20 November 2008

Pictures or Thousands of Words?

While this blog is not a travelogue, if you don't mind, I'll use my photos as prompts for writing about my recent travels in Thailand & India.

Some of my readers might be more interested in useful info, links and current events, so I'll try to intersperse. Please let me know where the interest is so I don't bore anyone too much. I respect the fact that you probably read other blogs and choose to stop in here now and then.

I'm back in Auckland and even had minor surgery this AM, so am really ticcing things off my list. I'm very grateful that being away means I don't have a full calendar and can move forward choosing carefully and well. Much of what I get to do with my life is meaningful and satisfying, it's just that I usually try to do too much.

My recent trip was as much about getting me out of my comfort zone as it was about making a contribution in the places I visited. My hosts did put me to work a bit, but our conversations were often about perspective and what I was seeing and where I saw God at work. Sometimes when you are in the midst of things, you don't see as clearly as an outsider can. I hope I left my hosts encouraged and my listeners with some things to consider and add to their toolboxes. I'll possibly never know the blessings or the blunders.

All of the places I visited had obvious situations of sorrow & suffering, as well as laughter & community. I'll try not to dwell on the needs, but I do hope you'll consider how your spheres of influence might be tapped in to for funding of buildings and staff for the orphanages I visited. They can do so much with so little in those places.

  • $3000 US will add a floor on to an existing building in India to house abandoned kids who are HIV+.
  • Less than $150US p/month will pay the salary of a child counselor or child development supervisor in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Who do you know who will participate?
Let me know and I'll make the connections directly with where the funding will be used; no big organisations or loss due to admin costs.

The children pictured here did not ask for the virus they carry within them. I woulda brought several of them, from both Thailand & India, home with me if I could have. They are quick to smile and laugh and tease each other. But many of them also wonder where their parents are and why they have to go to the hospital for regular blood tests and check ups and why they have to take medicines like clockwork. Some of them don't even know their ABC's yet, but HIV is written on every official form associated with them.

Look at their faces and consider how we can help just these few children. We'll leave the masses to the Bill & Belinda Gates' of the world, but we can equip the good people on the ground showing love to the children I met, the kids who sat on my lap and sang to me or told me a story.
It's not statistics. They are people.

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