January 15, 2010

Para Usted

In the fore-front of my mind today – Haiti.

Not a surprise, seeing as it’s all over the news. A lady from work adopted a girl from there and informed us at devos of some of the tragic happenings at the orphanage. You can’t help but have your heart broken when you think of all those children who are without a home. And the problem is that now, after the devastation, their facilities are so full, with newly orphaned kids. How do you even begin to process this? How do you even begin to help?

Reminds me of when I was a missionary kid – we would try to go and visit the slums regularly. I remember having to look through my toys and pick the ones that I “rarely used” – great lesson in sharing! And then when you get up there, and see the way those people survive day-to-day, you want to give them the toys that are your favourite...just cause you know they deserve it more than you do!

My best memory of this was one year when I had a beautiful, pink frilly dress. I was walking around (no fear – I was in close proximity to the rest of my family) trying to figure out who to give it to, and low and behold this young girl (about my age) came strolling up. Raggedy Anne. Obviously not her real name, but that’s what comes to mind. She was dressed in nothing more than dirty rags. And when I stretched my hands out to offer my pink dress to her, she stood, motionless, eyes wide, confused. I took a step closer and held it out again. “Para usted”. Now let me just clarify one aspect of this story – I loved that pink dress. It was every young girls dream princess-like dress. Not trying to pump myself up, but I think you need to realize the depth of the situation. She was unbelievably grateful. When she finally realized that I wanted her to have it, no strings attached, she went running for her mother. I know she probably wore that dress ‘til it fell apart. And she probably cherished it more than I ever did. I’m grateful my parents allowed us to experience that – because it makes you come to a place where “things” aren’t the world to you – and instead you want to shower those who are less fortunate.

“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves” – Amelia Earhart


mom said...

oh LG, brings to mind all of our experiences in Venezuela. I too have been praying much for the Haitian people...and our church is going to send something, which I am pleased about. What a great quote!! Especially the last sentence!! Thanks for sharing today!
love you

MOBACH'S said...

going to the slums and handing out toys/food/clothes is one of my fav memories of Venezuela.. I wish that I could pack up my house and send it to Haiti. i think it is the feeling helplessness that is getting me the most. I want to help and am willing but just dont know how. I tried to give money today at Walmart but their system wasn't working and the lady said.. oh just come back tomorrow and give then.. and i was upset.. but not really sure why.. its not like my donation was going to go to someone right then and there but it would have felt like i was helping right then and there.. if that makes sense.
love you


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