Sometimes I can get so overwhelmed with sadness when I see the desperate needs of the world around me and feel so utterly helpless. I say a quick prayer and then distract myself with other things so I don't feel sad. I, like so many others, find it easier to shut my eyes and ears to their cries and pretend they don't exist, rather than watch them suffer. Why do I live here and have so much and they live there and have so little? I could have just as easily been born there. Don't we, who have been giving more than we need, have a responsibility to share with those who don't have enough? I know I'm not big enough to shoulder the responsibility of all the needs of the world, but what if I just do the one thing God is inviting me into? What if everyone listened to the one thing they were invited into and answered, "Yes Lord!"?
Recently, I was catching up on some of my favorite websites and saw an update on an orphanage in Kenya that I've been following. This particular facility was built one year ago and already the thin foam mattresses were urine soaked and in shreds and in need of replacing. When I saw the photos, my heart ached for the conditions they live in. I thought, there's got to be a better solution than replacing mattress pads every year. Then I remembered my friend Eddie Agular down the street provided me with some mattress pads from the hospital he worked at when my daughters were young and had bedwetting problems. I asked him if he could get more of those. Since these pads must be thrown away after each use, we would need a continual supply to keep sending them. He said that they are just mats that the hospital lays surgical instruments on and while not completely waterproof, they will repel some water. The hospital staff normally just throws all the ones they don't use away, so he will save them for me and I can ship them to Kenya (One man's trash is another man's treasure). He told me that as long as he has a job, he could keep providing them. I don't know yet if this will solve the problem, since they aren't actually waterproof, but if this doesn't work, we will search for something else.
This morning, my girls woke up and were trying to watch their shows on the TV in my room. That's the TV that their shows are taped on. For some reason, it wouldn't work. They grumbled and complained for a while. Finally I told them that instead of complaining about the one thing they couldn't do, to consider and be grateful for all the many things they could do. We talked about the orphans in Kenya and how those children don't have any technology to entertain them. Ellie said, "Mommy, what can we do to help them?" I told her about the hospital mats we were sending them, but didn't know if they would do the trick. Her and Emma got on the computer with me and we googled waterproof mattress pads. We live chatted with one of the companies online and they told us the products we would need to protect the mattresses and even gave us some manufacturers' contact information! The girls and I contacted them to see if they could donate some waterproof mattress pads, under pads, and maybe even some briefs/panties. We are waiting to hear. Here are some of the photos that tugged at my heart...
I believe God is constantly speaking to each of us, inviting us to share with him in healing the world. I find when I follow where he leads, there is nothing more fulfilling.