Tuesday, February 14, 2012

35

Yesterday Brent planned a surprise date for me that he had to tell me about since I pretty much skipped a shower yesterday, had agreed to babysit for a friend, and was getting ready to put supper into the crock pot. After abundant joy and frenzied scrambling, I righted all my wrongs and got dressed up for him.

Just before we left, as I was putting on guilt inducing jewelry--that I still really, really like, but do feel a little more than guilty about owning--I asked him, "Do you think we can, for one night, forget that there are people starving in the world?"


Antony is a 14yo boy in Zambia. He has 8 siblings and works his family farm. He likes math.
 "In what way?" He asked me.
"Well, for starters, eat at Bonefish."
"Yup," he said, "that's what I want, too."

So we went. The bang bang shrimp was excellent. As was the corn chowder with chunks of crab, the kobe burger, and the chocolate creme brulee. Delicious.  And then the check came:

$35.
Aradhana is a 1yo girl in India. She is an only child whose father is a daily wage worker.
 When I got out to the car I asked if he noticed the price of our meal. He asked if I was thinking about how much food that would have bought in Ethiopia. My answer? "Well....no. Thanks for that. But it was $35. We could have fed a child" (he joined me) "for a month."
Yeah.
Asemahle is a 5.5yo girl in South Africa. She lives with her grandmother and two siblings. Her job is to carry water.
 We went from Bonefish to the liquor store (sorry mom) where we bought our once a year splurge Raspberry and Peach Sparkeltinis. (and now I feel I need to apologize to people who drink real wine)
Our total?
$35.
Edward Samwel is a 10 yo boy in Tanzania with five siblings. His job is sweeping floors. He likes math.
 We peeked around the furniture store to see if we could find a dresser for our boys room (Maybe) and then proceeded to Target. Once you deduct the t-shirts I bought for my friend's Dresses for Kechene project, guess what we spent.
$35.
And it wasn't on necessities like TP and soap. Chocolate was involved.
Mirriam is a 7.5yo girl in Uganda. She has five siblings and her work is to wash dishes. She likes to jump rope.
I'm not exaggerating, friends.
It's everywhere you look. Every time I think I have stretched my budget as far as I can, I discover one more frivolity that I easily drop $35 on.
But here's the deal: though our budget could accommodate another sponsor child or, apparently, three, we can no longer stretch our time to give each sponsored child the time they deserve. Now that we've met two of them, we realize how very important that communication, that prayer, that love is.

I keep seeing those 35s pop up in my spending and every time I do, I think, "There's another child." Maybe this is an excuse, but I want to dedicate myself to the five we already have. I want to be supportive to them and to my four at home and to the one on the way. I'm not saying I won't dilute the waters again, but right now my God is asking me to advocate. To share the love with others. I can't save them all. I can't love them all. But I know I have more friends that can. And those friends have friends who can.

So I'm asking you, my friends if YOU have something else in you for a child who is in desperate need of an advocate to do more than pay for their school, for their parents to learn about health and sanitation and for their community to learn about their value beyond how much water they can carry, but to also love them, write to them, pray for them.

 Do you?

If not, do you have $35 a month to throw at them to make me go away? I'll work with that because I know that eventually you'll come around to loving them like I love mine.
Each of these children is available for sponsorship. I have their cards.
Let me know.

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

That reminded me to send an email to my sponsored child! :)