Saturday, February 13, 2010

Giving Back

Today we volunteered with our church-picking oranges again. We get to glean the second harvest from groves that have already been picked and then all the fruit gets distributed to food banks and homeless shelters in our area. It's a pretty cool way to give back and the kids think it's lots of fun. With the exception of the 42 degree temperature and wind (very cold for us, not so cold for the northerners), we had a great time together.

It was a pretty neat experience to have Hermela and Meron with us this time. I had looked up the words to be able to tell them what we would be doing-picking oranges to give to poor people who needed food. Hermela was sitting in the back seat on the way to the grove and she said, "mommy-Addis Ababa, Hermela deh-ha (poor)." She was telling me that she was poor in Ethiopia. She was one of those "poor people" without enough to eat and now here she is in America on the other side of poverty. It just made the day a little more meaningful to know that just a few months ago, our little girls were the ones that were hungry. Hunger is not abstract for them, they've lived it.

Now that we're home, I'm praying that God will show us what our next step is. Just because we've got our children home, it doesn't mean God's plan for our family is done. We don't get to check adoption off the list and move on with our lives as if we don't know that every night children and families go to sleep hungry huddled up on the side of the road in a third world country. Or that on any given day in Ethiopia a mother or father makes the decision to relinquish their child because they literally can not feed them. Or that people die from illnesses that are easily treatable with simple medications. If Ethiopia feels too far away, we don't have to look very far to find that hunger and poverty are right at our door steps. It is all around us, so I pray that God would make clear His plan for our lives and that we will be faithful in following Him and will continue to care for "the least of these" (from whom we can all learn the most).
I'm continually telling our children (and myself) that "its not about you". Life is not about me. It is not about what is comfortable or easy. It is about spreading God's love to others and that is what I hope will define our family.

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