9.22.2011

Vulnerable.

this is me typing to you! :) Miss everyone so very much!

I need these kids more than they need me.

 I love the way that they all seem to fit perfectly on my lap when they read to me. I love get morning kisses and I love the way that they can’t get over the texture of my hair compared to theirs.  If you haven’t guessed my love language is most definitely touch so I never mind if I kids stroke my back or pull through my always-messy hair. Every morning certain boys will come running to me and ask me how I slept giving me a hug. I cherish these moments more than I can explain in words. My patience grows each day and my heart loves these kids a little more every moment. I stay at the hostile during the week and I leave on Friday’s to sleep at a host family for the weekends. I must say that I couldn’t have asked for a better family to stay with on the weekends. They are more than amazing and are so so so good to me! I am blessed beyond words to be living with them. But on Monday mornings when I arrive just before 7 my heart longs to be loved on by these children.

Everyone has a story. Whether it’s filled with failures or successful events, I personally believe people’s stories are so powerful: powerful enough to change another person’s heart and perspective. I love hearing people’s stories and I am always learning as people tell me where they have been and what has shaped them. Being here has made me long to hear people’s stories. I love to listen through their broken English as they talk about home and their friends, things they love to do on the weekends. I am so blessed to be learning from them. Being vulnerable isn’t always easy. It’s usually never easy. But by being vulnerable and opening your heart to share your story and listen to others share changes you as a person- a change that I personally believe can shape your outlook on life and who you are as a person.

I know I am changed by taking the time to listen and by sharing my life and my past (as boring as it may seem to me). I was thinking this week of what really brought me here to South Africa. Of course it was the Lord’s calling but more specifically I believe it was because I opened up to the idea of learning from other people’s stories.

Let me give an example because I love to go on rants: Sex trafficking is occurring write now as I type this and write now as you’re reading this. People are being bought and sold right now. Children are dying of starvation. Women are dying in childbirth. Children aren’t getting education… the list goes on forever. These problems seem so enormous and too hard to handle. They leave you exhausted just hearing about them – let alone doing something about it.
The thing that I learnt back in Grade 9 is that these horrific realities still will happen even if I pretend they don’t.  Even if I don’t do anything about it and pretend that they don’t exist- if I live in my North American bubble and do nothing- these girls are still being raped, children and adults are still dying from preventable diseases… it all still happens. Ignorance is not bliss. I’ve learnt that when we turn our backs to these problems, when we don’t take the time to hear people’s stories and to learn from them than our action states that it is ok. We are telling the traffickers that we don’t care enough to do anything about it and we are turning our backs to these girls and boys who are being enslaved. We are letting them know that we aren’t interested and that they can continue doing whatever they please as long as it doesn’t involve “us.”

The moment we become vulnerable, the moment we let people’s stories sit deep in our hearts – that moment changes us because we can no longer live selfishly. We can no longer pass a homeless person and not think twice about where they’ve come from or if they need something. (In my short experience in working with homeless I’ve learnt that they just want to be heard; they just want someone to take notice in them and listen to their story.)

I guess that’s where this all began for me. I guess that is why I’m typing to you in South Africa and the room beside me is a bunch of precious girls who have come from terrible home situations. I let people’s stories hit me. I became vulnerable enough to learn about some of the issues going on and felt empowered to do something about it.

I started this blog saying that I need these kids more than they need me. I wrote that because in no way and I’m here to “save the world.” But I believe that wherever you are in the world you have the opportunity each and every day to make a positive or negative impact on the people and situations around you. I don’t believe that you don’t make any impact on someone. I believe you have two options. Positive or negative- and I so desire that my impact be a positive one on every situation and every person I meet. I want to make a difference but in being open I know that the people I meet will make a difference in my life.

I want to share a story with you that I got from the school. I got a glimpse in these past couple weeks of some of the children’s stories, some of the problems that the school faces on daily basis and some other horrendous things that I don’t feel like blogging about at the moment. At the end of the conversation I felt so overwhelmed that the only appropriate thing to do was cry. It’s an interesting reality knowing that when I walk into the school grounds every day I know that some of these kids won’t get food today, some of these kids have been abused. I know its like that in every country and every school but knowing how vast it is here- seeing poverty up close each and every day is something that I haven’t experience before. A lot of kids aren’t returning next term because of finances.. it’s approx. 1100 US dollars for a child to attend school for the year. I have to watch some of these kids not return because they couldn’t pay for proper education. My “save the world” personality came out and through my tears I already thought of ideas of how I could raise the money to keep these kids in school for just one more year. Through my ambition and tears one of the teachers gave me this simple story:

THE STARFISH STORY

A man went down to the beach for a walk. As he stepped onto the sand, he noticed that hundreds of starfish had been washed up onto the shore with the tide. As he walked, he picked up a starfish and tossed it back into the waves. He did it another and another…

An observer, who had been watching from a distance, approached the man and questioned his actions. Many, many, many fish were stranded on the beach. What difference would it make to throw a few back into the water?

Stooping, the man picked up a starfish and carefully threw it into the water. “It made a difference to that one,” he said.


I want to make a difference- even for just one. And I know that I can make that difference regardless of what city or country or continent I’m in. God just called me to South Africa this year and I’m still excited to make a difference.

God Bless.
Mads. 

2 comments:

  1. We love you baby! Keep making that difference for even one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pauline said... Enjoy reading your blog. I know you are making a difference in these beautiful childrens lives. I pray that the Lord will us e to minister to these children in many amazing ways, I know they wil enrich your life as well.

    ReplyDelete


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