On January 2, 2001, I officially came on staff with World Vision as the co-director of Women of Vision (WOV). I praise God for the new beginning that day represented in my life! And I want to thank all the amazing women of WOV who helped me rediscover the ministry of World Vision today through their hearts of compassion, generous spirits and courageous advocacy for the poor!
I especially want to thank Penny Wood (in the red), the director of WOV who hired me. Judy Winkle (next to me) and Jeanie Ralphs (in the black), are the "women of vision" who rounded out our small office staff and helped me to "learn the ropes". But WOV was just the beginning of my adventures and in 2001 I became an international ambassador for World Vision. Since then I have traveled to nearly 40 countries and experienced things I could never have imagined!
As I begin my last year on staff with WV, I feel led to celebrate the incredible journey I have been on by going through the photos and journals I have from the trips I have taken. I want to tell the stories and share the things God has taught me through the lives of the amazing people I have met. I know that many of those people read my postings, so don't be surprised if you see yourself in a picture or two!
For this purpose, I will be establishing a new blog named "In My Father's Footsteps" which I hope to launch on the 1st of February. At this time I am not sure if I will simply redesign this Facebook page or use a different application. I have lots of photographs and the pictures tell the stories, so I will look for the best way to display them. Either way, you will be able to access my reflections from this page. So check back in a couple of weeks!
A few days ago I discovered a message my father delivered to the International Christian Leadership in Washington D.C in 1959. He called it "The Greatest Danger", and as I read it I was stunned by its relevancy to the current political crisis facing the United States today. With the US government partially shut down and our political leaders unable to work together for the good of the people because of their dislike and distrust of one another, my dad's message is an eye-opening revelation that we have been here before. It is also a critical reminder of what America once was and I pray will one day be again...one nation under God. He wrote:
"When the colonies became the United States, 55 men met to prepare a Constitution. The men were brilliant and patriotic, but they had many political conceptions - just as our political leaders have today. For almost five weeks, they met each day and made little progress. On the last morning of the fifth week, in the midst of a heated discussion, they were about to adjourn and abandon the project. It was then that Benjamin Franklin arose from his chair to address George Washington. He said:
"'Mr. President, the small progress we have made after weeks of close attention and continual reasoning with one another has done little but reveal our different sentiments on almost every situation. It is a melancholy proof of the imperfection of human understanding. How has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I therefore move that henceforth prayers, imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.'
"From this time on, the convention began to make progress in the framing of the document which Gladstone declared to be 'the greatest piece of work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.'"
My father continued by quoting George Washington in his first inaugural address where he expressed his own conviction that this nation was born under God. "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of Providential agency."
Dad finished with a quote from Charles Habib Malik, a Lebanese academic, diplomat and philosopher of the 1040's and '50's. As you read the following words, take into consideration that Charles Malik was not just a Christian theologian with a limited world view. He served as Lebanon's representative to the United Nations and eventually as President of the UN General Assembly. He was also the President of the Commission on Human Rights and was responsible for the drafting and the adoption of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So this was a man who understood the complexities, pain and injustices of our world as well as the power of God when he wrote the following:
"He who penetrates the depths must sooner or later discover that the most impressive thing in America is her Christianity. The good in this country would never have come into being without the blessing and power of Jesus Christ."
What you have read was taken from my father's introduction to a much longer message that focused on the dangerous political and spiritual times of the late 1950's an '60's. I can only imagine how heart-broken and alarmed he would be if he could see the state of the world and our country today. But I do not need to imagine what he would say, because he said it 60 years ago. "This land we love is in danger... the greatest danger in our history!"
The danger my father was talking about really had little to do with politics. It was far more focused on the erosion of faith and righteousness in the world, and the lack of response from the Church to use our spiritual authority and weapons to push back the encroaching darkness. One of the greatest weapons we have is prayer! So taking my cue from Benjamin Franklin and our Founding Fathers, I therefore move that, henceforth, prayers, imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessings on our nation, President, Congress, government, spiritual leaders, churches, and families be held every morning before we proceed to the business of life in 2019. In Jesus Name! ... See MoreSee Less
The Dunkers had a wonderful "Handmade Christmas" with presents made with love! Addison, our 10-year-old granddaughter, gave us all a hand-painted letter representing either our first name or "Mom", "Dad". "Papa" or "Nena". (That's me!)
Stacey gave us a montage of wonderful family photos in a frame, our son-in-law, Vinnie, made us his fabulous pickles, and I made Stacey and Michelle, hand-made ornaments with family photos on them. I knitted our granddaughter, Alexia, a throw shawl and our grandson, Vinnie, received a framed photograph of my dad with Franklin Graham in Indonesia. Franklin was 22, the same age as Vinnie, and he signed the photo.
Giving and receiving presents that were made with love brought back the spirit of Christmas in a special way for us all! ... See MoreSee Less
I PRAY THAT YOUR CHRISTMAS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS IS FILLED WITH THE JOY, PEACE, HOPE AND LOVE THAT ARE REPRESENTED BY THE PRECIOUS BABY WHOSE BIRTHDAY WE CELEBRATE.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!
The Dunker Family: Our daughter, Michelle and her husband, Adam. Grandchildren: Karlee (girlfriend) and Vinnie(21), Addison (10) and Lexi (19). Our daughter Stacey and her husband, Vincent. Me and Bob. ... See MoreSee Less
A FUN BLAST FROM THE PAST! I have been going through some old boxes in a frantic attempt to "get organized" before the New Year. To my surprise (and horror. I thought I had all my Dad's important photos organized.) I came across a pile of black and white photographs. They are from all over the world and there was even a few with me in them from my only trip with my Dad trip to the Orient in 1965.
But this promotional shot from "The Flame", my father's one attempt to produce a dramatic motion picture with Hollywood actors, caught my eye. Can you name the actor in the picture?
Hint: He would later marry a younger woman who would become far more famous than he was!
Answer: John Derik. HIs wife was Bo Derik. And yes, that is my Dad looking on with a very thoughtful expression. ... See MoreSee Less