Wednesday, November 26

Normal in the Third-World

Last week seemed to be one of those weeks, where every time I turned around, somebody was asking me for money, clothes, food or work. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about people begging me for their very survival, how ludicrous that would be! Only that the constant poverty is, at times, emotional draining and overwhelming. In one day alone I had 4 people beg me for something, and it can be absolutely heartbreaking.

One morning, a young woman came to my door, looking younger than me, and she carried a 4 month old baby on her hip and had 2 small children standing beside her, both younger than 4. They were all dirty, with unkempt hair and rags for clothes. Even the baby had only a rag for a diaper and slept peacefully with a dirt-streaked face. She asked me for $0.50 to pay for her trip back to the countryside. I told her to wait a moment, and as I walked to our change jar, my conscience pricked me. How could I let her walk away with only $0.50? It was obvious they needed some food and clothes.

So I quickly walked to the kitchen, filled up a plate of food, a bag with some water, and raided my closet and my kids’ closets for some clothes. I returned with several bags and quickly handed them through the door. The kids looked up at me silently, waiting, their faces not revealing the joy and innocence of other children their age. I asked the mother if the father was helping her at all, and she replied, No, he is not around. She thanked me profusely for the food and clothing, and as they walked away, I felt empty. What had I really done for them? They were still totally poverty-stricken, with no education, no work, and no chance for a better life for her or her children.

But it’s at times like these, when it feels like my presence here is making no difference at all, that I remember a bulletin my church sent back in August, which hangs in my room. On the back is a litany, and the ending prayer states,

Send us, O Lord, to speak of your peace, to show your mercy, to conduct ourselves in a right spirit that is true to your message. May your word and your Spirit transform us from seeing how lost the world is, to having a vision that believes all can be saved. –Kenneth L. Thompson, Bronx, New York

And I am encouraged. God isn’t asking me to save the world, but only to do my part, His will, and He will do the rest. I need to lift my eyes from the circumstances and keep them on God, to remember that He is God and that nothing is impossible with Him.

Thursday, November 20


"When I grow up, I want to be a giant", Zachariah told me one evening. I just love the things kids say, my boys continue to surprise and humor me. "Sure," I told him. "Be whatever you want to be!" I believe dreams are the wings God gives us to start crazy and impossible things. If we don't have dreams, our lives become one endless, boring day after another, and then what? Maybe a few of us mature adults could learn from our amazing kids and let our minds soar...who knows where they might take us?

Saturday, November 1

Feliz Cumpleanos 2

We had a fun yet relaxing day for Nathaniel's birthday. He received several gifts from family members, and just enjoyed watching Zachariah open them. I think Zach enjoys opening the gifts more than the actual gift itself!

We decided against inviting all our friends to keep it more low-key. Steve made brownies and topped it with normal candles. We thought we had birthday candles from last year, but when we opened the package, it was empty! But he didn't seem to mind, he enjoyed huffing and puffing on the 2 fat candles.

We were planning on cutting his hair, but with work and MCC stuff, we haven't made it there yet. Someday...