Monday, December 5, 2011
A Birthday to Share
Last month I celebrated yet another birthday. I can't say I'm thrilled about the number... unless I look at the alternative to getting older! ;-)
As always, my family wanted to know what I want for my birthday. "Something you need," they suggested.
What do I need?
The apostle Paul admonished people to be content with food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8). I have food, clothing, shelter, the best husband (who has a good job), a great family, wonderful friends... what else do I need?
"Okay, then, what do you want?"
Now we all know that this question, coming from young-adult kids, really is not "What do you want?" but "What do you want that I can afford?"
HA! They can't afford anything! At a loss again.
But there is one thing I've been wanting for a long time. The kids aren't going to be funding this one, though. This is a Husband-Wife thing.
What do I want?
I want to sponsor a poor child through Compassion International.
It takes only $38/month to adopt a child and provide them with textbooks, school supplies, clothing, hygiene items, and food. $38/month provides guidance for their future, hope for their family, and even an impact on their community.
Less than the electric bill.
Less than most parents spend on their kids' monthly cell phone bills.
Less than one good dinner at a nice restaurant for John and me.
About the cost of a pair of fairly cheap sneakers.
At one point in our lives, we couldn't afford this. At that point I wasn't asking to do it. But I've wanted to for so long, and I think we can handle it now.
So I asked my husband. THIS is what I really want for my birthday. Pleeeeeease?
And he said YES!
It didn't happen right away, because he was very busy and we didn't have time to sit down together and choose a child to sponsor. But last Saturday, on our 28th wedding anniversary, we did it!
I'm SO EXCITED!!!
On the Compassion website (www.compassion.com), you may search for a child by gender, by country, or by birthdate. I chose all 3.
Over the past several years I've become very concerned about the plight of children in the Horn of Africa. No charity organizations are available in Somalia, and many Somali children suffer in the refugee camps of Kenya. So we went looking for children in Kenya.
Next we narrowed it down to Kenyans with my same birth date. There were two. One looked like a little bald boy and one looked like a boy with close-cropped hair.
I clicked on the photo of the boy with short hair. He turned out to be a 17yo girl! She had a touching bio -- she lives with her grandmother on $19 a month (at the most). But I wanted to read the little bald boy's bio before we decided, so I clicked on his photo. He turned out to be a 10yo girl! She lives with her parents and 4 siblings, and her father might make as much as $25/month, if he can get hired as a day-laborer. Sometimes her mom gets hired as a day-laborer, too, leaving the children to fend for themselves while she helps to earn money to feed them. From the photo, this little 10yo girl has the bone structure I would expect to see in a 6-8yo American girl, and she's skinny as a rail. Her daily job is to go out each day and pick up firewood to feed the family meal fires. I have no idea how far she ranges each day to supply this.
She's the one we picked.
So within 15 days we will officially "meet" this girl, receiving in the mail a packet containing more information about her and guidelines for how to write her letters and what to send/not send.
I. Can't. Wait!!!
Happy belated birthday to me.
To both of us!