As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Talking About the Hard Things.....

I saw some hard things in Ethiopia. Some really hard things. Like the woman who was standing in the street with her 2 sons, and motioned to us as we walked past. The woman who asked us if we would please adopt her 10-year-old son, because she couldn't take care of him anymore. And she asked this right in front of her son. Maybe she wanted a better life for her boy, and maybe she was just looking for some American dollars because she could no longer feed her children. But what makes a woman so desperate that she offers to give her son away in the middle of the street? I can't imagine being in that position, and it broke me wide open.

I met a little boy whose fingers were so badly burned that they were permanently curled into his hand. The background story? He had been hungry, and took a bite of his father's soup. So his mother burnt his fingers with a hot iron. Once again, my heart broke. And this was the little guy that fell in love with Chris and would not let him go.

I had an Ethiopian woman ask me about my family. When I told her that I had 6 children, her eyebrows rose and she said, "Wow, are you rich?" I assured her that I was not, but really? According to American standards, maybe not. But according to the world's standards, who was I kidding? Yes, I am rich. I am extremely rich. We all are. And we can't make any excuses. And even more than monetary wealth? I am rich in the things that really matter. Things like family, friendships, and faith. My God has blessed me richly with His things, and because of this I owe it to others to help them. Very convicting indeed.

One night as I was cooking dinner in the guest house for all of the special mothers and kids at the orphanage, I was chopping vegetables and throwing the scraps away. Almaz, the orphanage director, came in and informed me that they throw nothing away. So we filled a gallon-size bag full of scraps - the ends of onions and tomatoes, melon rinds, half-eaten pizza, fruit, and vegetables, melted ice cream, chocolate syrup, etc. This bag was taken out into the street, and several passersby had dinner that they would have skipped otherwise. One little girl who was sick threw up onto her plate while she was eating. What about her pizza that was barely touched? No worries. It went out into the street, where some other hungry soul had it for dinner, regurgitation and all. Again, my heart broke. We have so much, and take so much for granted.

 "If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death....If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?" Proverbs 24:11-12.

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