A Rich Fool

It has been too long since I’ve written.  Africa is still on my mind most days. A lot of times I used to try to fight the thoughts completely. I still refuse to pick up the journal I wrote in while in Africa. Looking at the pictures are difficult.  I can’t read the notes from the children, or even think about Africa for any length of time. It just hurts. When I do think about Africa, I’m planning my life out to see when and how I will get back.

I took an English class this semester at the college I attend.  Our first assignment was a memory essay, a paper that has emotional appeal.  I thought about writing about Africa but I couldn’t at first.  It seemed too intimate of a topic to put into words.  Nevertheless, I couldn’t find a topic I cared more about, so I gave in.  This paper took me out my comfort zone.  It made me wrestle with emotions I tried to avoid feeling, but I wanted to write a paper that would put my reader in my shoes–to see Africa through my eyes.  I wrote about my favorite memory in Africa at Canaan’s Children’s Home in Uganda.  My paper is about how a little girl I met changed my life.  I wanted to share my paper with you because I was blessed with the ability to go.  Not everyone is as fortunate as I am.  My hope is that God will use this paper to bless and encourage people to PRAY and to GO.

So here it is:

*Note: in order to protect the little girl’s privacy, I’ve changed her name.

A Rich Fool

            The hum of the mosque seemed to drown out the noises of the night, threatening my sanity, but she didn’t seem to hear it.  She walked next to me with both arms wrapped around my waist, not daring to let go for even a second.  Our feet shuffled next to each other, causing a cloud of fine red dust to dance around our ankles.  Her worn, tough feet proclaimed her unforgiving hardships, but mine were safely tucked away in new shoes.  I was seventeen and she was only twelve, but she knew more about life than I ever would.

My feet were moving forward, but my mind fell back.  My thoughts tumbled and bounced like the wheels of the old bus, and there they stopped to rest.  It was day one, and night had already fallen.  Masses of children crowded the bus, their haggard hands banging on the windows and their voices shouting with glee.  Inside this tattered piece of metal was my sense of security.  The musty, old bus with ragged seats contained my last bit of luxury from the world left behind.  I pressed my face to the glass, but I struggled to see past my reflection, the shameful face mirroring the rich fool.  When the doors screeched open, the masses of children grabbed hold of me and pulled me from my security into their beautiful world.  It was then that I noticed her, Sarah, a shy, inquisitive twelve-year-old with a contagious smile.  But as I walked with her now, that smile was hard to find.

Sarah lived at the children’s home with her four younger siblings.  Her father had fallen victim to AIDS, and her striving mother had lost the fight in trying to provide for her precious children.  Most people saw Sarah as strong and independent, but I saw a child who had grown up far too fast, a child with enormous dreams that I feared scarce resources would not permit.

I looked down at the sway of my long, black maxi skirt that was purchased just for this trip.  Its value was now hidden under layers of red mud and baby urine from the child I had held earlier that day.  Sarah’s torn orange dress was her school uniform that she had worn every day since I had arrived.  I knew I would go back to my room in a short while, remove my filthy skirt, and indulge in what had become my nightly ritual of washing and sanitizing.  Baby wipes, cold shower, more baby wipes, and finally hand sanitizer. But the stain of the red land would never fully leave my skin.

We journeyed on, dragging ourselves step by step closer to heartbreak.  She looked up at me.  The flickering glow from the lamppost outlined her ebony face just as tears began to make their escape.  “You are my best friend. Tomorrow new people will come, but my best friend will not be there.  You won’t be there,” she whispered softly and then she buried her face in my chest.  “I’ll never forget you,” I said, “Never.”  She looked into my eyes and flashed a glimpse of a smile through her tears.  Sarah slipped off a small rubber bracelet from her wrist and pulled it over my hand.  “To remember me,” she whispered.  It was old and the painted-on words had long worn off, but it was the most beautiful gift I had ever received.  Flipping through the tattered pages of my little Bible, I retrieved a family photo, and placed it in her hands.  Her face lit up as if I handed her the world.  Gripping it tightly, she rubbed her tough fingers around the outside of it.  She studied it intensely, pointing to each face and memorizing the names that I had told her.

Reaching her doorstep, we simply sat outside and cried, both of us disregarding our acts of strength and bravery to reveal the reality of our brokenness.  She was no longer a statistic, a face on a charity card, or a compelling story woven into an eloquent sermon.  She was a child, a real child, and she was in my arms crying.  I leaned over and kissed her sweet brown forehead, forsaking all warnings of dirt and germs.  The smell of stale sweat clung to her short, curly hair, but for once I didn’t care.  In that moment, my heart broke, pieces falling into two very different worlds.

The next day I would be bounding down the road in that over-sized hunk of rusted metal, with luxury and security sitting in the two seats to the right.  I would climb into an airplane and cross an ocean into my world overflowing with provision and safety.  But around my wrist would be a constant reminder that I was the rich fool peering into a very real world.

Thank you for reading!

-Lauren

Ugandan Children!

Ugandan Children!

