Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jake and NURU..... You'll want to know about them......I promise

UPDATE:  MONDAY:  I'm keeping this post here for most of Monday because I so badly want you all to read it:
I've never in my life met a man quite like THIS.  I met Jake Harriman last night and was so impressed with him I wanted to blog about the group he co-founded and is CEO of, NURU International.(please explore the link).  Here are some of his honors, none of which he mentioned to me and, if he ever read this, I know he'd be cringing that I shared it with you:
Bronze Star Medal … Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal … Combat Action Ribbon (two) … Presidential Unit Citation  Meritorious Unit Commendation … Navy and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal … National Defense Service Medal (two) Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal … Iraqi Campaign Medal … Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal   G lobal War On Terrorism Service Medal … Humanitarian Service Medal (two) … Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (four)    Honor Graduate of Basic Officers Course (BOC) and “Gung Ho” Award – graduating 1 out of 250 

That's just his commendations........there's plenty more here:
Jake earned his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in June 2008. He graduated with distinction earning a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1998. Upon graduation, he served seven and a half years as an infantry and special operations platoon commander. During that time, he led Marines in chaotic, ever-changing environments on four operational deployments throughout the United States, the Pacific Rim, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Southwest Asia/Middle East, including two combat tours in Iraq. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat during his second tour in Iraq. Jake has international experience working throughout Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia/Middle East, Africa, Europe, North and South America, and Australia/ South Pacific. He has specific economic development and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief experience in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Mexico.

PLEASE check out Nuru International and see if you can give them a donation...and send this to people whom you know want to help those in areas which need to be taught to DO FOR THEMSELVES, not have things GIVEN TO THEM.  From my conversation last night with Jake, I gathered that this is his group's focus;  HELPING OTHERS TO LEARN HOW TO HELP THEMSELVES, a concept I know you good people appreciate.

If you can't send money right now (but, I hope you can and do), please pray for Jake and his group... Judging from having talked to him, I am sure that would be very appreciated, too. 
thanks so much.........Z


sue said...

Z - It amazes me that one person could do so much.

Z said...

You'd be really amazed if you could meet him, Sue. He's quite a guy. SO humble and so accomplished and so very, very focused on doing the good he's doing. I hope you find the time to explore his website and read about the other people he works with and all the good they're doing.

Anonymous said...

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna make it shine...." Jake sure believes one person CAN make a difference in this grand world of ours. What an inspiration! Thanks for the link -- amazing guy, amazing project. Cdn Sis

WomanHonorThyself said...

how kind of u Z..Hope ya had a super weekend~!:)

Z said...

Angel, thanks, I hope you did, too.
It's not ME being 'kind', it's HIM and his people being kind, believe me.

Cdn'll meet him at the wedding :-) I'll make SURE of it!

beamish said...

His heart and intentions are in the right place.

I'm afraid I'm too cynical to share his worldview. Poverty doesn't cause terrorism. Tolerance and complacency do.

Anonymous said...

The problem is Islam, not poverty. Better that hundreds of Christian missionaries bearing the gospel of Christ go instead of people focused on poverty -- prepared to die of course because with Islam that may be the result. The gospel also brings good practices that reduce poverty.

Z said...

beamish, I rather agree with you about but the incident he describes in that first linked article does show how poverty ties into some of this.

Anonymous...Jake is a believer and I'm not sure the principles of his group don't come from the gospel.

He's doing as much as he can with the funding he gets....who knows how far this can go?

Z said...

In Jake's blog, he lists these people as examples of those who've done something important: "Jonas Salk, Albert Einstein, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, John F. Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, MLK , and Kofi Annan."

Except for Mandela and Annan, how can one disagree?
And, of course, how can one argue that Mandela was right in fighting Apartheid?, but the country of Africa's so damaged now by the way it was done that it won't recover. DOne badly..too quickly...nobody was trained and their safety net was brutally and sometimes violently removed...and I believe Jake's group is into TRAINING and that's a good thing.
Odd that I feel the effects of this White House's ridiculous treatment of my State's Central Valley isn't unlike the end result of what happened to Rhodesia.

Kofi Annan. Enough said.
America can't be blamed and billed for EVERY ill on the planet!!

Z said...

From a friend's email this morning after having read this post..
"Jake is amazing. He is one of our best and brightest. This is what our country used to honor and admire! Not those wimpy, creepy intellectuals, but Americans who love their country and in turn, help others."

