December 04, 2009

the difference one can make... UPDATED

i am crying as i write this.  my heart is touched.  this young girl, Katie, lives in Uganda.  She has adopted 14 little girls... all of whom started out very sick and abandoned.  she runs a ministry that feeds over 400 children a day.  katie is my hero.  what an amazing example of how one person can make a difference.  i want to be more like her.  i am a better person because i have read about her.
want to read about her?
she just adopted baby patricia...  read here... august 26... to hear how she got her.
or, read here... august 14... to hear how she ended up in uganda.
someone asked katie in a comment if she thought it was responsible to adopt 14 kids... she responded  "Is it more responsible to let them die in the street?"
oh... my heart aches.
today i will learn and build a foundation... someday i will serve more, love more, make a greater difference.

UPDATE-- i've thought a lot about Katie since i first read her blog Friday night.  i don't think that everyone should fly to Uganda and adopt 14 kids.  i don't even think katie would advocate doing that.  i know that God doesn't want me to adopt 14 kids, at this time in my life, although i KNOW that if i was in Uganda and a lady handed me a starving baby, my heart strings would burst... like katie, i have a mother's heart...  i admire this young girl and her desire to serve and her courage to ACT.  i hope that i am always open to the promptings of the Spirit that whisper small or large ways that i can serve others.  i am grateful for the life i live.  grateful for the reminder of "Wants vs. Needs" that i got when i thought of starving children and how my kids aren't.  even if we all sometimes feel that we are living in poverty while todd finishes his schooling.  we're NOT.  not even close.  i'm not here to judge what she does or if she is doing the best thing with her time or resources... i only need to judge what i'm doing and if i'm doing the best things with my own life. 

and... sometimes i feel that i can do more.  and... then i feel that i will do more, someday.  just not today.
we came back to school so that todd could study social entraperneurship... he wants to do things to encourage companies to bring their business into poverty stricken areas of the world... we want to take college kids to Mexico for the summer and build schools, dig wells, teach the people better hygiene and how to grow food, or something like that.  there are so many things that one could choose to do with the resources that we are given...  i hope that today i am doing what i can, and that tomorrow i will be able to do more.

in a christmas devotional last night President Thomas S. Monson said something like... during the christmas season when you are budgeting how you will spend your money, also remember to decide how you will spend your time.
He encouraged us to serve others and teach our children how to serve.
We have many resources given to us and are acountable for how we use them.
i'm grateful for katie's reminder that i am a part of a world... a world that has babies who are starving.
and that i can make a difference.


beckyjune said...

thank you jen for the reminder. I can't stop reading her blog.

Sandra Ionno Butcher said...

Jen, this is complicated. I admire anyone who tries to improve the lives of children. But, for example, here is a group that I am more comfortable with -- HELPING: Help for Education and Local Projects in the Gambia ( Martin's family knows the people personally who have set this up. They go regularly to Gambia, local people here sponsor children's education, school uniforms, etc. They have built schools (there is a lunch garden at one of the schools that we donated funds in celebration of Martin's parents' 50th.) It seems more comprehensive--it's through education that the cycle can be broken. I think this girl is in serious danger of burning out too soon. And it's not always the answer just to adopt (I say this as an adoptive parent)...Complicated eh? But I konw what you mean about wanting to do it all. Love you for caring so much about the world.

Yayi said...

Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story! I loved it! it just made me count my blessings. Mainly, my wonderful children.

Anonymous said...

If you click the link in Katie's blog that leads to her ministry website - Amazima Ministries - you will see that they do in fact have a child sponsorship program that pays for children's education in addition to meals and healthcare.

I took Jenifer's point to be the impact of what Katie HERSELF is doing as an individual - not just what an entire organization can do - but the difference ONE person can make if we would just be willing. Katie is following in obedience to what God has called her to do. We don't burn out when we are walking exactly in the footsteps God has called us to. Get tired? Yes. Frustrated? Perhaps. Burned out? No. It's when we launch out on our own, trying to do things in the way that we think best, that we get burned out.

I have never in my life witnessed a more amazing example of all-out, complete self-sacrifice and obedience to the call of God. She is doing all she, personally, can do to change the lives of not only the 14 girls she has adopted, but all of the children - AND their families - that she ministers to daily through her lunch program and through the healthcare she provides. She is 21 years old. How many other people - no matter their age - are making such an impact for the kingdom of God? I know I'm not.

Education is definitely key in most areas of the world, but in a village where there is no industrialization, or even an "economy" per se, a person has to be healthy, warm, and fed before they can worry about being educated.

Tiffany said...

Where do you even FIND these amazing blogs & stories?!? I love that you share them w/the rest of us... I just read that blog for almost 1/2 an hour. Whoa. Really helped my re-put things in perspective. THANK YOU!:-)

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