I knew in my heart of hearts that I shouldn’t let it consume me. When we overcome and rise above obstacles in life it builds character; when we let challenges tarnish our spirit and cause bitterness we’re letting evil win. Although it took me a couple days to get over it, I did, and at the conclusion of it all I was reminded of two crucial things.
1. There are more important things in life.
In my moment of defeat I felt hurt and ultimately sorry for myself. Then I realized there are literally starving children in Africa that have it a million times harder than I do. I should know, my sweet little niece Essie was adopted from Uganda where AIDS, starvation, and children forced into soldierhood are commonplace.
Jason and I also support children at the Watoto organization in Uganda and get updates on their statuses regularly. These kids are overcoming far more difficult things in life than I have ever had to. It really makes you think about where you are putting your time, thoughts, and efforts. Instead of focusing on me, I need to focus on them.
2. Actions speak louder than words.
So now that I realized I need to quit focusing on myself, what was I going to do? At the beginning of summer, I had been good about looking for volunteer opportunities and pursuing them, but eventually I let that fall to the backburner. Now I’m reignited with fuel to help others. Whether it’s with my time, money or prayers there are endless ways to help. Here are a few you might like to pursue as well…
Sponsoring a Child
As I mentioned before, Watoto holds a special place in my heart, and prior to finding out I was pregnant we were set to go on a mission’s trip there this Fall. Watoto provides tender loving care to the overwhelming number of orphans and women in Uganda. Find out how you can help here.
I get it, you’re busy. I’ve been there too, but trust me, if you take the time to help someone in need you’ll come away feeling better. The extra commute, the extra time- it’s worth it.
If you’re in the Seattle area and helping the homelessness stirs your heart, check out Bread of Life Mission. If helping kids is more your mission look into Eastside Baby Corner in Issaquah (I’ll be there tonight, and there are still more slots open to volunteer!). Or Google your local food bank to see how you can help. I’ve volunteered at each of these places either by myself or with a group, and every time the experience has been a good one.
Sole Hope is an organization that makes shoes for children in Africa. Without shoes, their feet are susceptible to jiggers, a parasite that lays eggs in the skin leading to infection and in extreme cases amputation. Removal is painful and difficult, and adding to that problem is a lack of hygienic medical tools to resolve the problem. It’s disturbing, but you really should watch the video in order to comprehend just how bad jiggers are.
Sole Hope offers numerous ways to get involved including donating money and simple medical supplies (medical gloves, gauze, safety pins, numbing cream, etc.) or you can host a Sole Hope shoe party. At a shoe party you gather the goods (fabric, denim, milk cartons [used for the heel of the shoe], scissors, etc.) to make shoes for the kids and cut out the patterns. There’s no sewing involved; the cutouts are then shipped to women in Africa who complete the process and in the end a child gets a pair of shoes. My girlfriends and I recently got together for one of these parties and it not only felt great to do something good for others, we had a blast doing it! Here’s more info on how you can host your own shoe party.