Leap of faith: A young girl’s mission trip to Nepal

first_imgShare on Facebook Tweet on Twitter P Shakya Please enter your name here Please enter your comment! September 10, 2018 at 11:10 am Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Alisha Ashford is a graduate of Lake Mary High School and spent a year in Spain through a student exchange program. She is currently a journalism major at Seminole State College. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing this. Reply TAGSAlisha AshfordMillennials Previous articleIn case you missed it: The Apopka news week in reviewNext articleLet’s Talk About It: Long drive champion donates winnings to scholarships Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 The Anatomy of Fear Through her eyes: A millennial girl takes on Central FloridaBy Alisha AshfordDuring the summer break months, some students take the opportunity as school is out to travel to another country on a mission trip to help others in need. A couple of months ago, a good friend of mine named Toni Williams returned from a mission trip to Kathmandu, Nepal. Her story deeply inspired me to act when I see a need in the world and follow what I’m passionate about even though I’m young.Toni is a 19-year-old who studies at Seminole State College and devotes most of her free time to serving at Lake Mary Church. Lake Mary Church is affiliated with Every Nation Family of Churches, a global organization that helps provide her and many others with an outlet to reach others through mission trips all around the world. Even as a teenager, she has already discovered her desire to become a missionary, stating, “I care about the justice of those who have been treated unjustly. As a follower of Jesus, I want to serve those in need.”When her church presented her with a list of countries she could choose to travel to, she initially decided on Mexico and Australia. However, due to a feeling of uneasiness about her choice she decided to readdress her selection. Soon after, she stumbled upon a documentary about human trafficking which revealed the grave suffering that countless women face in nearly every part of the world. Seeing just a glimpse of what so many people must endure, especially in countries like Nepal, placed a desire in her to do whatever she can to reach their need in any way possible. After seeking advice, doing research on Kathmandu, and praying about her decision, Toni was affirmed to go to Nepal.It was not an easy choice for her to make. Most of the other students at her church going on a mission trip that summer were going to Mexico or Australia. Toni would be the only one representing her home church on the trip to Nepal. In addition to embarking on this journey with people that were virtually strangers, she would be in a place where it is illegal to introduce others to Christianity intentionally.Because Nepal adopted a new constitution in 2007 called The Interim Constitution, they now have the freedom to practice any religion they choose. For that reason, approximately 1.4% of the population of Nepal’s once “Hindu kingdom” proclaim to be Christian. Along with a growing Christian population, many Nepalis in the lower regions of Nepal are converting to Islam.While Nepali people are protected under the law to subscribe to any religion, those who wish to evangelize, or convert the religion of another are in danger of facing punishment. In 2017, the government of Nepal put legislation into place which dictates that no one should be involved in the conversion of religion. The price of breaking this law is five years in prison and in some cases, deportation. It would present her with a higher level of danger than some other countries considering one of the purposes of her trip was to evangelize. But these circumstances didn’t stop her from taking the leap of faith.Upon arrival in Kathmandu, she was presented with culture and struggle completely different from one she had ever seen before. In Nepal, a lot of people in rural areas live in poverty and lack necessities like a safe house to live in, basic transportation, and healthcare. Many girls face high exposure to human trafficking, are abused by their own families, and in some cases are forced to work in the circus with no regulations whatsoever. Because females typically don’t earn money, they can be looked at with little value by their families.It is not to say that Nepal hasn’t made some great and impactful strides towards the equality of women. For about a century now, Nepal has shown efforts towards creating an equal space for women economically and in the political arena as they elected their first female president back in 2015. Their representation of women in the government is increasing greatly, and they are showing more enthusiasm toward gender equality.However, the lives of everyday women are still deeply affected by gender discrimination. The issues stem less from constitutional inequities, and more from deep-rooted cultural issues within family and social structures. Many women in rural areas are still considered second-class citizens.Toni disclosed one case of a young girl that whenever was “injured or sick, the family didn’t care, but if her brother was injured they would rush him to the hospital because boys have value—they are the ones who make income.” She goes on to explain that even after being rescued and put in a safe house, if there was not enough food, her brother was fed, but she wasn’t.At the hotel in Nepal where Toni stayed, she met a girl who planned to move closer to India after being offered a job as a nanny. Toni and her team began to talk to her, and they quickly realized that the girl might have been in more danger than she first appeared. “When we found out the way she was offered the job, we realized it was a set up for human trafficking. So, we convinced her to keep her job there and stay safe that way she wouldn’t be a victim of trafficking.”Encounters like that are not common for anyone, especially such a young person to experience. Toni’s trip to Nepal is not the last of her work abroad. In fact, this is only the beginning. She carries a new perspective with her about less-privileged countries. Even though the people of Nepal do not consider themselves to lack much as it is all they know, “they are very poor in the eyes of an American,” with everything in America being “so easily accessible it’s easy to forget that we’re so blessed.”Toni plans to make an impact in nations all around the world, serving others with every chance she gets going forward. Her impact though, reaches beyond the country of Nepal, even to others around her in central Florida, such as myself. Her courage to do good even amid dark circumstances reminds me that there is no better day than today to extend help and love to others—even when it requires a hard sacrifice. 1 COMMENTlast_img read more

