Monday, December 1, 2008

The Two Skirts


This is my favorite skirt. And this down here is Christina. And this is World AIDS Day. To me, they all fit together in a marvelous way. Let me explain.

During a recent conference, I wandered by an enormous booth set up by Compassion International. I'd heard of them before. Using private, donated funds, Compassion goes into areas like East Africa and provides clothing, meals, medical care, education and the Gospel to people who don't otherwise get much. If any.

So. I was walking by the Compassion table, thinking, "That's nice. That's so nice. Good for them," and I felt a gentle whisper stir my heart. Stop and look closely, it urged.

I stopped but I sighed. "God, I don't have a job. I'm going to need someone to sponsor me if things don't pick up," I reminded God. I have a habit of stating terribly obvious things to Him. (I wonder if He frowns or chuckles, especially when I consider everything is obvious to Him.)

Stop and look, it persisted.

I did. I stopped. I looked. I looked at dozens and dozens of pictures and bios of needy children. It was heartbreaking, but I was about to walk away. Then Christina caught my eye. Or, rather...

Look at her skirt. Remind you of anything? She's the one. She's your girl. Sponsor her.

I tried not to get all weepy-eyed as I stared at her little face. And her skirt. Then I read that Christina lives in an AIDS-impacted community in Tanzania, where more than anything she likes art. And perhaps... just perhaps... if she has someone like me to invest a little in her future, she might have a chance at being a happy, healthy adult.

So Christina became my friend. We've written. I pray for her and the Compassion people at Christina's project center say she prays for me. Her pictures sits on my nightstand and I think of her often, wondering what she's doing... what she's learning. But most of all I'm relieved that there are people there - with her everyday - with medical care and a hot meal and a smile.

Lots of these "sponsor a child" places are gimmicky. I often wondered whether donated money ever got to the kids. Compassion International is different. I can vouch for their work. I even hope to go down and see them in 2009, and meet Christina face to face.

So on World AIDS Day, a day that makes us shudder and think hopeless thoughts, I'm encouraged knowing that there are people out there doing something about it. There are people out there fighting the disease and making a difference, one life at a time.

If you had told me six months ago that I'd care so deeply for a child I'd never met in AIDS-torn Africa, I would have laughed. But my God is the divine matchmaker. He's a water-from-rock type of God, too. And it's amazing what He can do. In my case it took a skirt in Texas and a skirt in Tanzania to do it, but He did.

My heart and prayers are with all those affected today by AIDS. -Brin

10 comments:

Sue said...

WOW! He does move in marvelous ways. Thanks for sharing, Brin!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Your willingness to listen blesses me so. Someday, I hope to be more like you. What a sweet little face to cherish.

Susan said...

the more you give in life - truly -
the more you get out of life ...

anxiously awaiting bakery news ... any updates. Today's the day - just wondering what the ETA is. Wink.

GirlonTour said...

I love reading your posts. You always surprise me, enlighten me and make me think.

What a lovely post.

betty r said...

What a wonderful story..love it Brin! God is directing, we need to be listening!

Terri and Bob said...

That is too cool.

Lynda said...

Brin, I live in Tanzania & have done for the past 11 years. We have a 3500 acre farm in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I am an avid reader of your blog & have been for quite sometime now, so I was thrilled to hear that you are sponsoring a Tanzanian child ! If you ever come to Tanzania, please look me up if you have a chance ! I will say one thing, if you come here I promise you, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER. Once you have seen our beautiful country & met the incredible people here, you will never be the same again ! You will love it ... it's a very special place. Bless you for your kind heart & for all the wonderful things you do .... "A person is a person, through other human beings" (Ubuntu - the African spirit of Ubuntu is one we all try to live our lifes by)
Lynda, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, East Africa
www.foodfunfarm.blogspot.com

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Bless you....

Jenny said...

That is an awesome story Brin! Thank you so much for sharing!

The Broms said...

Wow... What a fantastic post Brin. Thank you for sharing with us!