Z said...

On the page that tells how we can help NURU, there's an idea that I like; give yourself a birthday party and ask for donations instead of gifts! Talk about NURU...
Or FOR CHRISTMAS! Tell your friends and family that, in their names, you've given money to this wonderful organization!

I'm considering it! I have some relatives who can buy anything they want for themselves, this is the perfect gift for them..How about giving your loved ones cards with something like this inside?..."This Christmas, instead of gifts none of us necessarily need in our abundant world, I've donated money to an organization called NURU which brings the hope of an escape from poverty and the tools to do so to people who deserve the chance...Merry Christmas!"

cube said...

Very inspiring post. I hope he's careful and stays safe.

Chuck said...

It is always refreshing to see groups teach people self-sufficiency instead of giving hand outs.

It's the living embodiment of “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime."

On a humorous note, I looked up the quote to get it exact and found this while looking (undoubtedly written by a wife)

"If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man how to fish, you can get rid of him on weekends."

Z said...

cube, me, too...

Chuck, what a funny spin on that original philosophy, LOVE it!

As for fish vs fishing poles, this is our Conservative viewpoint, isn't it......something the Left won't let themselves admit. But, the media and other Leftwingers paint it as a blanket statement which leaves no wriggle room for those who can't use a pole yet and DO need fish for a while......I'm so tired of our philosophies being misconstrued.

Joe said...


DaBlade said...

A lesson in how things get done.
A nonprofit, public benefit charity they call a "community mobilization model" as opposed to a governmental beauracracy that only perpetuates the suffering. Very inspirational.

Anonymous said...

I laud Jake for his efforts, and wish him success, but I'm afraid I have to agree with Beamish.

It's not just that I don't believe poverty creates terrorism, and I don't.

I think the greatest hurdle Jake faces is cultural. What we see as poverty in other cultures, we base on what our culture is.

It's very difficult for us to understand, but peoples around the world are loathe to sacrifice their cultures, and in many cases resent our intrusion.

Even Gandhi supported the caste system in India. As far as I know it still exists. My former daughter-in-law was from India, and referred to this very casually as if it was a natural course of life there.

This guarantees a permanent underclass based on family position and heritage. It's just an example of how long held cultural practices are difficult to overcome, and sometimes seem impossible.

Having said all this, I hope Jake can make a difference. There is always hope. I wish him all the best, and hope he stays safe.

Z, this is wonderful of you. Your faith and Jake's, in humankind, is a good thing.


Craig and Heather said...

What we see as poverty in other cultures, we base on what our culture is.

It's very difficult for us to understand, but peoples around the world are loathe to sacrifice their cultures, and in many cases resent our intrusion.

Thought provoking statement.

It's easy to forget that, in many ways, "wealth" is a relative concept and that maintaining established cultural identity might be considered more important by some than eliminating what we consider to be poverty.

I wonder if Americans don't readily see the cultural implication because, as a nation, we have so readily absorbed so many different worldviews?


Z said...

Blogger Z said...

Pris,I have to disagree with you after reading his own blog, the NURU blog, and after having talked to him, but I do understand your point about not changing cultures...heck, it's why I don't believe we'll get ahead in Afghanistan for 100 years and why I resent having our kids killed there because it's all we can do to try to protect ourselves in SOME way.
As a Marine of two tours of duty, Jake makes very clear that he doesn't feel poverty is the only reason for terrorism!! He also believes strongly in the military but, after having been there and seen (the war and Kenya and other poverty stricken countries) for himself, he knows, too, that bringing people out of mud huts and illness can only be a good thing. I believe the terrorism part of it was the inspiration he needed and he's moved on from there.
The blogs show that the last thing Jake wants to do is upset their culture! and that they adore him there for all he and his people have done.
What you describe is a scenario we all know and regret: Jake's not that.

By the way, I hate to speak for Jake after having only spoken to him for a rather short time and read his blogs! THis is what I've surmised and I feel like I'm right on most of it but ... I know for sure that Jake does not feel poverty causes all terrorism or that he wants to change anybody's culture.


Z said...

Heather, "worldviews" or immigration when it was clean and legal?

I just can't reiterate more that I don't feel relieving illnesses and helping people not to live in mud huts IF THEY DON'T WANT TO is a noble goal.

Gad, I don't even really care much that women can't drive in Arab countries...what do I care and why SHOULD WE? Or that they walk behind their men? LET THEM if their culture says they should and THEY WANT TO.

