Friday, December 31, 2010
I brush my teeth and turn the water off thinking of the water that is wasting, running down the drain that a child would have had to walk miles to fetch himself.
It was real interesting going from working with orphans on an African safari in December,
and then back to America one week before Christmas, to "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" and twinkle lights all over the place, and Christmas lists as long as my arm that American children think they are entitled to. The fact is, it is no one's fault, how they are brought up. We all only know what our world consists of, and that is all we will ever know, until we take the opportunity to step inside someone else's world....into their normal, and all they have ever known. What I walk into and think is an awful condition on our standards, for any child to live in,
is all that child has ever known. So then I quickly realize why there is such a stigma put on America. These people are left to dream. They see pictures in books, tv, or an occasional magazine that lets them know that there is another world out there. For them it looks like a paradise or a dream beyond anything they could imagine.
That is why when we travel 7 hours outside the city of Addis, where hardly any visitors show their face, we are looked at like we are from another world. Some are so excited to see us. You see it on their faces. Some just stare in wonder and amazement. You see it on their faces. And some look at us like...."What do you really want?" You see it on their faces.
I think the picture above of some of the village children coming up to our car to see who the new visitors are, pretty much sums up what i just explained. It amazes me how some just want to touch you. Maybe because we are white. Maybe because we represent that other world that they know they will never have and they just want to touch a piece of it.
But what I find is that I am in just as much awe of them and what they represent, if not more so. They look at us and see material blessings of the basic needs that are so hard for them to obtain everyday. I look at them and see the spiritual blessings that are so hard for us to obtain everyday. In the midst of their poverty, they have joy and unspeakable faith that they cling to to keep them going from day to day.
In the midst of our material blessings we search everywhere for what will bring us joy and go to churches on every corner and conferences so that we will not become bored in our faith (ouch!)
We in America, sometimes search on the outside for what will complete us, when I have seen it proven right in front of my eyes that no matter what your circumstances that surround you, true faith and joy are found on the inside. The people of Africa have found that because they have no other choice. They invite you into their world of nothing where they would share anything they have,
Again, it is what we are accustomed to. We don't think twice about it....until we are forced to.
Some of the things that I am so thankful for from this last trip, and some of the things that opened my eyes to how God was guiding our steps to spread His love were found in some of the smallest details. They were found in some of the things that we would take for granted in a second in America. I was in awe as I realized how the small things are where the blessings are found. We wait, thinking we have to do all this BIG stuff in order to really help someone, when in all actuality, it is the small things that they will remember the most.
It is taking a two boys, one from a trash dump, and one from the streets....
I'm thankful for the sweet detail I found in one little orphan baby's feet. Here he was, just simply laying in a very poor, remote orphanage, without anyone to call his own, and I found the sweetest pleasure in the detail of his little feet. God knows this child who sits in the middle of no where and loves this child. He delights in the smallest details of life, just as we should.....even his feet.
We must not forget about those that wait. We must continue to SPEAK UP for those who wait to be CHOSEN......
AND THEN WE GIVE THANKS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY BEEN CHOSEN, EVEN JUST SINCE OUR RETURN......
This sibling group of 4 now has a family!!!
All I can say.....is MAY WE NEVER FORGET WHAT WE HAVE SEEN, THE MANY FACES, THE MANY LIVES.....
As the trip comes to a close and we are packed and ready to leave.....
the main thing that brings me comfort is knowing that WE WILL BE BACK. We ARE all family in this great big world. And as the door starts to close as I drive away....and as I see the worry start to creep up on their little faces as they peer through the crack and wonder if they will ever see us again, as the look on their face is saying,"Please don't leave." ....I leave there saying, "Don't worry, little one...God has a plan! A plan to bring you a FUTURE AND A HOPE!! He loves you all the way from your great big smile, all the way down to your tiny feet!"
May we all find joy and faith in the little things in this new coming year! May we all be guided in all the blessings that 2011 holds and may we be humble enough to see them. I know I need my reminders all the time, as it is so easy to get distracted :)
Thank YOU for being an Ordinary Hero to a child who needs you in 2011 :)
Friday, December 24, 2010
Wow!!! What a year for Ordinary Hero! I just have to stop for a moment and thank each and every one of you who have contributed to OH this first year, whether it be through your prayers, your action, your contributions, or your love for those in need. We could not have done any of this without you.
WHAT DID IT LOOK LIKE TO BE AN ORDINARY HERO IN 2010?
LET ME SHOW YOU...............
We saw many of our trip members lives change forever......
We saw relationships form between sponsor and child that will forever change that child's life.
We saw entire families and homes transformed because of your generosity and support.
You gave over 60 children living in the Nashville Rescue Mission a new backpack with supplies to help start their new school year.
And provide them with a day of fun at our Halloween Outreach fall festival. For some it is the first time they have ever had a costume or been to a festival.
And of course the most exciting part of all.....
Is seeing those orphans who have sat on the waiting list, find their forever families.
We thank all of you who have signed up for our Speak Up campaign this year and played such an important part in helping us advocate for these precious orphans.
SO ALL THAT TO SAY......
Thank you for the most amazing first year for Ordinary Hero! We can't wait to see what 2011 holds.
All of us on the OH team......
And from my family to yours...
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS!