Everyday Compassion

Yesterday was one of those days that you just want to go away. The boy (who is 12 and may not make it much further) was in a mood which, in turn, caused a tumultuous series of events BEFORE 7 AM. If you know me, any activity that takes place in the morning is considered an assault, but a true assault that takes place that early? Oh the horror! Anyway- we all survived his mini reign of terror and got to school. From there the day spiraled into some kind of teenage purgatory where everyone reverted back to needing their shoes tied and mouths wiped- (you know, in a figurative sort of way.) Track practice had its own mini-drama, but sadly this one involved the irrational rantings of a parent/coach who didn’t get his way earlier in the day and chose to handle it by quitting on 100 kids, one of which was his own daughter.

In short, it was a day that required a very close walk with Jesus- A VERY CLOSE WALK. I’m having more of those days lately, and I think- no, actually, I know that it is because I’ve been relying on myself just a bit too much lately. A conclusion I astutely drew mid-way through the coaching drama. So- I prayed.

I have to be honest here. I did pray for forgiveness and had to recommit to giving up the faux-control I had seized in my life. BUT- I also prayed for something good to happen- ANYTHING good to happen. I was really thinking more along the lines of winning the lottery (which would be truly miraculous since I don’t play the lottery) but instead I got something in the mail- the exact something that I needed- not anything I would have thought to ask for – but just as always, my Jesus knows me better than I know me. So…..

I opened the first letter from our Ugandan boy- MA (we’ll call him that as those are his initials, and I think it’s best to protect his privacy) that we sponsor through Compassion. He’s four and he is PRECIOUS. He can’t write yet, so they send this sheet where he checks things and someone fills in blanks for him.

Here’s what I know: he lives by a river in a rural community. His mother is a farmer. His favorite color is green. He likes soccer and football. His favorite subject in “school” is counting. (So far he’s not in formal school as his family doesn’t have the money to send him- hopefully that will not be an issue anymore). His best friend’s name is Kyarismuma. His favorite song is “The Lord is my Shepherd”. His favorite foods are matoke (I haven’t a clue what that is), rice, beans, and ground nuts. His responsibilities at home include gardening and getting water. He has an older sister who is 14 and an older brother who is 12. His prayer was that his mother would stay well, and that he would also stay well. And finally, he dreams of being a businessman someday. On the top of the paper was a drawing of his family and home in pencil and colored in green crayon (his favorite color).

I got on the Compassion website yesterday and also found out that at the time he was taken into Compassion’s program, his mother and father both lived in the home and were both farmers. That was October of 2008. By the time his letter was written on January 7th, the father was gone. I don’t know if he died or if something else happened, but I have a terrible fear that he is dead because MA’s only prayer was that he and his mother stayed well- a big and fearful prayer for a child.

MA lives in Uganda- a place where 1 in 60 people have HIV/AIDS. The average monthly income is $35. Clean water is a luxury for the wealthy.

He needs help, and for $32 a month I can help. For $8 more a month I can help provide medicines and healthcare for people in and around the area where he lives who are living with HIV/AIDS.

We aren’t rich. We are definitely feeling the effects of this economy, and we struggle at certain times during the year. But our struggles are so small compared to the struggles of these people. I spent $40 this month, got a letter, and that letter made my day- I can’t think of a single thing I could buy or do for $40 that would have brought as much joy as that letter from that little boy did.

$40 gave me perspective. $40 can help a child, can help take the worry off of a poverty-stricken mother, can help to medicate and provide comfort to a person dying from a horrific disease. $40 a month can show a family a world away what Jesus looks like- and I can’t think of a better way to spend my money.

Please consider sponsoring a child. You can click on the banner in the column on the blog, or you can simply click here.

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