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I’ve been listening to U2 in the van as we bounce down dusty roads in rural Sri Lanka. It just fits for the kinds of things we’re doing here.
I met the two boys we sponsor today. I gave them soccer balls and we played. Me, the Christian woman in pants, C a Buddhist, and M a Muslim.
C loves to draw and has a little brother who takes his things, just like my boys.
M loves to play cricket and volleyball and his mom told me, with a roll of her eyes, that he doesn’t help out much.
They were magnetized by the Angry Birds game on Tony’s phone, and we took pictures of ourselves with the Polaroid camera. They promised to draw me pictures and send them. I promised to send copies of the photos we took and pictures my kids drew.
I learned that M’s community needs water in a bad way. They have to carry it 2 kilometers one way (over 1 mile), or purchase it at very high rates. C’s community needs jobs that women can do at home so they can care for the children. He just took a scholarship exam, to get some help paying school expenses. His mother couldn’t for the past two months because she needed to take him to exam-prep classes.
I am struck by how much these mothers care about their children’s futures. They are just like me in all the ways that matter, but they are not like me in so many other ways that matter. They have only dreadful options like going hungry and thirsty to pay for education.
That’s the painful truth, isn’t it? The people here, on the other side of the world, are just like us. They may wear different clothes and speak another language, but they are fathers and mothers just like us, with sons and daughters just like ours. They know that life can be better, they know that a good education is the way up, and they are working as hard as they can to make a way for their children. But they can’t do it alone. They don’t have the same resources or supports that we do.
That’s where we come in. We can help. We can partner with them, with their community councils, and with World Vision to provide their villages with clean water, quality education, vocational training, alternative income-generation activities, and food security (this means a stable source of good nutrition, like a home garden or raising chickens, goats, or dairy cattle).
We’re one, but we’re not the same. We’ve got to carry each other. Carry each other.
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