Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Marry me?

If I heard those words tomorrow, I would say yes. 

I would share the news with my family first thing, calling home with tears in my eyes and a voice so excited my mom would have to remind me, "Honey, slow down and try to speak a little softer!  I can't understand you!" (Though she'd know, of course, exactly why I was calling.)  I would start planning the wedding.  Summer or winter, in a church or on a farm, here in New York or back in the Northwest.  I would draft a guest list and call together my girlfriends to go wedding dress shopping. 

I would say yes and celebrate and plan the biggest day of my life so far because I can. I can marry the love of my life whenever, wherever, and however I choose.  But many of my friends cannot. 

I have friends whose marriages and lifelong vows to one another are not recognized in every state.  I have friends who hope to marry someday.  If it were legal.  But it's not.  At least, not everywhere. 

I can't tell you the weight this puts on my heart, despite how light I've been the past couple months.  I am living the most wonderful love story right now, and I know that story will someday include a wedding.  But unless things change, the love stories of many of my friends will be missing that same milestone.  Because I'm straight, and they're gay.  And to a lot of folks, that makes all the difference.   But does it?  Really?  In my heart of hearts, I don't think so. 

Argue the intersection of faith and politics all you like, but at the end of the day, I still believe we are all equal, if not in the eyes of the government, then certainly in the eyes of God.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mollie goes to Haiti (but not without your prayers and moolah!)

Dear Friends and Family,

As you may or may not know, I have had a nagging desire to do humanitarian work abroad for quite some time.  I have also been very intentional about my desire to do work that is sustainable and helpful in the long-term.  Some service programs—faith-based or not—seem to do more harm than help, acting as temporary band-aids for much larger issues.  As a result, I have waited for the opportunity to arise where I knew I could contribute, in earnest, to a small piece of the greater good.  That’s where my amazing church family comes in.   

I have been attending City Grace Church, a small Christian Reformed Church in New York City’s East Village, since September of 2010.  I am blessed to have an amazing support system and group of friends there; they really are my second family.  Our Social Justice Task Force has been engaged in serving the City for some time, but we wanted to challenge ourselves with a larger project overseas.  After careful consideration, we decided Haiti was the place to go, especially in light of having weathered Hurricane Sandy together just a few months ago.

From July 27 to August 2, I will be traveling with ten other folks from City Grace to work with kids and families and help with some construction projects.  We are working with Praying Pelican Missions, an organization which partners with 398 individual church communities in Haiti, connecting them one-on-one with groups like ours (you can watch their promo video below). Despite billions of dollars in foreign aid following the earthquake in 2010, there is still much work to be done.  Our week of service will be uniquely tailored to our group’s gifts and to the specific needs of our assigned community.  The advantage of this sort of individualized, grassroots approach is that it allows for a more long-lasting connection to the community we serve.  We will establish relationships with our host community and will likely return to serve there on a yearly basis, as long as there is a need. 

Haiti will be my first mission trip of any kind, so as you can imagine, I expect to have a challenging, worldview-reshaping experience there. I am only one person.  And I know there is very little I can do in a single week.  But if there is one thing I have learned over the last ten years or so, it is to not put God in a box.  While I may affect very little immediate change, God will use my efforts to impact the big picture.  I expect to leave Haiti changed.  I hope my time there broadens my consciousness of human need.  I hope it deepens my compassion.  I hope it shakes me out of my comfortable, First-world mindset.  I hope it stretches the limits of my understanding as I learn a new culture.  I hope I can help, but I am just as hopeful that my time in Haiti will undoubtedly draw me closer to God, teaching me to seek, trust, and glorify Him more each day.  And you can help me with all of this. 

By the end of June, I am responsible for raising $1,200.  Airfare accounts for half the budget and the balance will cover food, lodging, and gifts to the local community in Haiti.  Collectively, our team needs to raise $13,200.  Would you please consider a small gift?  A gift of any size would mean so much to me.  Honestly. 

To give:

1.      Click here.
2.      Scroll to bottom and click the “here” hyperlink to give. This will redirect you from City Grace's website to a secure system called “easy tithe.”  
3.      From the panel on the left of the screen click “quick give.” 
4.      Select “Haiti Support – Mollie McComb” in the drop-down menu, and fill in the rest of your info as directed.

Even if you are unable to donate your money, your prayers and well wishes are always immensely appreciated.  If you are of the praying persuasion, please pray that a) I would seek out God through this process and not shy away from what he might show me and b) our team would gel and experience true community serving together.

This trip would not be possible without the support of my friends and family, and I thank God daily for the amazing people like you that He has put in my life.  Love and endless thanks to you all.

With the fullest of hearts,