Children helping children or $20 and a Cinderella doll

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Jesus once used 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to feed 5,000 people. I have $20 and a Cinderella doll- what will that do?

As the days slowly drag on while I wait for my departure (still 148 days away) the news of my upcoming adventure spreads, not quite like wild fire. Rather in a slow trickle people eventually hear the news. This past weekend was the first time I have been able to go home to Nebraska since making the decision to go to Haiti. It was refreshing.

As I have written about before I have received a whole slew of responses when people hear about my Haiti plans. Here in KC I am surrounded mostly with people that, in general, do not seem to understand why I would want to spend a year of my life helping other people in a country that would at best be uncomfortable. Why I would be willing to risk my job, health and (what everyone seems most concerned about) my cleanliness to serve others. I have had people tell me bluntly it was a stupid decision. I felt I was fighting the tide of public opinion that was waged against me.

Then I had an opportunity to go home.

Though my family is concerned about my safety and yes my job security as well, they support me. Going to my home church was like sucking in a deep breath when my lungs were burning for oxygen. It was relieving. And exciting. I did not have to explain to people why someone would risk everything to serve the needy. Or why writing a check wasn’t a good enough substitute for me. Instead people not only understood- they encouraged. They supported. They laughed, hugged and were emotional in talking with me about it. They built me up and promised to pray for me.

Then there are the children who wanted to help. They have never seen these kids I am going to serve. I am not even sure if they have seen pictures. They just know there are kids out there who are not as lucky as they are- and they wanted to help. Emilie and Evelynn (both 7 years old) went through their toys and donated boxes of barbies and babydolls. While I was there to pick up the boxes of stuff (ogling at Baby Ryan from afar) Emilie picked up her Cinderella doll and asked her mom if she could give it to me for the kids in Haiti. This Cinderella doll use to be her favorite. She could not come over to our house without it. Emilie just turned 7 and here she is giving up her favorite doll for some child she never met. Then there is Pyeper who wanted to give me money so badly that at 6 years old she is doing chores so she can pay off the $20 she donated to me. I am surrounded by adults who don’t get it but these children- they understand. They have given up their best for the least of these.

Emilie, Evelynn and Pyeper if you are reading this I want you to know how very proud I am of you all. Giving up toys and games and doing chores for quarters I am sure is not easy. You reminded me that little kids can make a big difference. You have shown me the love of Jesus you have way down in your heart. Thank you so much for caring about these kids.

I was having trouble remembering God would provide for this trip. But somehow $20 and a Cinderella doll given to me by children has restored my faith, not just in humanity but also in the provisions of God.

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3 responses »

  1. It is so true here in Haiti, as well. Kids just get it. The other day we were in a home where the child has some severe mental set backs. We gave his mom a bag of warm bread, which she immediately tore off a piece and gave to her son, who had been gnawing on a stick , the kid took a bite and broke off a piece and gave it to a little girl standing in the doorway.
    these people don’t even own a bed.
    maybe a scrap of clothing each.
    and they share.
    so often I wonder who is teaching who here.

    so glad you are coming!
    mama k.

    • I saw the same thing during the feeding program. These kids scarfing down a bowl of rice and beans would not only share with the neighbor who did not get any that day- they would also take their last handful and run out of the school with it so they could give it to an older sibling or friend who did not make it into the feeding program that day. That was one of the most moving things I saw while there. Generous spirits are born young.

      So glad to be coming!!

  2. Amazing to hear the stories of kids sharing what very little food they have as I STRUGGLE to get my daycare kids to eat delicious cereal. Where they can have as much of it as they’d like but they’d rather wait until later because they’re too busy playing or it’s not their favorite kind. Knowing there is so much food that it’ll never run out so no worries if they don’t eat right now is what they think. As my son runs out the door for work choosing not to eat because I made something that he doesn’t care for too much so he’ll just grab something else later. I can’t say as I’m any better. Very often when I’m offered food I’ll find myself evaluating whether it’s “worth the calories” for me or not because I don’t want to get too fat. I’m sure that’s never been a concern of soooo many starving people in our world. I think the media & television stations should focus less on the ridiculous programing they so often have on & show much, much more of the reality of how life is for so many struggling people around the world. Now there is a good reality show for us. Keep it in the forefront of our minds. Maybe more of us would do more about the problem. Show it everyday.I admire all of you who do prioritize this problem & do what you can to help.

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