Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Monday, May 19, 2014


Photo: Matilde Zacchigna


March 26, 2014

1. Because you haven’t failed enough

Because you’re comfortable in your mediocrity. Because you choose not to try.

Because it’s easier to talk about learning that new language than actually learning it.

Because you think everything is too hard or too complicated, so you’ll just ‘sit this one out,’ or maybe you’ll ‘do it tomorrow.’

Because you hate your job but won’t get a new one. Because it’s easy to reject rejection.

Because while you’re sitting around failing to try, I’m out there trying to fail, challenging myself, learning new things, and failing as fast as possible.

Because as I fail, I learn and then adjust my course to make sure my path is always forward. Like annealed steel, I’ve been through the fire and pounded into shape. The shape of a sword with polished edges and a razor-sharp blade that’ll cut you in half if you’re not equally hardened.

2. Because you care what others think about you

Because you have to fit in.

Because you believe that being different is only cool if you’re different in the same way that other people are different.

Because you’re afraid to embrace your true self for fear of how the world will see you. You think that because you judge others, this means that those people must, in turn, be judging you.

Because you care more about the stuff you have as opposed to the things you’ve done.

Because while you’re out spending your money on new outfits, new cars, overpriced meals, or nights at the bar, I’ll be investing in myself. And while you try to fit in with the world I’ll make the world fit in with me.

Because I will recklessly abandon all insecurities and expose my true self to the world. I will become immune to the impact of your opinion and stand naked in a crowd of ideas, comfortable in knowing that while you married the mundane I explored the exceptional.

3. Because you think you’re smarter than you are

Because you did what everyone else did; you studied what they studied and read what they read.

Because you learned what you had to learn in order to pass their tests, and you think that makes you smart.

Because you think learning is only something people do in schools.

Because while you were away at college, I was studying life. Because instead of learning about the world in a classroom, I went out and learned it by living.

Because I know more than any piece of paper you could ever frame from a university. Because smart is not what you learn — it’s how you live.

Because I might not have a degree, but I challenge you to find a topic that I can’t talk to you about cohesively.

Because I could pass your tests if I had to, but you couldn’t stand for a single second in the face of the tests that life has thrown me. Tests that are not graded on a bell curve or by percentages, tests that are graded by one simple stipulation: survival!

4. Because you don’t read

Because you read the things you’re required to read or nothing at all.

Because you think history is boring and philosophy is stupid.

Because you would rather sit and watch E! or MTV instead of exploring something new, instead of diving headfirst into the brain of another person in an attempt to better understand the world around you.

Because you refuse to acknowledge that all the power in the world comes from the words of those that lived before us. That anything you desire can be had by searching through the multitude of words that are available to us now more abundantly than ever before.

Because you’re probably not reading this article, even though you know you should.

Because the people that are reading this already know these things.

Because you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

5. Because you lack curiosity

Because you get your news from copycat members of the state-controlled media.

Because you’re unwilling to ask this simple question, “What if it’s all a lie?” and accept the possibility that maybe it is. That, just maybe, the methods of mass media are under direct orders to keep you distracted.

Because you call me a know-it-all but refuse to call yourself a know-nothing-at-all.

Because I thirst for knowledge, regardless of the topic.

Because while you’re busy playing Candy Crush, or Megapolis, I’m reading about string theory and quantum mechanics.

Because while you waste your time with Tosh.0, I’m learning how to edit video, build websites, and design mobile apps.

Because if we were to go heads-up in a debate, I would crush you. I would make it a point to defeat my own argument, from every imaginable angle, in order to understand everything you might be able to use against me.

Because I would dedicate myself to understanding both sides of the argument so thoroughly that I could argue your side for you and win, even after having just handed you a defeat in the same debate.

6. Because you don’t ask enough questions

Because you don’t question authority [and when you do you don't know how to deal with it - res]

Because you don’t question yourself.

Because you don’t understand the power of properly placed questioning in life, respectful disagreements, and standing up for what you know to be right in the face of someone telling you otherwise. Unable to question reality, stuck in a self-imposed survival strategy within aMatrix-style monotony.

Because I know that you’ll give me all the information I need to destroy you by letting you talk.

Because I study human behaviors, and you ignore everyone but yourself.

Because I watch how you say the things you say just as closely as I listen to what you say, and you say way too much!

Because control comes not from spewing your ignorance like some incurable case of logorrhea but from properly structuring the context of your questions.

Because I study the premise of your argument and destroy it from the ground level before you even get a chance to establish your ideas.

7. Because you can’t handle the truth

Because you refuse to admit that you don’t even know the things you don’t know.

