Offering Hope Across the World

How do you offer hope to a child across the world who has been orphaned by AIDS?

For some, it may seem presumptuous to believe that any hope can come from the challenges they face.  Imagine growing up in the care of your grandmother because both parents died AIDS.  Your most reliable meal is lunch at school.  Job prospects in the country, even in the best of circumstances, are grim at best.

One of the ways to help is to sponsor one of these children through organizations, such as Tumaini, with a local presence.  The money from sponsorship is used to "provide the basic needs of food, safe shelter, clothing, medicine, education, counseling and spiritual guidance to AIDS-orphaned children."  Even more important than what the money buys is what the money represents -- a strange on the other side of the world cares.

Whether it's fair or true, many in Africa believe all Americans are wealthy.  Though they appreciate the financial support, they're able to believe that the money is of little sacrifice.  That's why letters and pictures offer such hope -- the money comes from real people who wish to connect with them and share in their lives.

Imagine what's communicated when strangers take time out of their lives to visit them.  There can be no doubt that a sacrifice has been made.  The love communicated by the action is undeniable.  In the brief meeting, the love and hope felt by the child must seem so unreal and irrational.

To a child living under the shadow of AIDS and poverty, hope may come from what seems unreal.  Strangers from afar coming to their homes offering love because they, too, have experienced love from afar.  That's how we offer hope.  That's how we live a life full of hope and love.
11 Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.  (1 John 4:11-14, NET)  

1 comment:

I'd love to hear your thoughts