Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I need your attention and your help

1 month ago I began to live a dream of mine. I'd been able to photograph the beautiful people of America for almost 12 years, but I wanted more. World Vision gave me the opportunity I had been dreaming of . . . I was boarding a plane for my first international job and going to Bolivia.

I knew I would see poverty. I knew I would potentially be uncomfortable at times, yet I knew it would be the experience of a lifetime. I prayed it would open more doors for me in the future, and I prayed I wouldn't get sick. Honestly, I found before going, most of my thoughts were about me and my comfort, my work, and "my", "my", "me", and "I". Suddenly, the first day we stepped into the trenches of the realities of their world, "I" was getting awake up call...a harsh awakening.

None of this had to do with me..... but maybe it did, just differently.

We hear of stories, see photos on TV, and yet forget about them just seconds later when the newer subject is in front of us. Suddenly, there was no escaping the reality I was now facing. I was in a place surrounded by people with what I labeled as having "gross need or lack" and it was everywhere day after day after day after day. I'm a "fixer" and I don't like leaving people without a measure of fixin' as some say in Tn, but I couldn't fix this. It was too much, it was overwhelming, and a grieving process began. I couldn't just take the little girl and her family out of the barnyard they lived in and put them in a new home. I couldn't run down to the market and buy all kinds of groceries, giving them Rachel Ray recipes so they wouldn't have to eat the same thing everyday. I couldn't call in the electric company and have them come hook up some lights and central heat and air. I couldn't even give them the medical care that so many needed. I was heartbroken and mad. Why did I draw the lucky straw? Why did I get the zip code I got.... questions that linger out there for no one to answer... and then I got an answer.

HOLD THE PHONE!!! I am on a trip with World Vision... an organization that is completely committed to helping people get the right nutrition through good food sources, to get people healthcare in desperate situations, to help get housing and clothing and all the basic needs in life! I CAN DO SOMETHING!!! Now, it was still very difficult leaving with things seemingly "undone" but I had a trusting resource in there...working day in and day out to see a better life for these people. I gave, I sponsored, and I continue both giving and raising awareness.

I realized another part where "I" did come in was that I was given a gift and an opportunity and I was using it to help those in need...true need. I was bringing back images and stories to tell and keep telling so that even more people could help! And I wasn't alone. I traveled with 10 others who were doing the same. Community and multiplicity is where it happens! People stop with just themselves asking "well, what can I do?" Well, you can do a whole lot when you do it with others!!

There isn't just gross need and lack in Bolivia...it's everywhere. The need could be physical, emotional, spiritual, etc but there is need. You can help sponsor a child in Bolivia or another part of the world, you can make a donation to help girls out of sex slavery, you can do SOMETHING. Today I am asking you to help relieve the crisis in the Horn of Africa. The famine and drought are plaguing over 12 million people... 12 million... MILLION. (let that really sink in for a moment) We can't live in the blessing and privilege that we have here in America and not do something. I write this today to educate, to inform. We aren't responsible for what we don't know but we ARE responsible when we do know.... and now you know.

I asked the question earlier to myself "Why did I draw the lucky straw or get the zip code that I got?" I know why... because I am supposed to help others with my privilege. God will get more to us, if He knows He can get more through us. We are blessed to be a blessing, not to be indulgent. Need has been redefined... take a look at the brief video and then please go to the link below to help with the crisis in Africa. Our lives are better when we give life back.

Another post in the next day or two...more on Bolivia. Check back!

Famine no more

*Music Credit -- Daniel Kirkley


Laura said...

Thank-you so much for sharing that!!! It is SO easy to forget and SO hard to imagine what others live as a reality everyday!

Mama T said...

Amy, what a moving and stirring reality of another place far from our life of privledge. You bring these people to life and make them real. Beautiful!