Because there isn’t an article online that would make up for all the time you’ve wasted in life.

Because even if I told you everything could be different tomorrow, you’d wait until then to begin doing anything about it.

Because even when you think I’m not, I’m aware of my surroundings.

Because you think that since I have not acknowledged you, it means that I have not seen you.

Because you walk around with your head up your ass, oblivious to the world around you, blissfully ignorant of the reality that sits so close to your face that if you stuck your tongue out, just once, you would taste it and realize how delicious the truth actually is.

Because you would become an instant addict, unable to pull yourself from the teat of truth, finally able to understand your lack of understanding. And then you would see. Then you would know the only thing holding you back from doing something truly amazing is you.

This post was originally published at Raymmar.com and is reprinted here with permission.

* * * * * * * * * *

Reflections on Renewal

*Loving this post! These truths work for anything.... Our sucky life with all its complaints. Our visionless jobs and careers. Our go-nowhere-relationships that suck the life right out of us and keep us from growing up, or acting with the authority and leadership that God has given to us. Or has riddled our lives with the toxic poisons of tongues and putrid hearts from the people closest to us who themselves have no vision, or loving care, for our well-being. Or our boxed-in-theology that complains too much and doesn't contemplate enough. That allows others to tell us what to believe-and-do without questioning why it is that we are attracted to that philosophy (or theology).

That ultimately we are the only ones who are responsible to make the spiritual choices for our head, heart, and soul. And that we alone are the ones to blame for our life rotting away on the outer edges of nothingness. For not realizing that the Lord God of Creation has empowered us through His Son Jesus, and by His Holy Spirit, to be everything that we should be through His atoning love and sacrifice. That self-empowerment begins with personal confession of sin and pride. That newness of life begins with Jesus and His sacrifice of redemption. That all of life's hurts, and angers, and sufferings, can become more meaningful moments of spiritual victory and connectedness when God leads and directs in all things in our lives.

No... not right away. It'll take years and years of pain and restitution to be resolved and rectified. But with each small victory can come greater personal growth and satisfaction that God's will is all we will ever need. Not our own will. Nor someone else's will. But God's will. Not money, power, status, or success. But God Himself. Who is the real source for our freedom, purpose, and meaning of life. And with this choice will come health, and healing, and joy, regardless of life's miseries and brokenness. This is what is meant by salvation. And it is the number 1 reason why your life may not suck after all. And it may be the number 1 reason why your life may mean anything at all. All praise be to God, the Savior of our souls! Amen.

R.E. Slater
May 19, 2014

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Word of Life

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, andtestify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our[a] joy may be complete.

Walking in the Light

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he isfaithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Physics: Photos of Infinity and Birthing Nebula

Wired Space Photo of the Day

In a Universe infinite-in-time and luminous-stuff, like stars, we would expect to see light from stars in every direction we look. This would mean the night sky would not be dark and instead infinity would glow. This isn't the Universe that we live in; but if we did perhaps this view towards the center of our galaxy simulates the feeling.

If every pixel detected the light of a star, this picture contains many millions of stars. To add to the hyperbole NGC 6522 (top right) and NGC 6528 (lower left) are two globular clusters with their own 100,000 suns. 

This is one of my favorite star fields. Few others pair globular clusters amid a sea of stars quite like this. It is a bit of a challenge to capture this area from the northern hemisphere since it is so low in the sky and requires steady, clear conditions.

Wired Space Photo of the Day

Stars are often born in clusters or groups, in giant clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers have studied two star clusters using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and infrared telescopes and the results show that the simplest ideas for the birth of these clusters cannot work. This composite image shows one of the clusters, NGC 2024, which is found in the center of the so-called Flame Nebula about 1,400 light years from Earth. In this image, X-rays from Chandra are seen as purple, while infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are colored red, green and blue.

A study of NGC 2024 and the Orion Nebula Cluster, another region where many stars are forming, suggest that the stars on the outskirts of these clusters are older than those in the central regions. This is different from what the simplest idea of star formation predicts, where stars are born first in the center of a collapsing cloud of gas and dust when the density is large enough. The research team developed a two-step process to make this discovery. First, they used Chandra data on the brightness of the stars in X-rays to determine their masses. Next, they found out how bright these stars were in infrared light using data from Spitzer, the 2MASS telescope and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope. By combining this information with theoretical models, the ages of the stars throughout the two clusters could be estimated.

According to the new results, the stars at the center of NGC 2024 were about 200,000 years old while those on the outskirts were about 1.5 million years in age. In Orion, the age spread went from 1.2 million years in the middle of the cluster to nearly 2 million years for the stars toward the edges. 

