I have seen poverty before. I was in Miami after Hurricane Andrew. I’ve been under the bridges of downtown Atlanta to feed the homeless. I’ve visited the inner-city of Philadelphia. I’ve toured the rundown neighborhoods of Guayquil, Ecuador.
Seeing the poverty here in the Dominican Republic is not new. But it is completely different because now I am a mother. Now, I was imagining nursing my son on the side of the road because I have nowhere to live. I imagined discovering I was infected with HIV and still needing to raise and nurture my four year old. I was trying to visualize what it would be like to deliver my child in a clinic with no air conditioning and then walk down a dusty road to bring my newborn home to a house with no windows, sealed doors or a husband.
How could I have any hope? Hope for my children’s futures? Hope that I could be a good mom?
Today, I saw hope come alive. Today we got a glimpse of World Vision‘s philosophy. I saw their desire to change an entire community. To bring hope and purpose to a people who can’t find it alone. Today…
I saw a woman hear her twins’ heartbeat in utero at a health clinic.
I saw women breastfeeding their babies while waiting for a free health check up.
I listened to grandmothers sing a welcome song as we entered their vegetable garden.
I experienced hospitality from a 30something single mother of seven.
I wondered at the confidence and hope of a mother infected with the AIDS virus as her 3 year old son scampered around the house.
I watched poverty-stricken mothers and aunts tend to a herd of goats while giving no thought to themselves but only to the malnourished children that would recieve the goat’s milk.
I met a woman who loved her son enough to give up some of his care to an American willing to send them $35 a month.
And I cried because the world is small enough for me to know their stories. I cried because I’m just like them. I’m a mother. But I have easy hope. Hope because Wal-Mart is down the street. Hope because I can check out multiple parenting books from the library. Hope because I can read blog after blog on breastfeeding and sleep patterns and food choices.
The hope I saw today was rich and full. The hope I saw today was true. It was coupled with faith and love. Faith that God can use $35 to change a child, a family and a community. And God’s love shown in the hands and feet of the World Vision staff, volunteers and those willing to give $35 a month.
Please consider sponsoring a child. Your money will be a miracle—God will use it to bring hope to a child and to a community.