“Did you know that there are people in Mexico who live in boxes, Mama?” My sweet, sunny first grader was working on her homework at the counter while I cooked dinner. She had been learning about another culture at school and this point had stuck. I looked at her carefully and saw that she was close to tears, this one was important to her. At the table, with the whole family eating a little later, we brainstormed about what could be done to help. The solution was so simple to my girl, “Let’s build them a house.” My guy and I smiled to each other, wondering where this would lead.
Within two months, my girl had spearheaded a dime project, writing letters to everyone she knew, asking for their dimes to be donated to build houses in Mexico. Enough money was raised to help two families build real, solid houses in the Tijuana area thorough a non-profit organization in California that we found online. A couple of years later, my guy and I had the privilege of meeting one of the recipients of those homes, a nurse who worked for the non-profit, and she was so grateful for a little girl who wanted to help.
I don’t know why God gave this one an extra dose of compassion, especially for the very young and vulnerable, but He has a plan. As her mom, I would love to see my girl living a safe life someday with a family of her own and all the comforts of home. But more than that, I want to watch her fulfill her calling, and I will not stand in her way. As her parents, it is our job to encourage her and help her see all the possibilities, not to keep her safe. For several years now, she has felt called to Africa and we are in full support, but also hoping she is open to other places.
In the meantime this summer, she made care packages filled with drugstore items to give to anyone in need. Each member of the family received one with instructions to hand them out when we see someone asking for help on the corner. Then she went away to college. Left us with the boxes of goodies that we get to distribute. Once again she has pulled us in to her passion.
“Did you know that there are orphanages in Romania filled with babies and not enough workers, Mama?” My fiercely passionate girl called me last week right after leaving class; I could hear her steps as she walked across campus, full of fire and deep sadness. She was learning about another culture at school and this point had stuck. I listened closely and knew she was close to tears, this one was important to her. Her solution thus far seems simple enough, “I need to go and hold those babies.” My guy and I smile to each other, wondering where this will lead.