Jan 052015

So, we’re 5 days into 2015 and what’s next?  

I don’t know.

Honestly, I don’t know what’s next.   I know what I think is next but only God knows what is really next.

But let me tell you what I’m thinking…….

I’ve taken some time and assembled a VERY long list of blog topics all related to vulnerable children.    It’s a list that is going to take me a long time to get through.


Because one of the main goals of the Vulnerable Project is to help further understanding and action about the needs of those who are less fortunate.

Understanding – understanding of a group of issues that is horribly complex.

Understanding of a group of issues that many big non-profits wouldn’t necessarily get a passing grade on.

Understanding of something I don’t fully grasp either.

But if we have a conversation about these topics, we probably won’t all agree, but we will all be better off for the discussion.

And then there’s the other piece…….

Action – once you know, you can’t plead ignorance.

Once you know, you can’t claim you didn’t know.

So, in between the discussion of the issues, we’ll also have discussions about ways, healthy, productive ways that you can make a difference. 

Not always with money – many times not with money.

But ways that you can take the understanding and make it into more than just head knowledge.

My target is going to be two or three posts a week – more or less depending on the issues, the other things going on in my life and my family.

How can you help?

  • Read and discuss when you see something that resonates with you.  
  • Share it with others – spread the word, engage and educate more people.
  • Support what we’re doing – put a tip in the tip jar, get involved in helping with one or more of the action plans that we’ll be talking about and promoting.

Thanks for reading.   Thanks for helping me kick off a new year.   It’s going to be really interesting to see where God takes this in 2015!


Nov 062014

Bill Cosby QuoteSince about a month ago, The Vulnerable Project site has been very quiet.   It’s been quiet because I’ve been working on other things.   Things not totally related to The Vulnerable Project, but things related to the church.   You can read them at http://tomvanderwell.net/.

But we’re back and I’ll be writing more and doing more soon.   So stay tuned!


Sep 232014

“Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. God makes homes for the homeless, leads prisoners to freedom, but leaves rebels to rot in hell.”  Psalm 68:5-6 The Message

Does he do all of this by himself?

No.   He wants his people to do it.

I’ve heard it said, “Doing God’s Will is easy – just figure out what He’s up to and do the same thing.”   (My apologies to whoever I just misquoted).

God’s up to being the Father of the orphans – so do that.  

God is up to being the champion of widows – so do that.

God makes homes for the homeless – so do that.

God leads the prisoner to freedom – so go do that.

How?  Find an organization that is already doing that, ask questions, be informed and then, once you are comfortable that they are doing that, help  them.

Because He says so.

That’s why.

May 212014

In the last week in Haiti, there have been 4 incidents of horrific violence that have impacted friends of mine.   While they are physically unharmed, they have lost friends and they have seen and felt things that are so big and so ugly that it is truly heartbreaking.

You can read her recounting of one of the stories at http://www.haitifoundationagainstpoverty.blogspot.com/2014/05/we-cannot-unsee.html.   Warning – make sure you read her disclaimer at the top of the post.

Two other of my friends are currently in Haiti.   They are training mental health professionals (Haitians) on the impacts of trauma on children and the long term destruction (her word, not mine, but I agree) of the lives of children and its impact on the future of Haiti.   Sobering to say the least, heart wrenching to more accurately describe it.

You can read her “Short Sermon” at http://sahzu.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/a-short-sermon/.

So, if you read both of those posts, you’ll know a good part of the reason that I was up until after 1:00 this morning.  Heavy, heavy stuff.

This morning, as I’m driving back from bringing my daughter to school, this phrase from “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss popped into my mind:

“And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We cannot pick it up.
There is no way at all!”

― Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat

No, I’m not suggesting giving up.    God doesn’t give up on us, so we don’t give up on fellow man, especially on the vulnerable women and children who are the ones most in need (Read Gary Haugen’s The Locust Effect – it will scare you).

Instead, I’m suggesting, proposing that we take an additional approach to fighting this battle.

Continue with the physical aid that is being offered to those who are in need of help.   But ramp it up on the spiritual side.

Acknowledge more openly that we are fighting the devil and fight back with a concerted effort at more and more focused prayer on behalf of those who are being impacted by poverty, by disease, by violence and by the devil’s efforts to make it harder for the good to triumph in this world.

What is this prayer effort going to look like?    Frankly, I don’t know.

I just know that God says that He will win the war but He wants us to be his prayer warriors.

If you have ideas or want to be part of whatever “it” might be, leave a note in the comments or e-mail me at thomas.vanderwell@gmail.com.

This mess is so big that we can’t pick it up all by our selves.

But I know someone who can and will.   The question is when and how.