Explanations for the new findings can be grouped into three broad categories. The first is that star formation is continuing to occur in the inner regions. This could have happened because the gas in the outer regions of a star-forming cloud is thinner and more diffuse than in the inner regions. Over time, if the density falls below a threshold value where it can no longer collapse to form stars, star formation will cease in the outer regions, whereas stars will continue to form in the inner regions, leading to a concentration of younger stars there.

Another suggestion is that old stars have had more time to drift away from the center of the cluster, or be kicked outward by interactions with other stars.

Finally, the observations could be explained if young stars are formed in massive filaments of gas that fall toward the center of the cluster.

These results will be published in two separate papers in The Astrophysical Journal and are available online (papers 1 and 2). They are part of the MYStIX (Massive Young Star-Forming Complex Study in Infrared and X-ray) project led by Penn State astronomers.

Physics Update: Turning Light Into Matter

This shows theories describing light and matter interactions. Credit: Oliver Pike, Imperial College London

Imperial College London physicists have discovered how to
create matter from light - a feat thought impossible when
the idea was first theorised 80 years ago.

May 2014

In just one day over several cups of coffee in a tiny office in Imperial's Blackett Physics Laboratory, three physicists worked out a relatively simple way to physically prove a theory first devised by scientists Breit and Wheeler in 1934.

Breit and Wheeler suggested that it should be possible to turn light into matter by smashing together only two particles of light (photons), to create an electron and a positron – the simplest method of turning light into matter ever predicted. The calculation was found to be theoretically sound but Breit and Wheeler said that they never expected anybody to physically demonstrate their prediction. It has never been observed in the laboratory and past experiments to test it have required the addition of massive high-energy particles.

The new research, published in Nature Photonics, shows for the first time how Breit and Wheeler's theory could be proven in practice. This 'photon-photon collider', which would convert light directly into matter using technology that is already available, would be a new type of high-energy physics experiment. This experiment would recreate a process that was important in the first 100 seconds of the universe and that is also seen in gamma ray bursts, which are the biggest explosions in the universe and one of physics' greatest unsolved mysteries.

The scientists had been investigating unrelated problems in fusion energy when they realised what they were working on could be applied to the Breit-Wheeler theory. The breakthrough was achieved in collaboration with a fellow theoretical physicist from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, who happened to be visiting Imperial.

Demonstrating the Breit-Wheeler theory would provide the final jigsaw piece of a physics puzzle which describes the simplest ways in which light and matter interact (see image in notes to editors). The six other pieces in that puzzle, including Dirac's 1930 theory on the annihilation of electrons and positrons and Einstein's 1905 theory on the photoelectric effect, are all associated with Nobel Prize-winning research (see image).

Professor Steve Rose from the Department of Physics at Imperial College London said: "Despite all physicists accepting the theory to be true, when Breit and Wheeler first proposed the theory, they said that they never expected it be shown in the laboratory. Today, nearly 80 years later, we prove them wrong. What was so surprising to us was the discovery of how we can create matter directly from light using the technology that we have today in the UK. As we are theorists we are now talking to others who can use our ideas to undertake this landmark experiment."

The collider experiment that the scientists have proposed involves two key steps. First, the scientists would use an extremely powerful high-intensity laser to speed up electrons to just below the speed of light. They would then fire these electrons into a slab of gold to create a beam of photons a billion times more energetic than visible light.

The next stage of the experiment involves a tiny gold can called a hohlraum (German for 'empty room'). Scientists would fire a high-energy laser at the inner surface of this gold can, to create a thermal radiation field, generating light similar to the light emitted by stars.

They would then direct the photon beam from the first stage of the experiment through the centre of the can, causing the photons from the two sources to collide and form electrons and positrons. It would then be possible to detect the formation of the electrons and positrons when they exited the can.

Lead researcher Oliver Pike who is currently completing his PhD in plasma physics, said: "Although the theory is conceptually simple, it has been very difficult to verify experimentally. We were able to develop the idea for the collider very quickly, but the experimental design we propose can be carried out with relative ease and with existing technology. Within a few hours of looking for applications of hohlraums outside their traditional role in fusion energy research, we were astonished to find they provided the perfect conditions for creating a photon collider. The race to carry out and complete the experiment is on!"

