Sunday, March 21, 2010

World Vision Experience

This year, Mike has been working on the World Vision experience with his SMU college students. It has been a long, stressful, busy, trying, and tiring for him...and me! He's been hard at work taking this huge task on. But as the event took off this last week, it all became worth it and I realized that the things that have been so difficult lately are so trivial compared to what these kids in Africa deal with on a daily basis. It really put the stress of jobs, ear infections, temper tantrums and laundry in the it's place. I went last Sunday to go through the tent. I started my journey by entering the tent and finding out which child's story I would follow..

I followed the story of a little boy named Kombo. I had headphones with a narrator walking me through the true story of his life and daily experiences...

This is the truck stop where Kombo's grandmother works. She takes care of him a lot of the time. His Dad died of AIDS when he was a little boy and his mom is sick, but he doesn't know with what. He spends a lot of time at the truck stop, even though it is very unsafe for him. He is afraid of the big trucks. He was almost hit by one. His best friend was hit by one and died.



The restaurant in the truck stop...

Kombo lives along what they call "AIDS highway".

This is Kombo's bed. This is what he has to sleep on every night. I checked closely but did not find a fluffy pillow, a lovey, a sock monkey for cuddling, or a night light.



Kombo noticed that his mom was not feeling well. She continued to get worse. She asked Kombo to sleep with her that night. When he woke up, his mother had passed away.His grandmother became his sole provider. He was shunned by friends and people in his community out of fear because both of his parents had the disease.

Kombo had a bad cough and was sick. He didn't think anything about it because he had been sick as long as he could remember. His grandmother took him to the clinic. Kombo thought he was going to make his cough better...

I (Kombo) had to go into the clinic for my test results to see if I had the disease.

I (Kombo) learned that I too had AIDS like my mother and father. Kombo had more than likely contracted the disease from nursing as an infant.



This is Kombo's story...

This is an AIDS kit...this is all it takes to help a child with AIDS. Looking through this, I realized I had most of this in my bathroom cabinet or in my house somewhere and luckily I only have to use it to clean Ella's scrapes and bruises or if one of us catches the common cold.

Then, there was an option to go into a prayer room with pictures of men, women, and children. Some had positive stamps to show they had already been diagnosed. Some were still negative, but very few...











We chose to sponser a child. We chose a little girl named Lides. She is Ella's age and has the cutest little pig tails. You could see the stress and worry in her eyes. It resonated with use because we do have a child that is no different than her except for the fact that she lives in a safe and clean place and doesn't have to worry or do without. I couldn't imagine watching Ella live in those conditions and having to go without so much. Ella is very privileged and we hope to be able to help her understand more about that as she grows. So even though at the moment Ella would strongly disagree with what I'm about to say and deem these as important needs, they simply are not. Lides doesn't need bows, tutu's, fancy dresses, 5 My Little Pony DVDs, 10 baby dolls, and a closet full of clothes and toys. But she does need food, medicine, clothing, shoes, and a chance to go to school. And she deserves to have some girly treasures too :)

So for 35 dollars a month, we can provide Lides and her family with money for food, clean water, clothing, medicine, and education! All that for $35! As a mother, I can honestly say I would give ANYTHING for someone to cut out one pedicure a month to help me provide that for my child if we were in that position.

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