The summer after my freshman year in college I took a 10 day trip to Haiti to meet Roselene, a little girl I had been sponsoring through Compassion International. We worked with some local missionaries and one afternoon I rode with them to pick their daughter up from school. We bounced across open fields, crossed dry creek beds and finally came upon a building literally in the middle of nowhere. We walked into the open door to a classroom and I fell in love. This was what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to teach somewhere on the mission field. In Haiti I had learned the statstics. The missionaries' daughter was one of the lucky ones. I had seen the kids playing in the streets when they should be in school. I knew that only those who could afford it were educated. I knew this was a large part of the country's problem. But I was going to make a difference.
I came home and studied education with a purpose. I wasn't majoring in "pre-wed" like all of my peers in the college of education. I had a direction, a calling. And then I fell in love. By my senior year I had joined the others as I looked down the row one day to see hand after hand with little solitaire diamonds. Hubby was off to seminary so I entered a different mission field teaching some underpriveledged kids in Waco. Then my own babies came and consumed my life 24/7, and now they are being taught by their own wonderful teachers and I find myself teaching not-so-underpriveledged 4 year olds.
This morning I kissed my babies goodbye and sent them off to their wonderful schools where they are loved, accepted, and taught and I went off to teach at my wonderful school where I loved, accepted, and taught my own students. I don't worry about how my kids are being treated and if they are safe. I thought to myself this morning that despite what I'm reading on Facebook we live in a pretty great country. There is nothing my children or I did to be born here and not in Haiti and yet we think we have a right to these opportunities and priviledges.
I have been feeling angry by what I have been reading on Facebook, and especially how people are treating each other (but I'll save that rant for another day). There is such a lack of thankfulness for what we have in our discourses, a fear that it will all be taken away, and an anger that everything isn't working out in a way that is best for us. But maybe it isn't all about us. Maybe it's time we realize we already have so much more than most of the world. Let's take a step back and be thankful for what we have here, and let's show our thankfulness through giving.
Obviously things have gotten worse in Haiti since I was there in 1997, and my life looks nothing like I thought it would all those years ago. But Haiti is still on my heart and I still want to make a difference so.... LET'S BUILD A SCHOOL!. I am so excited that two of my favorite bloggers, Jen Hatmaker and Sarah Bessey are a part of the Legacy Project in which they are building a school in "tent city" where they just visited. I respect these ladies so much - check out their blogs to see what they are all about. This is so easy through Pure Charity. From Jen's blog:
So here's the deal: We spend money. All the time. Sometimes it's exciting things like vacations and iPads. Other times it's slightly less glamorous, like diapers and Windex. But we're spending. And the stores we spend at have historically managed their own charitable giving. They give a portion of their proceeds to amazing work like...well...we have no idea. There is a major disconnect between our purchasing dollars and their corporate philanthropic giving.
But Pure Charity gets this great idea: Let's bridge that gap and allow the consumers to decide where their little percentage goes. If Target agrees to donate 1.5% of your total purchase, then how about you decide what project that 1.5% funds? And so, like magic, the way we are already spending, already consuming, just living our lives turns into generosity.
This is such an easy way we can make a difference and turn our divisiveness into thankfulness and giving. So what do you do? Click on either of these ladies' blogs and they spell it out step by step.
I'm excited to be a part of making a difference in Haiti. Will you join me????