what it all boils down to is sharing our gifts (well, their gifts, i'm just facilitating) so that the doctors and nurses that are already here can offer something different to the women.
it's not about coming in and taking over, or throwing money at a problem and hoping it goes away. it's about empowering people to do it themselves.
i've never been so focused on something for lent. i've always kind of given something up and given in halfway through, or "sacrificed" something that wasn't really a sacrifice. but instead of "giving up" this season, i've taken on and oh, it's changed my life.
i struggle so much with how to help - i am surrounded by poverty and distress. children with not enough food to eat. men and women ravaged by disease that can ostracize and humiliate. families with no electricity or running water.
and like many people, i want to do everything possible to take that baby, the one with a bloated belly and no clothes, and make life better.
but when i reflect on it, i know that taking babies from their homes is not the solution. it's just a way for me to soothe my own pain - not theirs. and giving a family food for one week will not feed them the next. shoes and clothes don't last forever, and what happens when they're outgrown?
so, it's about making me feel better about what is happening around me - but instead, finding ways to educate and empower a way out of poverty. about giving skills that will lead to nourishment - however that might look.
today, after i left the hospital, we headed to la vega to see an empowerment project in action and i am amazed. and inspired. and thankful. that people are taking the iniciative to form local based programs, empowering dominicans to take charge of the future.
this lenten season, i'm reflecting on how to give without creating dependency; how to give with a faithful and servant's heart and how to let go once i give material things away. i come in contact daily with people who have way less than me, who are hungry and tired and un-bathed. join me as i begin to work through it. check out all of the posts under the label "lenten reflection"