It was a typical Saturday morning at the mall.
Trying to get first dibs at the Target Toy Sale; rummaging through all the sales racks in the kids clothes shops; on a mission to tick off every much wanted item on the consumer list.
It’s shopping expeditions such as these that the blinkers are on and I would’ve easily raced by one particular stall.
This time though, something stopped me.
I walked over apprehensively to look at the pamphlets. Surrounded by so many photos of innocent faces, I felt overwhelmed.
What was I doing here ?
An assistant walked over and greeted me with the warmest smile anyone had in that retail jungle.
“Hi, can I help you?”
“Um…just, just looking at the moment…but…”
Something caught stuck in my throat. I knew if I uttered another word, the emotion would override and that’s the last thing the world of busy shoppers needed, a blubbering mess of a mother.
The girl caught on instantly and noticed that I couldn’t hold her eye contact.
I continued looking down at the photos.
“Just keep talking…just keep talking,” I tried telling her through telepathy.
Keeping her smile intact, the World Vision volunteer continued to explain what sponsoring a child entailed. We went through the costs, where the money went, how I could contact the child in question (no large gifts, just letters and photos).
Then, came the question. An innocent one for her, but a burning one for me.
“Is there a particular country that you’d like to choose?”
“Well, I’m from…” Again, that bloody frog in the throat.
“I’m from Indonesia…” I managed to mutter.
Then she pointed to two photos, right in front of me.
It was so hard. Almost impossible to hold back the tears.
You see, all the poverty, the natural disasters, the pain and suffering in my country of birth rarely leaves my mind.
And for so long, I’ve wanted to do something worthy, even if small.
With each visit I make back home, I randomly give a little here and there – to the family living in the remote mountain tops, to the massuese who has to find work in another city far away from her children.
But that’s not sustainable.
Undoubtedly, events over the past months have played a large role in getting my finger out and finally doing something.
Then, last week, I asked Trish if she was okay for me to send her flowers. In her typical pragmatic nature, she never said no but she did suggest a donation to World Vision instead.
“It’ll go further and save lives too…” she wrote.
I’ve mentioned before that I believe things happen for a reason. That a turn of events can lead to the one that matters most.
How can you help millions and millions of people in dire need?
But I can start with one.
So last Saturday, I met a little girl whom is now my sponsored child. She is 11 years old. No siblings but a father who’s a construction worker and a mother out of work.
She’s a connection to the country that’s the most important to me.
Finally, I feel like I’m giving something back.
Linking up with Jess for IBOT