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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Up close and personal

I know Christmas was a few months ago, but as I just glanced up at my dresser and saw one of my Christmas presents, I had to sit down and write.  You may have seen the commercials or the emails through World Vision or other organizations, which allow you to give a donation in someone’s name, and that donation goes to purchasing resources needed in developing countries.  My Aunt Louise and Uncle Manny have given this as a gift to my siblings and me for the past five years.  The first three years they gave a goat to a village as a sustainable resource as my Christmas present.   Last year, through Outreach International, they gave towards providing an education for a girl living in poverty.  I remember opening the card last Christmas and just crying.  It meant so much to me to know that a little girl had an education where there weren’t the resources for one.  Not only does this impart hope and impact a life, but it touched close to home, as it has to do with education. 

This year I received a card from Outreach International ( was informing me that a gift had been given in my honor- a donation for our world neighbors living in poverty.  This years two girls’ education was my gift.  I received the card at school and I sat for a moment outside my classroom reading those words, “our world neighbors in poverty.”  It struck me that every other year when I open this gift, I am completely touched, but also so completely removed.  It feels like half way around the world, someone is receiving hope.  This year however, that line world neighbors means something different.  It could very well be two little girls living 5 minutes away in a nearby village or two little girls I pass in the market.  It touched my heart in a different way this year as I can see the poverty all around me.  It also touched me because an education is so invaluable here.  I take it for granted as I grew up expecting this, knowing nothing would stop me from receiving an education.  Here however, so many will never get the opportunity to go to school.  When they are given a chance at an education, it is an incredible blessing that sets them apart. 

While I sat there thinking about this, one of the cleaners came up and asked what I had.  I told her about the gift.  She looked at the card and asked if she could see the picture of the little girls.  She said she would very much like to see them and that she may even know them.  I loved this response.  It reinforced what I had just been processing about this being a reality and that so many around me do not have the opportunity at an education. 

I will keep this card up on my dresser and will also take it back home with me.  It is such a wonderful reminder of the bigger picture.  My world neighbors may not always be this close, but they will always exist.  I pray I remember this and that I never take the many blessings I have for granted.