this time of year weariness sets in for me in my work in social
ministry on campus. What have we really accomplished in the face
of all there is to do? How few have we reached when so many go untouched,
uninvolved, seemingly unconverted and unmotivated? I’m tempted
to feel this is all folly. What am I wasting my time and life for
when the large political and economic wheels of the world turn relentlessly
in directions that ignore the demands of the poor and of justice?
Then unexpectedly on March 8, we received the news (from friends on a group effort we helped start some ten years ago) that the boycott of Taco Bell is over, that 3.5 years of targeted organizing (after years of relationship-building, strategizing, building capacity among Mexican, Guatemalan Mayan and Haitian farmworkers in Southwest Florida), fasts, marches, ‘truth-tours,’ educating and engaging church people and students has brought a humane, enlightened response from a multinational fast-food giant. The success: more just wages by an increase of one penny per pound “pass-through” for tomatoes (meaning almost a doubling in per-bucket harvest pay) and a pledge to work with suppliers to ensure safe, sanitary working conditions for tomato harvesters on the east coast.
This willingness of Taco Bell Corp. and Yum! Brands to be part
of the solution of farmworker injustice is a miraculous, victorious
catch after a long night of no success. The disciples in the boat
recognized the risen Jesus, who John says “revealed himself”
to them. They did what he asked, and took nourishment at his beach-table
Hope helps me see more clearly. I remember the enthusiasm of students returning from the Fair Trade Convergence in Chicago put on by United Students for Fair Trade in February and see in them the new impetuous Peters and Johns proclaiming their resurrection faith and hope and vision boldly as they work to bring Fair Trade Coffee to campus and witness to their peers and to staff and administrators their concerns for justice and empowerment of workers around the world.
Now Jesus… about my thirteen year old….
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