And, another oldie, but goodie…. 🙂
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2008
I have entered back into the US zone of normalcy…..and it is just simply hard to do sometimes. I left with a team of 8 others from our church in Elizabeth City to head to the Dominican Republic on November 1. We returned Saturday night around 12 (so actually Sunday morning…). We served with Solid Rock Missions. Two days were spent in San Juan de la Maguana helping the local church, visiting the orphanage and the schools, and lots of painting! Two days were spent in El Cercado to partner with the pastor our church supports – Pastor Morales.
We also spent time at the school, painting the clinic, worshipping with a small group of his congregation, enjoying dinner with he and his family under the palm frond gazebo, and also giving rice/beans and the Gospel of John to those in the hills surrounding El Cercado.
My favorite day was serving those in need. To realize that the rice/beans you are giving away to these families will probably last them at least a week, if not more, and that it may be the only protein they will eat, is a rather humbling experience. The great irony of it all to us Americans is how happy the people are. Yes, they are in poverty. Yes, they are living in conditions that we wouldn’t dare be in here in the US. Yes, they are usually not in the healthiest conditions. Yes, there is some sadness. But, the smiles are genuine. The love for their families is genuine. The gratitude expressed comes from deep within and overwhelms the giver with how little I sacrifice to simply give a family rice/beans.
At times I like, I must plug theorganization we served with and how you can help. For simply $24 a month, you can sponsor a child and allow them to attend school. In many third world countries, a family with many children place their hope in the one or two children they can send to school. Remember, families often live day to day. They do not go to the grocery store, have monthly bills, or own a car. They simply live off of what they grow, so when you ask a family to pay $25 a month for one child to go to school, it is next to impossible. How can they earn money when there is no job? How can they simply have an extra $25 if the crop on the land they have is barely enough to feed their own family?
Through sponsors in the US and abroad, the ripple effect of sponsoring one child can have a lasting impact on his/her entire family. The child will now have an education. Education is key to changing the cycle of poverty. Education is the hope in many third world countries. We take our education for granted in the US, but imagine if you, as a parent, knew the only hope there was for your child to not have to wonder about tomorrow’s food for the family, the only hope for your child to not have to work from sun up to sun down, was to provide them with an education, but oh how your heart would break when no matter what you did, how hard to tried, you could not afford it.
As Americans, we have been blessed far beyond measure. As Believer’s, the call is even greater to serve and help those in need. Our vision and our perspective does not end in our little box of our perspective. God is not found in our box because He is so much bigger than our box. God is the Creator of the World. He sent His Son to die for the sins of every person in the World, not just America. Christ rose on the third day so that we can all have a relationship with Him by simply asking and acknowledging our sin. God created the bridge through sacrificing His own Son for us, while we were yet poor, yet sinners and yet knew nothing of Him. How can we not, then, serve Him by serving those in the World to not only offer them hope, but to begin to build that bridge to show Christ’s love and sacrifice for them?
Thanks for letting me share that. As you can tell, it is heavy on my heart. The Lord has allowed me to serve Him in two 3rd world countries over the past two years and He continues to burden me with the call to share what I see and what is so often a simple solution I can share with my friends who support me in their prayers while i am on these adventures. It often befuddles me how I can easily spend $40 a month on internet, or $50 a month on a cell phone and not have a problem with doing that. Yet it somehow isn’t as easy to commit to $25 a month to give a child an education, and hope to a family. And, further befuddles me as a Believer in Christ and a child of His that I even have to consider it when all i have been given is a blessing from Him. Ah, the humanity……
And, lest you think my husband is NOT amazing, he did an incredible job with the girls while I was away. SUch a special Daddy time they all had, even though Dean had an eventful week at work and he caught a cold the first day I left. Thank you Dean for letting me go and serve and thank you for being such a great dad and husband. I am so thankful for you and humbled at how you allow me to serve others without blinking, pausing to contemplate how it will affect you, and just simply letting me go. You, my dear, serve me with an unconditional love and I am so thankful and overwhelmed by you.