve my dream (which is what I am currently endeavoring to do) and for the most part happiness dominates most of my family's days. I see pure innocence when I look into my boys' eyes, I can't imagine life without them. I literally cannot stand the thought of my children being harmed. I have a pretty serious case of "daddy bearitis". So when I hear about the things that are happening in Syria and Iraq, a resounding question rings in my mind; what if that happened to me and my family?
I have personally studied WWII quite a bit and I always wonder how nations stood by while an entire people where herded into death camps. They stood by because they rationalized and said things like "they are work camps" maybe they said, "eventually someone will do something about it". Eventually did happen, but it cost 6 million lives. We all know the story, and we say that would never happen these days. I think that is exactly what people thought back then. In the past when I'd watch WW2 documentaries or Schindler's List I'd think to myself, "I would not stand idle while people were marched to their end. I hope that I would do something.". Well it is happening NOW, and today what I ask myself is can I say in good conscience, "Some one else more able will fix it"? With all of my heart, no. I can not. When I hear about children being crucified, raped, cut in half, or in pieces, or burned, I can't help but imagine my family in that kind of situation. I will go mad before I can square myself with the scene of it. Words fail me. The absolute horror of their everyday lives makes me feel unworthy of my simple, bliss filled life. If I keep getting myself worked up like this I might lose all rationality and start making some rash decisions, so on to the good part!
There is help for those who have escaped! The good folks at Mercury One have set up the Nazarene fund which helps resettle Christian families in safer countries. Nick and I will not be taking any profits on the 8.5 x 8.5 paperback version of the book. That book is printed on demand through an Amazon service called Create Space and thus will never be back ordered and always available for order with the benefits of Amazon Prime free shipping (which the landscape versions of the book are not eligible for at the moment). The little paperback is a great option for kids to have as their own copy, to tuck in a church or travel bag, or to just help keep your hardback in mint condition. We now have an opportunity for us to put our money where our mouth is. As soon as we accrue $100 or more of royalties Create Space sends us a check. We will then send those funds directly to Mercury One. We don't have any special relationship with Mercury One or any kind of sponsorship with them. This is purely a private donation. I don't know what kind of difference we can make, but I'll sleep better knowing that we're doing something and The Gift Giver will truly give this year.
According to the website it takes about $25,000 to save a family of 4. What do you think, should we set that as a goal? Can The Gift Giver help one family reach safer shores by Christmas? Let me know and maybe we can create some kind of meter to keep everyone up to speed on how much money we've raised for the Nazarene fund. If you don't want the book or have already bought one and just want to donate directly to the fund that's totally fine, just click the link above and it will put you in the right place.
I promise this will be the heaviest post we'll do, but this is something I feel strongly about and really felt compelled to do something about. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you contribute in some way. Godspeed #neveragainisnow.