More information: Pike, O, J. et al. 2014. 'A photon–photon collider in a vacuum hohlraum'. Nature Photonics, 18 May 2014: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2014.95

Journal reference: Nature Photonics

Green Report: Indonesian Island Hopes to Spark Green Power Revolution

A Sumbanese woman gathers grass to feed farm animals beside a field of small wind turbines
in Kamanggih village in Sumba island, Indonesia, which provide electricity to the local
community, March 19, 2014

Indonesian island hopes to spark green power revolution

May 18, Technology/Energy & Green Tech

An Indonesian family of farmers eat cobs of corn outside their hut under the glow of a light bulb, as the women weave and young men play with mobile phones.

Until two years ago, most people in Kamanggih village on the island of Sumba had no power at all. Now 300 homes have access to 24-hour electricity produced by a small hydroelectric generator in the river nearby. 

"We have been using the river for water our whole lives, but we never knew it could give us electricity," Adriana Lawa Djati told AFP, as 1980s American pop songs drifted from a cassette player inside.

While Indonesia struggles to fuel its fast-growing economy, Sumba is harnessing power from the sun, wind, rivers and even pig dung in a bid to go 100 percent renewable by 2025.

The ambitious project, called the "Iconic Island", was started by Dutch development organisation Hivos and is now part of the national government's strategy to almost double renewables in its energy mix over the next 10 years.

Sumba, in central Indonesia, is an impoverished island of mostly subsistence farmers and fishermen. Access to power has made a huge difference to people like Djati.

"Since we started using electricity, so much has changed. The kids can study at night, I can weave baskets and mats for longer, and sell more at the market" she said.

While only around 30 percent of Sumba's 650,000 people have been hooked up to the power grid, more than 50 percent of electricity used now on the island comes from renewable sources, government data show.

As more communities gain access to power for the first time, the Iconic Island project envisages entire communities skipping dirty, fossil fuel-based energy altogether and jumping straight to green sources.

Hivos's field coordinator for Sumba, Adrianus Lagur, said that the NGO hoped the project would be replicated by other islands in the same province of East Nusa Tenggara, one of the country's poorest.

"The idea is not to give handouts. We support the building of green energy infrastructure, but it's up to the people to manage this resource and keep it going," Lagur said.

National energy crisis

Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country, with around 250 million people, and is Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

Sumbanese grandmother Elisabeth Hadi Rendi attends to her pigs, the manure from which is
fed into a mini bio-gas system generating methane - enough to supply her household
cooking and  lighting needs in Waingapu town on Sumba island.

Yet it is one of the region's most poorly electrified, partly because it sprawls over 17,000 islands of which more than 6,000 are inhabited. Spreading infrastructure over such a vast area is no easy task.

Despite enjoying economic growth of around six percent annually in recent years, Indonesia is so short of energy that it rolls out scheduled power cuts that cripple entire cities and sometimes parts of the capital.

To keep up with growth, Indonesia is planning to boost its electricity capacity by 60 Gigawatts (GW) over a 10-year period to 2022. Twenty percent of that is to come from renewable sources.

"Indonesia has been a net importer of oil for years, and our oil reserves are limited, so renewables are an important part of our energy security," said Mochamad Sofyan, renewable energy chief of state electricity company PLN.

Hefty electricity and fuel subsidies have also been a serious burden on the state budget and a drain on the economy for years.

But small-scale infrastructure, like mini hydroelectric generators—known as "microhydro plants"—and small wind turbines that power Sumba are not enough to close the national energy gap, even if they were built on all Indonesia's islands.

Massive hydropower and geothermal projects, which use renewable energy extracted from underground pockets of heat, are needed to really tackle the nationwide problem, Sofyan said.

"Indonesia has enormous hydropower potential because it rains six months of the year in most parts. So that will be a big part of the answer to the energy shortage," Sofyan said.

Indonesia, one of the world's most seismically active countries, also has the biggest reserves of geothermal, often near its many volcanoes and tectonic plate boundaries. It is considered one of the cleanest forms of energy available.

But geothermal is largely untapped as legislation to open up exploration moves slowly and the industry is bound in red tape.

Sumbanese women weave baskets uder a lamp powered by electricity from mini hydroelectric
generators—known as "microhydro plants" built beside a river dam in Kamanggih village in
Sumba island, Indonesia, March 19, 2014.

Pig poo power

Sofyan said there is also concern that Sumba's target to be powered 100 percent by renewable energy is unrealistic.

"In the long term, we see Sumba still relying somewhat on diesel generators. It will be powered predominantly by renewables, but I don't think it will be able to switch off the grid," Sofyan said.

Hivos admits its goal is ambitious, saying it is "inspirational and political" rather than technical but the NGO believes the target may be achievable even in the long term.