Blogger and mother on hunger strike, both could die

first_img IranMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts Organisation Reporters Without Borders condemns the deadly indifference of Iran’s most senior judicial authorities for refusing to release Hossein Ronaghi Malki, a jailed blogger who is gravely ill and who today began his 20th day on hunger strike in protest against his detention and his prison conditions.Malki’s mother, Zolikha Mosavi, has also been on hunger strike for the past eight days to protest against the inhuman way her son is being treated.“This human rights defender has been unjustly detained for the past four years and, in view of his determination to continue the hunger strike, the Iranian authorities must make a humanitarian gesture and release him,” Reporters Without Borders said.“We hold judicial authority chief Sadegh Amoli Larijani, Tehran prosecutor Abas Jafari Dolatabadi and justice minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi responsible for the lives of Malki and his mother.”Malki, who began his hunger strike on 9 August, now weighs only 52 kilos and is reportedly unconscious for much of the time. Arrested on 13 December 2010, he continues to serve a 17-year jail sentence although he has undergone several kidney operations and is in very poor health.After being granted parole in order to seek treatment, he was returned to Tehran’s Evin prison on 22 May.His family is very worried but is powerless in the face of the authorities’ refusal to relent. His father demanded Malki’s right to adequate medical treatment in an open letter to the judicial authorities on 1 August. His mother, who has heart problems, told the BBC’s Persian language service: “I have begun this hunger strike to make my plea heard. I want my son to be granted medical parole. If they want to kill him, let them execute him. But it is inhuman to leave him in agony and pain.”In an open letter to the Tehran prosecutor today, 41 detainees in Evin prison’s Section 305 voiced deep concern about Malki’s “critical condition” and condemned the “irresponsibility of the judicial and prison authorities.”Reporters Without Borders is publishing the results of an examination of Malki’s kidneys nearly a year ago that shows how alarming his condition is. This human rights defender is in urgent need of adequate medical care. June 9, 2021 Find out more News March 18, 2021 Find out more After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists August 28, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Blogger and mother on hunger strike, both could die IranMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Irancenter_img News Help by sharing this information RSF_en News Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists News Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 to go further February 25, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Arsenal sign Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe in club record deal

first_imgArsenal have signed forward Nicolas Pepe from French club Lille for a club-record fee, the Premier League side said on Thursday. He is now the most expensive African footballer of all time.Financial details of the transfer were not revealed but British media reported it was around 72 million pounds, eclipsing the 56 million pounds paid to Borussia Dortmund for striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last year.”Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery said in a statement here.Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I’m delighted he’s joining.He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team.Welcome to The Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe#PepeIsHere pic.twitter.com/nXJIB9XdLWArsenal (@Arsenal) August 1, 2019The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international signed a five-year deal and will wear the number 19 shirt at the London club.Pepe, who was also linked with many European clubs in the close season, scored 22 goals in Ligue 1 last season second only to Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe who scored 33 goals and also grabbed 11 assists.Being here is very emotional because it has not been easy for me, said Pepe. I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward.Pepe is Arsenal’s fourth recruit of the close season after the club signed Brazilian winger Gabriel Martinelli, midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid and centre back William Saliba, who has been loaned back to St Etienne for the season.advertisementArsenal, who finished fifth last season, play a friendly against Barcelona on Sunday before they begin the new league campaign with a trip to Newcastle United on Aug. 11.Read more | FIFA approves expansion of women’s World Cup to 32 teams in 2023Also see:last_img read more