Craig and Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig and Heather said...

Heather, "worldviews" or immigration when it was clean and legal?

I guess my comment was poorly worded. It wasn't meant to detract from Jake's efforts or the good that might be done through his organization. Your response to Pris's comment appears to indicate that resentment isn't even a problem there.

I wasn't suggesting that all the alternatives are necessarily "good". And am not at all against the need for those of us who have been materially blessed to be looking to help those who have not.

All I meant is that the US has long been considered a "melting pot" of ideologies, religions etc and I wonder if our overall willingness to allow so much room for those kinds of differences might sometimes affect our ability to recognize how some in other cultures might, as Pris put it, resent our efforts to help.

It was just one of those "Oh. That might explain some things" moments in my own mind.


Z said...

Heather, I only wondered what you meant by Americans being "absorbed in other worldviews"...that's all. That's why I wondered if you meant exactly that or you're drawing on our history of having had so many immigrants here, biggie.

I don't look at any of this as a criticism of Jake's work at all.... I've explained what his blogs say and there's no defensiveness on my part...I only wanted to make sure he was being perceived correctly, that's all!

Z said...

by the way, NURU means "small light in the darkness" in Swahili.

Craig and Heather said...

Heather, I only wondered what you meant by Americans being "absorbed in other worldviews"...that's all. That's why I wondered if you meant exactly that or you're drawing on our history of having had so many immigrants here, biggie.

Oh, okay.

Yes, the reality of immigration from so many different places is what i was thinking. In many ways, the various nationalities and customs..even foods.. that have contributed to what we know as "American culture" is an interesting thing to me. Obviously, some beliefs have not been accepted as being compatible with what it means to be American, so we've had some cultural conflict over the years, as well.

But I had not spent a lot of time thinking about how we, as a nation, are something of a patchwork quilt in the way we have integrated so much of what makes other cultures unique. We have, in a way, "absorbed" a lot of diverse ways of thinking that other, more closed groups, might consider to be suspicious.

The meaning of "NURU" brought to mind:
John 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.

I'm not sure if such a thing was implied as the group appears to be non-religious...but it's what I thought of.


Z said...

No, it's not set up as a Christian non profit.
I feel awkward again speaking for him, but he is a believer.

Craig and Heather said...

I feel awkward again speaking for him, but he is a believer.

I don't want you to feel uncomfortable, Z. But it is always great to hear that someone's motivation for helping others comes from a Christ-centered perspective. A believer can (and should) live his faith as an individual and does not need to do it under the banner of a religious organization.

Prayer for this man to have wisdom in his work is most definitely important, even if financial support is not possible at this time.


Z said...

Heather, don't worry, you didn't make me feel uncomfortable.! And, yes, that's why I asked for prayer at the bottom of my post.
Please keep NURU in your prayers, everyone.

Anonymous said...

Z, I don't think anyone with good intentions goes into this trying to "change" a culture, but to teach and improve the conditions.

I do think in doing so, it can be perceived by those who are being helped as altering what they've always done, which is part of their culture.

That's what I mean can be difficult. Resistance to change is human nature.

All I'm saying is no matter how well intentioned a person is, he may not have the ability to convince a people who have existed in their culture for centuries, a different way of doing things is better than how they've done it for generations.

For instance, what if they're happy in their mud huts? Do we know they aren't? If that's all they've known do they miss what they've never had?


Z said...

Pris, I disagree but that's America! I totally understand your point (as indicated in other comments) and I disagree.
No, Jake isn't bringing anything to these people they don't appreciate...I read a lot of his own private blog I'm not linking here...but it is in the article links somewhere, I just happened upon it. Lots of insight there..they're thrilled to be out of mud huts. They're people who've seen television, this is Kenya in 2010, not people in grass skirts carrying spears......they're learning to get fresh water and plant and harvest.........and thriving.

Z said...

Jake just saw this post and is grateful that I "Spread the word"...I'm thrilled.
he's a heck of a much so that my nephew, his buddy, feared Jake would be embarrassed that I"d mentioned his accomplishments.
Jake probably WAS but seemed very happy that my nephew's "aunt spread the word"
I'm very glad about that.

PLEASE consider sending Christmas presents to NURU instead of your cousin in Des Moines :-) Tell them you knew they'd understand !! HA (Blame me!) xxx Z