Friday, February 5, 2010
Twirling girls and a glimmer of hope
Here I am, back from Uganda. My sister, Melissa and I went with Compassion International for about a week. I have hesitated to write about it, because I'm not sure I have had time for it to all settle in and for my thoughts to make sense to even me. I know that this was a trip that will make me forever changed, that I met people I will never forget.
Seeing what Compassion is doing and how well they do it makes me feel so proud that we partner with them, and changes so much for me now! Nights on tour when we head back to our comfy(possibly crowded)bus, and we talk about merch numbers and ticket sales, and then we get around to how many children were sponsored...when I hear that 7 kids were sponsored, I will know that 7 children's lives will forever be changed. That 7 families will be affected in huge ways by this sponsorship, that 7 families will see God's love in tangible ways through their local projects.
I think there will be multiple blogs for me about this trip, as the memories surface and I sort through how I really feel about so many things I saw..but here is what stood out to me.
In this country, so far from home for me, so different in every imaginable way..I met children who could feel completely hopeless. They go home to mud huts, to not enough food, to dangerous villages, some to a single Mom with AIDS who has no education and is just making it by day after day..but these kids who are in the sponsorship, who are given just a glimpse of hope, grab onto that small flicker and they chase after a different way of life. I met kids who are in the college program now, who are in med school, law school...who have more dreams than they had time to share with me. They believe that they are people of influence, and they know that they can change the world. They still go home to the same bleak situation every night, but every day they go to the projects they are hearing about God's love, about how special and beautiful they are..they get those letters and pictures and stickers their sponsor sends them, and they read it and re-read it, and they keep it locked in the safest place they have because those words are hope. Those words mean to them that there is a God who loves them, enough that He found them where they are and sent help. Sent hope. Sent a chance.
I met this little girl our first visit to a project in Uganda. She loved her pink dress. All day I would see her twirling and hopping and feeling beautiful. And to me, she was a reminder that we are all the same. We are born where we're born, into our own unique families and situations, we have dreams and goals, we have natural talents and things we aren't so good at..and all of us need to hear that we mean something to someone. We want to know we're special, that we can make a difference in the world and be anything we want to be. And every girl in this huge world who I've ever met wants to feel loved and adored and beautiful. We all have a dress that makes us want to twirl. Some of us hold in those things and are afraid to show how beautiful we feel. This little lady felt lovely in her best dress she'd gotten for Christmas. Maybe her only dress. And she spinned and twirled and danced her way into my heart. With so little we can make a difference in a life. With a little money, with a little time, we can give hope to someone who's situation is feeling bleak.
If you're interested in knowing more about Compassion, go to www.Compassion.com