Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Letter That Pretty Much Made Me Cry

While I generally try not to put too many personal things on my blog, permit me to indulge myself just this once.

An envelope arrived in the mail for me yesterday after work. It was pretty beat up, a little tattered around the edges. It sure looked like it had traveled a long distance to get here, longer than most. When I held it closer, I could see that it had taken quite a long journey, and passed through many hands. The envelope had arrived here in Arctic Bay from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Inside was a status report from my World Vision sponsor child and she is doing very well. Well, perhaps not so much a child now. Judith has really grown up. I started sponsoring Judith a little over 8 years ago, when I first got involved with World Vision. I have sponsored other children over the years but Judith has been the longest by far. During my first year of teaching in Fort Smith, I had participated in a "30-Hour Famine" at my school. It was an eye-opener and soon after that I looked for other ways of getting involved other than just a one-time thing. To make a long story short, I made a phone call and got involved.

Judith turned 8 that year, a young girl living in a country once treated as personal property by the Belgian King when it was a colony; a country still racked by spasms of civil war. If a country could serve as a poster child for utter hopelessness, the DRC (formerly known as Zaire) would surely fit the bill. Unlike here, where a water truck can seem to take forever to show up, there, a water truck never comes. I remember thinking, the problem seems so insanely massive. Where the hell does anyone even remotely begin to fix this mess?! One child at a time.

Fast forward 8 years. Judith has really grown. She looks healthy. Her more recent pictures even show her with the beginnings of a smile on her face. And of course, the most heart-warming news for me as a teacher - if all goes to plan, sometime within the next year, Judith will graduate high school! I once saw the Oprah Winfrey Show, with guest Birhan Woldu and thought, "Wow, how incredible! One person truly can make a difference!"

I really should write her a note. It's been awhile since I last wrote Judith a little letter. Actually, yeah. I think I'll do that later on in the day. After I get the tear out of my eye.



Rob, Tina and the boys said...

So is the letter from her or it is a generic letter? I've never been involved with organizations like that and I always wondered what the letters were like.

Way Way Up said...

It's more of a pamphlet with information on your child's health, education, their hobbies and the programs your donations are being used for to benefit the child's community.

Heather (aka Mum) said...

Hummm...Funny this has come up...I'm thrilled you chose shared this! My hubby & I have been talking about getting involved with World Vision!

Thanks for the nug!