THE WINNER OF THE KINDLE FIRE

Yes, we have a winner! So who is winner of our BIGGEST prize, the Kindle Fire?!

Drum Roll please………………………..

We would like to congratulate Kenny!

Thank you so much for your contribution! We would like to give a special thanks to ALL of our winners and anyone who contributed! Your donations are making a difference in many young lives.  We are also excited to announce that we have raised $1,450! Our God is abundant in goodness.

We are in the middle of a season of giving, a celebration of God’s perfect gift to us. Thank you for mirroring this goodness and spreading hope to those who have a great need.

Merry Christmas!

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Lauren and Kayla

African Gift Basket Winner!

We have yet another winner!! Congratulations to Renee! This beautiful basket of Homemade African Treasures is all yours! Thank you for your contribution.  This money is for a great cause and will benefit many young lives! 🙂

So how much money have we raised so far??! Drum roll please……. $1310!!! Well exceeding our goal of $1000.  The raffle for the Kindle Fire will be NEXT WEEK! If you haven’t gotten your name in the hat yet, now is the time! Don’t miss out! 🙂

A new giveaway! A Season of Giving

Hey All!! I can’t believe we’re almost through the first week of December! Time is flying so quickly this year, I can’t keep up. So much has happened the last couple of weeks, and I’ll share all of that soon — for now though….another amazingly sweet giveaway 🙂

This is probably one of my favorites — this prize has lots of little prizes — all of which are close to mine and Lauren’s heart. Each one is a piece of our journey to Africa, and we want you to share in these gifts. This week’s prize is a gift basket — but not just any gift basket! It’s full of treasures from Africa.

What do you think??! I hope you love all of the items. The Jewelry and Basket are from Uganda, and the silk scarf, jewelry box and coffee/coffee bag are from Ethiopia. The items are handmade by the locals, many of which are part of programs that we visited where the proceeds provide income to mothers and their children, & raise money for feeding programs and schools. The T-shirt is from Voices 4 the Voiceless (Women’s Small Long Sleeve) — the proceeds from this purchase went straight to the fundraising for Sangaalo’s new cottage project. The earrings were made by Lauren, and she sold these to raise funds for our Africa trip, and several others that she has been on. I hope that you love these treasures as much as we do. We will draw a name for this sweet prize on Friday!

If you’d like to get your name in the hat, or maybe increase your chances if you are already in the drawing, click the donate button at the bottom of the webpage. It only takes $10 — your name goes in the hat for this prize and the Kindle Fire HD which we are giving away in a week!! ALL of the proceeds go towards Sangaalo Baby Cottage in Uganda as well as Canaan’s Children’s Home and their feeding program. Even $10 can go a very long way .

Thank you all for your support during this effort — we are halfway to our goal of $1,000. Would you consider this endeavor as your way of giving during this Holiday Season? Every little bit counts.

Love you all.

Winner #2!!

Congratulations Susan! You have won our second giveaway prize! Thank you so much for participating in this raffle and making a difference. (:

There are still more prizes to be won! If you haven’t gotten your name in the hat or want to strengthen your chances of winning the other great prizes, there is still time! and other GREAT prizes. Remember all this money is going towards a fantastic cause! (:

God Bless! (:

 

Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
    Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

Psalm 144: 15

Giveaway #2

I’m sorry it’s been so long — so long. I’ve been under the weather, and let me tell you…I have let the yucky feeling completely defeat me these past two weeks — it’s been a silly funk that I finally think I’m dragged myself out of. Not proud that I let my feeling sick cause me to neglect so many things! Between work and this funk, i’ve felt kind of weary — so thankful that my Father gives strength to the weary! I’m sorry to have neglected this giveaway, Lauren and I have so many more things to giveaway — so with that, goodbye funk, hello prizes 🙂

This week’s giveaway is pretty sweet 🙂  On Wednesday we will be drawing a name for a really awesome Voices 4 the Voiceless Shirt — it’s  really pretty purple/pink color, Women’s Medium! Along with the shirt, the winner will get two handmade pieces of jewelry — a dainty bracelet with blues and greens, and some really fun earrings with a pink accent bead. Both pieces were handmade by Lauren! She is one talented gal 🙂 The proceeds that went to purchasing the T-Shirt went straight to Sangaalo’s Baby Cottage fund!! Between the three items, this giveaway is valued at $50!  See pics below to get you excited!

 

How awesome are these things???!!! I just love them, and we hope you will too. Even if you’re a guy, this would make a great gift for a sister, mother or friend! Think Christmas!! These would make great stocking stuffers!  If you haven’t already gotten your name in the hat, or if you’d like to strengthen your chances of winning, you can go to our PayPal donation link at the bottom of our blog and donate. Every 10 bucks gets your name in the hat once — not only for this giveaway, but also for the Kindle Fire 2, which we are giving away the first week in December. If you’d rather mail a check, email us at borderlesshearts@gmail.com for more details.  We love you and thank you for all of your generous giving and prayers. We have raised $460 toward our goal of $1,000. Amazing!!