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Kay Warren is an evangelical leader, author, AIDS activist, and co-founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Along with her husband, Rick, Warren founded Saddleback in 1980 with just a[…]

Speaking up for those who have no voice.

Question: Beyond a simple title, how would you describe what you do?

Warren: I probably would say I’m a voice. I’m somebody who is using my own voice on behalf of people who don’t have much of a voice – those who don’t have a lot of power in this world, particularly people with HIV/AIDS and orphans. And of all the vulnerable people in the world, the most vulnerable are little girls. And little girls who are growing up without parents really are at the mercy of society. So I feel like I am a voice for those two groups in particular. I can walk into a hut, or a hospital ward, or a very, very poor home, and walk in and not necessarily bring gifts. There is an urge at the beginning, I suppose, when I first started doing what I’m doing, to bring something to somebody; to bring a gift; to bring money; to bring, you know, a basket full of toys or something. Now if I bring anything I might bring some food. But what I have found great joy is in just showing up –just walking into somebody else . . . someone else’s house who feels very alone; who feels forgotten; who feels neglected; who feels abandoned; and to sit down eye-to-eye. I’ll put my arms around them, hold the child in my arms, and just know for that moment – even that moment in time – my being with them, my presence, has reminded them that they’re not alone. And there is tremendous joy in that.

Recorded on: 12/11/07

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