Every once in awhile there is something that shakes me to the core.  Something that leaves me reeling, a moment where my eyes are opened and I gain new understand.  I had one of those moments this week.  I finished reading Passport Through Darkness, a gripping story of Kimberly's journey into the war-torn country of Sudan.  She eloquently tell the story of not only her mission field, but also how the five years spent in Sudan affected her marriage and her life when she returned home.

Her experiences are heart-strings pulling and unfathomable to me as I sit in my first world, protected, comfortable home.  The stories Kimberly shares are about women banding together sharing what precious little they have, one pair of shoes or a one room hut, in order to survive the slavery and rape that is always lurking in their paths.   Children disappear over night because they fall asleep in trees to avoid the hungry animals, but fall out of the trees while asleep and the animals get them anyway.   Young girls, pregnant with babies too big for their bodies to deliver, sick with meningitis and young boys standing by the road, bellies swollen with malnutrition become part of her day to day life.  My mind cannot even comprehend the situations she writes about in this book.  

Part of her time at home was to raise money for the orphanage she wanted to build in Sudan.   A place to protect and educate the children who had no hope for a future on their own.  She writes about one experience where she was scheduled to speak at a church for a few weeks in a row to educate the congregation on her mission and also to raise funds.   After the first visit with the congregation, a member of the church approached her and asked her not to return to finish her scheduled presentations because the content was too upsetting and to offensive to some people in the church.

When I read this I was greatly saddened.   My heart, as you know, aches for the children who live in poverty.   I could not imagine how I would feel or what I would say or do in her position.  

And yet.....

This week while I was scanning my Facebook feed, one of the organizations that Mark and I follow was posting the pictures of the cause they are supporting this week.   I saw the first picture and I quickly scrolled on because I didn't want to "see" the picture.

That is right, I didn't want to "see" the picture.  

The picture showed a young child with white worms crawling out of his nose.   My response to the picture was exactly the same as the church members that so greatly saddened me.

I went back to the pictures, the pictures that I didn't want to see and I looked at them.  I made sure that I noticed them, that they were seen. 

I am thankful for the people around the world who are making a difference in people's lives.  I do not believe that anyone deserves to be treated differently just because of where they live and what is going on in their country.  I just hope that as I can respond properly and not cringe at the picture as too horrific just because it it not something that happens near my home. 

I am posting the pictures below.   There is no pressure for you to look at them, this is part of my journey, not necessarily yours.  

Sevenly is the charity that provided the pictures below.   Their mission is to take one cause a week from ending the seven diseases to finding a cure for autism.  This weeks cause, END 7 diseases by 2020 can be found here


An Apology To My Children

This week we, again, are attempting to to incorporate some healthy habits into our lifestyle.   So easily the quick, processed foods, or the high-sugar sweets slip into our routines.   Rather than the special treats that they are intended to be, they become the norm.   We are on day three of no sugar, no pop, and no processed foods.   Instead we are eating "clean" foods.  Foods that our bodies know how to process.   I feel better already.  Perhaps is it just the thought of better foods for our bodies, but I tend to think that already the clean food is making a difference.  

And this is where I find myself needing to apologize to my children:  We are in the middle of this current journey not because of you, but because of me.   It wasn't that I was not equipped with the tools and the information, rather, it is just one of my many weaknesses.   I am not alone in this weakness, but you and I both are paying for this.   I won't do it perfectly this time, much like the last, there will be failure.  I know that right now it feels like I am forcing you to eat foods you do not like.   I am.  But it is because I love you and I want the best for you.   It does not mean that the treats are gone forever, but my hope is that they will become just that, treats.  My hope is that every time we try, we get a little further and have just a little more success.  You are of age now where you need the tools and so my job is to step it up and provide those tools for you, and here we go.