This last week I’ve been in Atlanta at the annual conference for the Society of Biblical Literature. And since Australia has some of the best coffee on the planet (for example, just 50 metres from my office is my ‘coffice’—Handcraft Specialty Coffees), it’s always hard going to America, where they don’t seem to have discovered coffee yet. It’s like most people in America are caught in a kind of Matrix, and very few people know that it’s all an illusion.
And so I had a #weekwithoutcoffee.
For some perverse reason, this provoked people around the world into a #warongeorge (I’m blaming Sam Freney). Suddenly, my Facebook timeline was flooded with pictures of beautiful, lovely, delicate, smooth coffees (real coffees!), while I battled through with Christmas-laced Starbucks.
I’m now back home in Sydney, and the ordeal has come to an end.
Now of course it was all in good fun, and I must say that I had plenty of laughs. And so, it seems, did many others.
So here’s the situation: I was away from my home and family, suffering without coffee, and forced to have something when I really would have preferred something else that I really liked. And I did it because I was seeking to engage further in biblical studies.
In the scheme of things, though, my suffering over the last week was meagre when you compare it to:
- Syrians and Iraqis who are being forced to flee their homes in fear of their lives, often being separated from loved ones, or having them violently torn from their embrace, and with little hope of ever returning home;
- people who suffer from Prader Willi Syndrome (PWS) who, despite being able to eat and drink certain things, are neurologically unable to feel ‘full’, and instead feel constant hunger, meaning they would desperately love to eat or drink what they really crave (some of my best friends have children with PWS);
- students who, for financial reasons, have to leave family behind while they go to another city or country in order to further their studies in Bible and theology, before eventually returning home to make a difference to their communities (many of the students I have the privilege of teaching at George Whitefield College in Cape Town are in this very situation).
So here’s the deal:
If you either participated or enjoyed (!) the #weekwithoutcoffee and the #warongeorge, I would dearly love you to support one of the following causes by making a donation:
- The Archbishop’s Syrian Refugee Appeal (Anglicare)
- The Prader Willi Syndrome Association of NSW
- George Whitefield College in Cape Town, South Africa*
You can pick one of the three, or all of the three. The amount you donate is totally up to you. You might, for example, like to donate a week’s worth of your coffee budget (or more!). But any amount would be fantastic.
Then, if you do support one of these causes (or even if you don’t, actually), I want you to post a picture of a cup of coffee on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #makethecoffeecount and a link to this webpage (wp.me/p13v4V-m4), so that others can participate too. It would be great to drum up some good support for these causes.
So please join me and let’s make my #weekwithoutcoffee and the #warongeorge actually count for something.
* Donation is made in South African Rand (ZAR).
AUD $1 = approx. ZAR 10.
US $1 = approx. ZAR 14