Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

If you're looking for this week's Wed. Hodgepodge questions you'll find them here.

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not do something.

After daughter2 and I had finished at the mall on Friday afternoon, we decided to stop at our local Christian book store so I could pick up some cards. As we stood in the check out line waiting to pay, a display just behind us caught our attention. Sitting on the table was an ordinary water bottle.

Or maybe not so ordinary.

The water inside was dirty. Daughter2 picked up the bottle for a closer look. "Is this what they drink, Mom?" "Is it?"

There in a display rack, placed neatly beside the dirty water, were the faces. You know the ones I mean.

Faces of children who live in communities where life's most basic and essential ingredient, clean water, may not exist. Children who are hungry. Children whose mothers somehow eke out a living but not enough of one to properly feed or clothe their babies. Children who live in villages and countries and continents ravaged by disease half a world away. Children whose eyes stare back at you from their picture on a sponsor card. Children who live in poverty so extreme it cannot be fully imagined from the comfort of a suburban shopping center on a sunny autumn afternoon.

Can we walk away from this display?
Can we leave them sitting on a shelf in a bookstore?
I can't.

And I know for certain my idealistic, compassionate, full of hope, 21 year old daughter can't either. I could almost hear the wheels turning as she calculated the cost. She has a weekly babysitting job in college town and as we stood in front of that store display on Friday afternoon she made a resolution. She would sponsor a child.

Hubs and I already sponsor a child...this is not something new in our home, but as I stand in this store I am suddenly weighed down by the sheer number of children who need help. And hope.

I resolve too. Hubs isn't there in the store with us but he gets this. He has a heart for children and we are able. But how do we choose? How do you say, this one and not that one. My heart hurts. I glance over at my daughter who in that moment, seems wiser than her years. A picture of her happy laughing baby self dances through my head. She lifts her face to mine and we share a look. We are thinking the same thought...how we would like to snatch up all the cards in the store and make them ours.

We go back to the faces. The store manager tells us we can also look thru a data base if we have a particular country in mind. We say no thank you....we want one from the table with the dirty water. World Vision has partnered with this particular chain of stores in an attempt to find sponsors for children who may be rotated out of the program unless someone steps forward. We want one of those.

Daughter2 finally makes her selection. A little girl with big dark eyes from a village in Lesotho. Can we even find Lesotho on a map? We'll learn.

I break with tradition. Hubs and I have supported children thru World Vision for many years. Always girls until today. Today an eight year old boy whose eyes look into mine from across the page is the one I choose. His home is a village in India, a country whose poverty my husband has seen first hand. I choose him.

We turn our backs to the display as we complete our paperwork. It's easier not to look at the faces left waiting beside the dirty water.

Saturday evening we trek back to the store. Daughter1 is now in town and she's heard from her sister about the children in the store. My tender hearted first born girl needs to see the pictures and the dirty water too. She is full of resolve. She selects a boy from Kenya whose biography tells us that he has no parents. He has a sponsor now.

We cannot take them all I tell my daughters with the teary eyes and the aching hearts. But we can take these three.

Resolution. A firm decision to do or not do something.

For more information or to sponsor a child please visit World Vision online. This post is part of today's One Word blog carnival...visit Peter Pollack's blog to read more posts on this week's word-resolution.


  1. Sad you really do wish you can help them all but you do more than your share and have raised daughters to do the same. This year I have found so many wonderful charities to be a part of it's fulfilled my life and hope to continue. Off to check out the site.....spreading the word is key.
    Have a wonderful Tuesday!

  2. your family is like mine!! :) Compassionate! Is this the Christian book store by the mall? I would sponsor EVERYONE if I could afford it. Did you ever think of adopting years ago? I did but Kevin didn't.

    I have a giveaway going on check it out!
    Have a good day.

  3. Wonderful story. Those faces make me sad.

  4. I, too, have always had a heart for children in need. What a blessing it will be to those children that you reached out to help. We should all do more to change the world...far too many people are hurting.

  5. What a wonderful post. My parents always sponsored children when I was growing up, and we exchanged letters and trinkets. Compassion is such an important thing to instil in children, and it looks like you have!

  6. Seeing the dirty water - what a great display to help us understand more the genuine needs in other places.

    I recently signed up to sponsor a child in El Salvador through World Vision. I always thought I'd pick a girl too (I have all girls) but after visiting in El Salvador this summer and talking with the women there, they told me how they need strong men. Too often their boys fall too easily into gangs.

    So by supporting a boy, I pray that I am also helping out a future wife and family some day.

    Thanks for sharing your story. It reminds me that I need to go write little Jose again this week.

  7. Thank you, Joyce, for your love and sensitivity. The Lord certainly has some special blessing for you and your daughters.

  8. It's sad isn't it? We want to help them all but know we can't. But if we each help one, soon they will all have clean water and a bit of a better life. Good job Mom, instilling those same values in your daughters.

  9. It's one of our greatest joys to hear from our Compassion sponsored girl. Each of us in family has one. Sure wish we could take them all, but God has not given the responsibility to any one person to care for them all, so I take comfort in knowing that God knows how to move hearts to choose the ones He has "assigned" them from the foundation of the world.

  10. Very inspiring post! We have many poor people living in our area and somehow you get hard hearted after a while. This post made me softer again. Thanks for that!

  11. So sweet of you all. We sponsor a boy through Compassion International. He's 13 now and we share the same birthday. I love getting letters and pictures from him.

  12. We must do what we can when we feel called to do it. I've been amazed at how relatively inexpensive it is to provide clean drinking water to entire villages thru charities like Clean Water and Charity Water. As individuals, we can't save everyone, but we can help save one. And one more saved is one less not saved. Prayers to you and your family.

  13. Joyce? You are fabulous and your girls are too.

  14. Oh, Joyce, my World Vision child stares at me each and every day from my refrigerator door. I think World Vision is probably TOPS in this type of ministry and I am honored to be a part of it. This was a wonderful, wonderful entry!

  15. Sponsor of World Vision, also. My daughters have a tradition (since they were in elementary school) we sponsor a family at Christmas. My girls still look forward to shopping for others. I am sponsor of SCA at school and I took the students to the nursing home--what an eye opener-what gift did we take-just ourselves and a little smile!

  16. ((HUGS)) You will change their lives. That is beautiful.

  17. Kudos to you and your daughters; it isn't easy to change the world alone, but if each of us do our part, as we are able, change will happen and the world will be better for it.