I’ve been struggling with some hard truths lately. Truths like there really are starving children in Africa. Growing up, my mom always told me there were starving children in Africa, but it’s different once you’ve been there and looked into their eyes, held them in your arms, seen so much that your heart begged you to look away and you forced your eyes to stay open, to really SEE them, to see the beautiful, precious children of God that they are.
It’s different now. But it can be easy to try to forget. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the busy bustle of life and family and problems that seem big and to push those children to the farthest corners of my mind. It’s easy until it’s not.
It’s easy until my six year old daughter, who used to be one of those starving children in Africa asks me if she can send her money to buy food for the kids who don’t have any food and don’t have clean water. She asks me this, holding up the pennies she has found, the dimes that she earned helping her older brothers do their chores, and the loonies she got from the tooth fairy. She ask me this, holding ALL of her money. All of it. And I am broken. I am humbled and shattered and embarrassed by how little we send. Yes, we send money. Maybe some people would consider it a lot of money. But next to ALL of her money, it is exposed for what it is…too little sacrifice for something that is worth sacrificing so much more for.
Dancing Girl cries while I hold her. She asks if we can pray to Jesus to send clean water and food to her brothers and sisters back in Africa. What she means by brothers and sisters is all the other children in the orphanage. And really, in a way, those are her brothers and sisters. We start to talk about what we can do to be able to send more money. She pulls away from me with a smile visible, though the tears continue to roll down her cheeks. She says, “I know: coupons. We can send them coupons.” Sweet baby girl!
The truth is that though my little girl does not know it, the poverty in her home country has just reached emergency proportions. A drought has created a massive food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. The situation is growing worse by the day as refugees from Somalia make the trek into Ethiopia in search of food and better conditions. Countries already in a poverty crisis have been dealt another blow. These are the kind of hard truths that I am wrestling with.
All that comes to mind at the moment is the quote “Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it…but I’m afraid He might just ask me the same question.”
I feel convicted to do something to try to find a way to raise money for the people who are living in this famine, for the mothers who are having to decide which kids to feed while I feed my children abundantly. Any ideas are greatly appreciated (I have nothing left to sell because I donated it to my friend G’s adoption fundraiser, so a Garage Sale is out). It would be ideal if it was something the kids could help with.