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.

12-24-2009 07;21;45AM

12-24-2009 07;22;51AM

It was a good time for me to stop and take a deep breath. I have so much to be thankful for.


Erica said...

Well I am balling at work.

It's overwhelming to think how much we have and how little others have. What a great cause mom, what a sweet girl.

allicat said...

Thank you for this post today. It fills me with gratitude for the people in, and the comfort of, my life. It also fills me with joy to know you are participating in child sponsorship - and so happy you received a letter with pictures! A lovely gift for you on Christmas eve : )

I have been sponsoring a young girl in Bangladesh through Save The Children for several years and find it a very rewarding use of a $25 a month.

Lidia, Purnima, and other children like them remind us that no matter what challenges we may have, no matter what we feel we may lack in our lives - we enjoy a lifestyle more abundant (in physical riches) than the majority of the world.

Joyful Holidays to you.

Kristin said...

Thanks for sharing this. We should all be sponsoring a child somewhere. It seems so little from us can be so much help. I guess I'd better get with it and find a child.

Chris said...

And now...I am crying. Sweet sweet girl!

I didn't know you were doing this! Good for you (and Lidia and her family). What a great cause. It certainly does put everything in perspective.

Ashley Rae said...

This is so touching. Thank you for sharing.

It's nice every once in a while to stop and realize how lucky we are....

Anonymous said...

I went on a service trip to Africa this summer to volunteer at an Orphanage and when I came home it was like I was in shock of my own life and how stupidly complicated it was and all the crap I have that I don't need and don't use.

It is definitely a wake up call to see how people live in other parts of the world.


Anonymous said...

Sorry -- I should've said this before -- I peep at your blog all the time and never leave comments.

Hope you don't mind.

--Burgess again

Michelle said...

Don't mind at all. Thanks for your comments.