Activism, Changeology, Human dignity, Leadership, Motivation, Personal meaning

Normal is over

t began with the plea of a widow. Today it is a growing organization registered in five countries working for a vision of “Full, free lives for the children of Myanmar.

Steve is from the US, Oddny from Norway. As a young couple they allowed themselves to be challenged and inspired by a widow, Rose Wu, who had begun taking in Burmese refugee children. Rose simply asked them to tell their friends in the West what was happening. But simply telling wasn’t enough for Steve and Oddny. Recognizing that faith was not enough, they decided to act. They opened their hearts and their wallets and brought to bear their tremendous skills and talents to make a difference for the children of Myanmar. Now, a little more than twenty years later, Steve and Oddny lead an organization (more of a movement, really) that last year helped more than 190,000 people directly. Partners Relief and Development is now a tremendous force for good for tens of thousands of children and families in Myanmar.

One of the first things I remember about Steve and Oddny and Partners was the T-shirts with the slogan “Normal is Over”. It intrigued me and inspired me. How do you react when everything you are used to, your way of life, your cultural practices, your safety net and comfort zone are all gone? What do you do when normal is over? Do you give up and return to your comfortable situation? Or do you learn to adapt, finding new ways to serve and help those around you? Steve and Oddny did just that!

I have a number of people I admire, whom I consider to be heroes. Steve and Oddny are among them. If you would like to know more about the movement that Steve and Oddny started check out this website –

Let yourself be inspired :-)!



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