Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I was raised by God-fearing, Bible-believing folks who were themselves raised during the Depression. I am already quite frugal, am grateful for what the Lord has provided for me and do believe that I am not one to take things for granted, for the most part. But come on, we are Americans. There are things we take for granted that we don't even realize we take for granted. Water coming from our faucet. Heat when we need it. Cool air when we need it. Soft beds. Jobs (how often do you complain about yours?). Medical care. Children. Resources to raise them. Food in the fridge...the freezer...the cupboards...not what you're in the mood for? Go to the store. Or better yet, go out to eat. Get there in your car. I could type all day.

We have been in the adoption process for nearly three years but the decision to adopt from Haiti has been a significant life change for me. We have heard it all our lives: "Eat your vegetables, children are starving out there." But the children were never MY children. The children suffering from malnutrition are now MY children. The pictures of the naked kids with empty tummies are from my children's homeland. The 300,000 restaveks (child slaves) are my kids' ages or younger. It has changed me. I can't hear the stories and then forget and move on with the rest of my day anymore. In a way, I wish I could. Ignorance IS bliss, to be sure.

I have heard people say, "I want to help, I just don't know where to start." I provide several names of places to start and then it is quiet after that. They perhaps ponder it for a moment while they drive to Starbucks, and then move on with their day. I am not trying to judge here or be holier-than-thou. I just have such a heavy burden on my heart. I need to share it to lighten the load a bit for me, but also to perhaps make an impact on you as well. All I know is that there are 143 million orphans in the world who need moms and dads, a hug, Jesus, love, and food in their bellies. Our orphanage turns away 80 children a month because of funding. 80 more kids who could have gotten an education. 80 more kids who could have had three meals a day and clean water to drink. 80 more kids who could have found forever families and be adopted. Both of our children were turned away. It is by the grace of God that they are where they are right now and it will be by the grace of God that they come home.

SOOOOO, I am thankful for all the blessings we have in our cushy, easy lives. But this all just came out when I started typing! I intended to write today about being thankful for the Haiti Nurse, Lori. I warn you up front that you may not want to visit this site if you are squeamish. I AM squeamish, but I visit anyway, to see what the people of Haiti are dealing with, to pray, and to see what Haiti Nurse is up to. She is an American living in Haiti and doing the best she can every day to help. They see sometimes hundreds of people in one day. I think she needs encouragement. I know she needs prayer. I left a comment on her blog and was surprised to receive a very long email from her. At the very least, the next time you have to wait in your paper gown in the freezing cold room waiting for the doctor to come in, instead of complaining, could you whisper a prayer of gratitude?


kayder1996 said...

I read Lori's blog often. Her sister who also serves alongside her in Haiti has a blog as well. Google Real Hope for Haiti and you might be able to get it to pop up. Both of them help me grasp a bit of Haitian culture and to recognize how primitive medical care and education is in Haiti.

Vivian M said...

I always grew up hearing about starving children. We lived in a third world country for four years and experienced it firsthand. Then we went to China. Now we count our blessings even more and tell our daughter to finish her meal because there are kids out there that don't have a meal. She used to be one of them (she was fed counterfeit formula and was malnourished).
Thank you for reminding us that no matter how much we do, there is always more that can be done. And that every one, and every penny can make a difference in someone's life.

tiffany said...

Okay, I had to check out your that I "know" you. :) It was super fun to hang out with you tonight amidst the shaving cream, spaghetti, and gun shot balloons. I am so excited about your adoption and what God is doing through it. I will pray for you and Lee. The waiting HAS got to be tough. Your children are precious. We are blessed in America. Thanks for your reminder of that. No matter how simple, or frugal we are...we have more than most of the world. So easy to take that for granted. What a big, amazing God we serve.

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