Thursday, May 18, 2006

Reality TV

It is late evening here in Tuzla (10:30 pm). From the living room, the TV is blaring with voices singing in many languages. On occassion - I will hear some familiar American tunes - with a few American words but not quite. It is the popular show "EuroVision" the exported version of American Idol.

We have set an example for entertainment industries globally. The popularity of such "reality" TV has transferred across the ocean and into the homes of those trying I suppose to escape their own real 'reality'. Every third world country is represented on the program, and when I mentioned that I hear English on occassion, it is a funny version of singers trying to phonetically imitate their American idols. It scares me to think

... thou shall have no other gods before me...

America, and its "idols" are going global.

This morning, we traveled through the mountains and hills outside of Tuzla, to a public school with the largest Roma population of any school in Bosina-Herzegovina. The director explained this township, has long sought to integrate the Roma population in the schools and out of 330 children 80 are Roma. It was a wonderful example of integration working. Kids, just being kids towards one another, with each other, and having some kind of FUN. These places are quite remote and you may well imagine they don't see many outsiders come around. Even if we didn't do ANYTHING it would still be something! But as it is - it is a day to remember for a long time.
We returned to Tuzla for a break (and small lunch) then off to the orphanage of 180 children that is just down the road from Ulla and Ante's house. It was late in the afternoon and the children were all enjoying the sunshine and playground. It was such a beautiful day, we decided to hold the program outside. It was great, except for the fact that the 'stage' in cases such as these oftentimes shrink until the children are practicallty sitting in my lap (or at the edge of my feet.)

They had quite a time and were eager to participate. By the time we got to the "moral of the story" at the end of the show - the younger ones attention had waned, they began fighting and pushing and edging closer to the 'stage' and my feet and it was time to wrap it up. We passed out the little gift bags, with bracelets, lollipops and balloons and they were running around showing off their new prizes. The director thanked us, and the children all shouted "when are you coming back?"

As I walk away again(and again)my heart aches with the "reality." One of my friends wrote I should take a documentarian with me to show the 'sights' I see around the world. This would be a "Reality TV" show. But few want to participate in this kind of reality, much less be reminded there are people who experience life on less than three meals a day, without fast food and few modern conveniences.

You however, have chosen to walk alongside in Spirit, with the Truth, helping to show the Way to those who are seeking Life. Over the last week, you have given me the strength to press on, lean in and love those the world looks the other way. I pray as you have chosen, you heart has been enriched by the exposure and the experience of interceding for some of His lost sheep.