Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Below is a neat letter from Bart Campolo (leader of The Walnut Hills Fellowship, a local ministry in inner city Cincinnati, and founder of Mission Year)

Dear Friends,

I do my best with these letters, but no words can really communicate the essence of what we are doing here. For that, you’d need Smell-O-Vision.

In case you didn’t know, Smell-O-Vision was a system developed in the 1950s that released odors during the projection of a movie so that the viewer could actually smell what was happening onscreen. Thirty years later, cult filmmaker John Waters tried the same thing with scratch and sniff cards. In both case, the idea was to take advantage of the scientific fact that smell is easily the strongest and most vivid of our senses when it comes to processing emotional experiences. If you’ve ever smelled something and had memories you hadn’t thought of in years come flooding back, you know what I’m talking about.

What you may not know, however, is what the scent of urine in a hallway tells you about a low-rent apartment building, or what the combination of cigarette smoke and baby formula on an infant’s blanket tells you about a family, or what cheap liquor on an addict’s early morning breath tells you about the rest of their day, or maybe the rest of their life. These are some of the smells I’m learning these days.

Keep on reading...

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