Monday, March 30, 2009

"MUSIC MONDAY" - JOURNEYING TO A DISTANT LAND & COMING BACK FOREVER CHANGED.

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Good Monday to you! This week's "Music Monday" reminds me of and relates to my recent blog post telling of the ladies in Uganda that I have partnered with, helping to sell the works of thier hands in the hopes of providing them a way to provide for their families.

The song is sung by one of my favorites - Sara Groves. Her voice is gentle and her words are always, always so incredible thought-provoking. She sings as those she is simply speaking to you.

The song is called "I SAW WHAT I SAW" and it tells the story of her trip to Rwanda and how it changed her forever -- something trips to such places (like Uganda) will do to you.

I think its basically challenging us all to take another look at all that we have and remember those who really fight to survie; those who know what it truly means to be thankful for the next meal. We can often feel that we have so much to complain about -- until you get around people who walk everywhere they go -- countless miles a day, with no shoes. People who know nothing of a hot shower -- in clean water.

{Above photo taken by my hubby when he was in east Africa}

Yet somehow still smile broadly, belt out laughter and actually have hope beaming from their eyes. Many of us would have crumbled under such circumstances and it is humbling to see a people in their situation live with such grace.

When a friend of mine was talking of one of her trips to Kenya, she mentioned that they routinely come back with one less suitcase. I asked her what she meant. She told me that its just a matter of course that when you go, you buy clothes to wear there -- clothing appropriate to the area (women typically wear skirts in deference to the fact that most of the women from that area wear only skirts/dresses) and just plan on not coming back with them. You come back, she said, with pretty much what you're wearing on the plane. You leave the rest for them...We can always buy more once we're home again, but your new friends in the far-away country will have something they otherwise never would have had.



We should never be ashamed of the blessings we have - especially as Americans. Though those feelings definitely arise when you see how others live with so much less. What we can do, however, is use what we have been given -- whatever that looks like (time, abilities, talents, our sphere of influence, etc.) to give a hand-up to someone who is barely able to imagine a tomorrow.


{Another of the photos taken by my hubby while in Africa}

It's why I decided to do the one thing I felt I could do to help the ladies in Uganda (that I now consider my "sisters"/friends). My "sphere of influence" was my store. I may not be able to travel back & forth to do hands-on help thousands of miles away, but I could tell others of them. I could help enlarge the territory in which their beautiful handwork is sold (my webstore). Its all I could think to do from this season in my life, but what a blessing its been.

Granted, most of us will never journey to a far-off country, but we can learn from and be impacted/touched by the wisdom and insight brought back and shared with us by those who have made the journey. They bring us back a perspective that we will otherwise be ignorant of.

And if we allow it to, it can change us forever.

In an awesome way.

2 comments:

Gwyn Rosser said...

Sweet! That made me smile ! My husband goes to Guatemala, we've been to Mexico and best friends travel every year to Mozambique -- ALL return with empty suitcases. It's such a blessing to see how the rest of the world lives. I used to feel that guilt over how the Lord had blessed me. Then, like you, realized I was being blessed SO THAT I could bless others. Thanks for sharing !!

Bonjour Madame said...

I am so fortunate that at times when I find myself complaining about something and then see this, it puts it all into perspective. I think what you are doing to help is great.