Nonetheless the Sumbanese are reaping the benefits of the green energy sources already available, which have lifted a considerable financial burden for many due to reduced costs for wood and oil.

Elisabeth Hadi Rendi, 60, in the town of Waingapu, has been farming pigs since 1975, but it was only two years ago when Hivos visited her home that she came to understand the power of porcine poo.

A Sumbanese resident checks a mini hydroelectric generator built beside a river dam in
Kamanggih village in Sumba island, Indonesia, which provides electricity to the local
community, March 19, 2014.

Pigs are commonly kept in Sumba, a predominantly Christian island in Muslim-majority Indonesia.

Each day Rendi shovels dung from the pig pens and churns it in a well, after which it is funnelled to a tank and converted into methane gas.

It has saved her household around six million rupiah (around $500) in two years, a significant sum for a typical Sumbanese family.

"We also make fertiliser from the waste to use in our garden, where we grow vegetables," said Rendi as she fed two ravenous, snorting pigs.

"We eat the vegetables and feed some to the pigs too, which will become biogas again, so the energy literally goes round and round."

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe: Working to End Violence, Sexual Exploitation in Uganda

CNN Heroes Sister Rosemary Uganda

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe: The Nun Working to
End Violence, Sexual Exploitation In Uganda

The Huffington Post | by Antonia Blumberg
Posted: 05/18/2014 8:33 am EDT Updated: 05/18/2014 8:59 pm EDT

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe recently appeared on The Colbert Report and said she felt like punching Colbert in the face for feigning indifference toward the missing girls in Nigeria.

In reality Sister Nyirumbe, has dedicated her life to counteracting violence in her native Uganda.

Sister Nyirumbe has spearheaded the Saint Monica Girls' Tailoring Center for nearly 15 years, offering shelter to thousands of women who come to learn tailoring, catering and other valuable professional skills. According to Pros for Africa, adevelopment partner of Saint Monica, many of the girls who find their ways to the center have suffered abduction, rape and torture.

Nyirumbe funds the school in part by selling bags the women make out of soda tabs. A 2013 documentary narrated by Forest Whitaker, 'Sewing Hope', tells the story of Nyirumbe's efforts to rebuild her country after 25 years of war under Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). On her Facebook page, Sister Nyirumbe writes:

For the last 30 years, I along with the other Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus based in Juba, South Sudan, have answered the call to serve the least among us from the heart of a bloody and violent civil war that decimated northern Uganda and South Sudan.

We openly defied Joseph Kony and the rebel soldiers and commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army in their 20-year reign of terror. Since 2002, we have helped more than 2,000 girls who had been previously abducted by the LRA or abandoned by their families.

In an article on Unicef's website, entitled "Trauma to Triumph: Restoring hope in post-conflict communities," Nyirumbe describes the poor condition of many of the girls she serves at Saint Monica. This, she says, it what inspires her to continue her efforts year after year.

As communities work to rebuild amid the destruction of the past two decades, the diverse needs and challenges unique to post-conflict and disarmament have inspired much of the work I undertake as the Director of St. Monica Gulu Girls’ Relief. For these children, their rights have not only been violated, they have never existed. We are working, one day at a time, to restore their dignity and to give them the skills and support they need to move forward in life.

Sister Nyirumbe's humanitarian work earned her a spot in TIME Magazine's 2014 "100 Most Influential People" list, and in 2007 she was named a CNN Hero. Nyirumbe spoke at the TIME 100 gala on the women who admire her most in the video above, and about laying out Stephen Colbert in the video below.

The Colbert Report link here

Amazon link here

Book Description
Publication Date: January 17, 2014

For 25 years Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) terrorized Northern Uganda. They abducted children and forced them to commit atrocities against their own families and communities. Girls as young as thirteen were degraded to sex slaves for Kony's officers.

Now, the war is over, but the decades of brutal conflict have deeply scarred the people of Uganda. Child soldiers return to the very communities they committed violent crimes against, and the girls carry with them a constant reminder of their abuse: their captors' children. These girls and their children are often ostracized by their communities, and most lack the skills they need to provide for their families.

Sewing Hope tells the story of one woman's fight to bring hope back to her nation. Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe presides over Saint Monica's Vocational School in Gulu, Uganda. She lived through the horror created by Kony's LRA and now works to heal the wounds he inflicted on her people. She invites formerly abducted girls to Saint Monica's where they learn skills to provide for their families. Through vocational training, these young women gain independence. Through community with their fellow students, they find forgiveness. Through the restoration of their lost futures, they find hope.

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe ~ Film Screening "Sewing Hope" DePaul