Categories
News

The 2020 Crisis Around the World

From China to Yemen to Lebanon and more, the events of 2020 have affected others in the world

With everything that has happened so far this year, it’s not a stretch to call 2020 a crisis. It has been filled with unexpected events, such as COVID-19, racial justice protests, and even murder hornets. The rest of the world has not had it easy either and not just because of the pandemic. Yemen, Lebanon, and China have also experienced tragedies. Lebanon’s tragic event was abrupt, but what is going on in Yemen and China has been going on for years. 

On August 4 in Beirut, Lebanon, at least 154 were killed, and thousands were left injured, in a gigantic explosion at a warehouse in the Port of Beirut. The force from the blast left vast amounts of damage to the surrounding buildings and neighborhoods and produced a mushroom cloud of fumes and debris, a lot of which was harmful to breathe. The explosion was so powerful it could be felt 150 miles away. The explosion was caused by an ignited cache of ammonium nitrate, according to The Wall Street Journal. Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound commonly used in fertilizers, but it can also be used to make explosives.  It was held at the site for over six years.

The ammonium nitrate was originally on a ship that was supposed to be delivered to the country of Georgia in 2013. Due to technical difficulties with the boat, it had to be docked in Beirut, and it was later abandoned there. The ammonium nitrate was stored in the warehouse that was supposed to dispose of the chemical safely. Officials at the port are now under house arrest as the investigation continues, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

More than a million Uighur Muslims and other Muslim minority groups are being held in the Xinjiang region of China. Uighurs are a Turkic speaking minority ethnic group originating from the general region of Central and East Asia. There has been conflict with China and Uighurs since 1931. China is referring to these sites as transformation camps. A woman named Gulzira who told her story to PBS Frontline said she was surrounded by mesh, barbed wire, cameras, and brutal treatment. She said that twice she had to sit on a hard chair for 24 hours and use the bathroom where she sat. She also told PBS, “If you exceeded two minutes in the toilet, they hit our heads with an electric prod.” 

Jeffersonville High School special education teacher David Russell taught in China for a while and has first hand experience seeing the work of the Chinese government. 

Russell says China likes the idea of complete conformity. “Any nail that sticks up is hammered down,” he says. That is why China has targeted those who follow certain religions. “I witnessed anti-Christian persecution. People got arrested for going to church. Their form of anti-Islam is just not conforming,” Russell says. “It’s Orwellian, and it’s gotten worse.” It will take many Chinese activists because many websites reporting on it are shut down, and the people running them are being arrested. However, Russell says that he doesn’t want to reflect poorly on the Chinese since he enjoyed his time living there, and he enjoyed the people he met.

Yemen is also harshly affected by the events of 2020, but it’s an existing problem that has become worse in their case. According to Islamic Relief USA, for about five years, Yemen has been in a famine. Famine is the extreme scarcity of food and is often caused by droughts. More than 85,000 children have died from the famine as of 2018. In May of 2020, UNICEF described Yemen as the most massive humanitarian crisis in the world. They are already starved, and as COVID-19 sweeps the area, their ability to find resources has worsened. Over 24 million people are in need. Hospitals often have no staff, no equipment, or even electricity. The doctors are so overwhelmed that they have to turn people away. Yemen’s child malnutrition rates are some of the highest in the world. About half of the children under five years old are growth stunted. 

Yemen is also a war-torn country where civil war has taken a terrible toll on the resources and infrastructure necessary to keep people healthy. This civil war resulted from continued violence and unrest from the Arab Spring (2014), where the people rose and tried to create a democracy.

Even as America is hit hard with COVID-19 and all the other challenges of 2020, often it is easy to forget the many other challenges happening all across the world. 

Written by Marni Scholl

Categories
Feature Football News

Isaac Findley is Guided by Faith

isaac-findley-by-paige-moore

On a Wednesday night at Spring Mill State Park, a young man emerged from his baptism in a creek. And he emerged as a new person. Issac Findley is a dedicated football player here at Jeffersonville High. He found his faith in middle school and felt he needed to “take responsibility” for himself, his life and his relationship with God.

Findley made the decision to be baptised in middle school, and describes his baptism as feeling unfearing and courageous, reanimated with a new passion for his life and those ]around him.“It was probably in middle school when I got baptized, because that’s when I really took on my faith as myself and not my parents.” He feels that baptism is when you really “put the holy spirit in your life and live as Jesus would have lived.”

When asked if he ever feels outcast because of his faith, he notes that after declining party invitations he has been mocked for being “too religious.” He says that some will ask him “why are you different?” and he’ll answer, “It’s because of my faith.” He doesn’t feel the need to shove his faith down others’ throats, nor to pass judgment on others; he simply wants to provide a listening ear and a prayer for those who ask for one.

Findley told the story of one such incident where he invited another football player to church. The other made excuses he couldn’t drive, he was busy, he was forced to church in his childhood. Finally, he went with Findley to church, and found his love for God and faith reanimated. Later, Findley asked him to a Bible camp. Eventually, Findley was present for his baptism.

“I don’t want to shove it down people’s throats. “You can come talk to me and I can pray for you,” he says. He thinks some people need to give religion a chance, that it could help them as it has helped others, and that it all affects us in different ways. He feels as though religion has made him more accepting to everyone, and that he wants to include everyone. Findley says that Jesus loves everyone, and asked us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Findley also says his faith has improved his relationship with his partner, Kiersten. That keeping God in the center and having an emotional and spiritual relationship has helped him and Kiersten be more understanding of each other and to have a better, long lasting relationship. He said it was because “we don’t stress about if we’re good enough.” They go to church every Sunday together, and keep their relationship centered on spirituality.

Findley plans to be an engineer after high school, and attends services Southeast Christian Church. His relationships and life have improved since his baptism, helping him be more open, inviting and long-lasting. He only asks that you give spirituality a chance.