Last week, a group of singing orphans from India and Ethiopia had no place to sleep. The choir of 18 children and their handful of leaders were scheduled to perform in Salem, Oregon but their housing plans fells through. Thanks to some fast networking, we had the opportunity of opening our home to four lovely ladies from Ethiopa for two days.
Our first international guests!
Ayantu, Dereshaye, Sintayehu and Auntie Hilina are traveling the USA for a year with a nonprofit called His Little Feet. These three girls (ages 10 to 12) have lost their parents for some reason like HIV/AIDS, extreme poverty or being abandoned. We were not given details. Now they live at an orphanage where Hilina volunteers and where they were given an opportunity, by mutual selection, to join His Little Feet for one year.
They have only been in the USA for about 3 months now and they’re understandably uncomfortable speaking in English. However, we did learn they really enjoy singing, pizza, and two of them mentioned running!
Giving time and energy.
They ate with us, went to the park with us, and even played a little Moxie ball in the living room. While I’ll likely never see these girls again, I enjoyed sharing our home and being able to help. I won’t lie, though. There was a part of me that wasn’t sure about opening our home this weekend.
We found out that this group needed to find 7 host families…with 3 days notice. That meant coming up with kid-friendly meals, buying more groceries and adjusting weekend plans. Mostly it meant reallocating my most precious resources right now, my time and energy, for complete strangers. I’m an introvert who is 8.5 months pregnant. Who would blame me if I hadn’t volunteered?
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep
to gain that which he cannot lose.”
– Jim Elliot
What’s the point?
I try to remember that everything I have in life has been given to me. That’s not to say I don’t work hard to earn things in a practical sense. The point is to remember that I didn’t choose where I was born. I didn’t deserve to get adopted by the family who raised me. All the opportunities I’ve had (whether I’ve appreciated them or not) are a collection of blessings orchestrated by God. Life is a gift and the fact that I’ve had a pretty damn good life is not and will not be wasted on me.
God blessed us with a big house. What’s the point of that gift if we don’t use it to invite others in or give someone a place to stay when they need it?
I’m blessed to work from home and make my own schedule. What’s the point of that gift if not to be free to be flexible and help when a need arises?
After last weekend I’m reminded again how important it is to always save some time and some energy for giving to those who have nothing to give in return. If we don’t share some blessings with those who need it, how is the world ever going to improve? If we exclusively use the time and resources we’ve been given on ourselves or on those who can reciprocate equally, then our good lives really are wasted on us and then, what is the point of us?
More about His Little Feet:
“His Little Feet International Children’s Choir tours the United States, as a culturally unique choir, serving as a voice for orphaned and vulnerable children worldwide. The purpose of the tour is to bring awareness to the millions of children around the world in need of care, as well as to facilitate opportunities for Americans to respond to the needs of children through giving, sponsoring, going and adopting.”