Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Letters to Africa

Today I sat down and did something I've been putting off for four months. I wrote a letter to a child in West Africa. Last October I took on a project without counting the long term costs and benefits. It was an emotional reaction to a plea for help. I'm so glad I didn't stop to consider the long term commitment. I don't really want to know what happens to children who do not have a sponsor.

My child lives in a region of the world that is very dry and arid. She is in a culture that degrades girls with dispicable practices such as female circumcision. There is a lack of trained teachers, nurses and living quarters in this part of the world.

The country just next door to hers has thousands of people living in remote tribes that still practice "mingi" -- killing children because they are believed to be cursed. This practice is deeply rooted in the occult. I am carefully NOT mentioning the name of the country, because the government of that country could easily expel the people who are there, in the trenches, trying to stop such practices, and rescue these precious little ones.

Some of my gentle readers may shake their heads and ask why, with so much poverty here in my own backyard, am I concerned for those so far away. I cannot answer that question easily. Here in America, there are many programs in place to deal with poverty. I am not called to help with those, I am called to the "least" of these. These "least" live in countries without the resources and infrastructure to deal with the cultural and sanitary issues that are destroying these children. I am being heavily challenged by God to step out of my comfort zone and be the difference in His people's lives.

If you can help, please do. I am including two links. Meander over and take a look. In light of eternity, is that brand new TV worth the life of a child on the other side of the world?

1. Food for the Hungry
2. Drawn from the Water

I had a very difficult time writing my first letter to my child. How can I ever describe a life so foreign to her? How can I sleep comfortably at night in my soft bed, knowing she has only a thin mattress? I am privileged, spoiled, and comfortable beyond her wildest imagination. So are you. Please give.

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