Beliefnet

In rural areas of East Africa, it’s a struggle for kids to go to school. Extreme poverty is common. Families rely on the crops from their tiny parcel of land to feed their children. If it’s a good harvest, and there’s surplus, children benefit by having enough money for school fees.

One of my meetings yesterday was with , founder of the . OAF is a charity I support, that makes loans of simple farm inputs. Farmers get seeds, fertilizer, training and access to markets. The crop yields are always at least double. In one growing season, lives change.

8252010susanblog2I love a cause that’s efficient. For every $25 I , I'm ending hunger for one family. So far, 40,000 farm families have been served and the number is growing. Andrew talked about Razoa, a . Before the harvest her boys went to the public school with 80 kids in a classroom. Only half had a pencil and less had paper. After the harvest, there was money to send both boys to a school where each student had books, supplies and one teacher for a classroom of eleven.

How is it that I sat through a positively motivating story about a family permanently lifting themselves out of poverty, and I was unmoved?  It’s shocking that I can run a business, do volunteer work, chat with family and friends and not really be emotionally present. It wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I stopped to think about the kids in Kenya sitting in a packed classroom with nothing in front of them to help them learn. In my world, Rosie is starting kindergarten today. She has a full backpack and a new box of . Thank God, for all we have and for all those who will have what they need, one day soon. Today is a new day. May I be inspired and do my part, fully connected to those whose lives I touch.

 

In Italian there is a
lingering note that precedes
the fugue of living.
Appoggiatura - a sustained tone
that cuts into the time
of the next chord.
Sometimes it's called a grace note
alternately, a time-stealer.

There's a whole constellation
of distractions in my repertoire.
Things I tell myself
I must accomplish before
I let joy settle:
That last ten pounds
That college degree
That nest egg.

Please help me take
Your words to heart -
that grace is a gift,
and life is to be lived.
Right now.

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