Nearly 4 years ago, a sponsor from the organization World Vision came to speak to the congregation at our church New Life, about sponsoring a child in Africa. I told Tim I wanted to do it. I went outside to a table that was filled with pictures of children, none of them smiling. This is where I first saw Lidia, her picture had a sticker labeled "priority" which meant the family was in dire need of help. The cost was only $35.00 a month and they said I could correspond with her.
Here she is as I saw her amongst 100 other pictures.
I have received only a handful of letters from her, and no pictures. Most of the time I even forget that she is out there somewhere, except when I see the money automatically taken out of my account each month. I'm much too busy worrying about taking care of my yard, taping my shows, reading my pop culture magazines and going to work. Meanwhile her family is struggling to just find clean water and stay free of HIV/AIDS.
It was last week, that I was in full Christmas throttle. I was wrapping, buying, eating, complaining and basically swearing to myself about how hectic and frantic my life was. Tim plopped the mail down in front of me and I saw a brown envelope from Africa. It was from Lidia, thanking me for sending her family an extra $50 a few months ago and in with the letter were 2 pictures of her, she would be almost 11 now.
I looked at her little frowning face and dusty feet and just started crying, ashamed at my attitude and the abundance that surrounds me. She said in her letter her family was able to buy 2 goats, a mattress, books and pens. She was showing me these things in the pictures.
It was a good time for me to stop and take a deep breath. I have so much to be thankful for.