What makes you angry?
I think most people would like to say nothing makes them angry. It is a nice thought but if you lived without anger you certainly would not be human. Sadness and anger to me are very similar. There are things in this life that I try not to think about because when I do then I do one of three things: cry, have a panic attack, or get angry. Some of the things that make me feel this way are silly and some are serious. It’s the serious ones that I want to share with you today.
- I wish people did not perish every minute of the day due to disease.
- I wish people did not perish every minute of the day due to lack of clean water.
- I wish people did not perish every minute of the day due to lack of food.
- I wish babies could be born healthy and perfect and parents didn’t have to suffer miscarriages and other calamities.
- I wish parents were responsible and didn’t neglect their children.
- I want women to be empowered and educated and able to have the same dreams as men.
- I want both men and women to not have to worry about rape and crime.
- I want to live in a society that is not based on fear.
I strongly encourage you to read the book The Hole in OurGospel by Richard Stearns of World Vision. I’m currently reading it for the second time. You can’t read that book and not have an ache in your heart for these things. In fact, I would prefer you go read that book rather than this post. It is a magnificent book and one of my favorites.
It’s the things that I hate and wish were better, that cause me to be thankful for what I do have in life.
How does all this apply back to my children?
I want to live a life where these values and these issues become theirs. If one or all of my children were to join the medical profession, I would be deeply honored. I have three really good friends that I grew up with who are now in the medical industry, I am so envious of them because they are improving lives (and because clearly they don’t have fainting spells).
I want my children to pack lunches so that they understand that not all kids have a meal to eat. I currently do that with Harvesters and have volunteered with a local church that does it as well. Unfortunately, I am not able to go as much as I like because they do it during the day.
I want them to learn about the children we sponsor through Compassion and know why we sponsor Mantu and Manuela and about their countries and the issues they deal with. I want them to know about organizations such as CURE, KIVA, BLOOD-WATER MISSION, and WORLD VISION, and I want them to know what they can do on an international level.
I also want them to know the work that the March of Dimes does to help babies with medical issues.
I want my children to know that everyday 26,500 children die from issues associated with poverty such as lack of clean water, food, and medical care. I know that that is an overwhelming statistic, but let’s put it this way, 26,500 children is the equivalent of 100 plane crashes…a day. And yet, we don’t hear about these children in our news cycles because they aren’t ours. They are either the poor in America, or even worse, they are overseas in a third world country. Luckily, my kids were born in America to parents who have jobs. If we lived in Africa, I doubt my kids would have survived birth, and if they had they probably would not have lived long.
It’s a lot that I want them to know, but if they can just grab one of these things and tackle it then Daddy won’t have to be so angry and sad at all the hurt in the world. (And knowing Elizabeth she will tackle it while bobbing out to music.)
Can we save every child? No, but we can help in significant ways, no matter how insignificant the action may seem to us. However, as individuals we can be overwhelmed by the numbers and do nothing. But if we focus and just take it one child at a time, we can make a difference. This doesn’t mean it will always work. The first child that I sponsored through Compassion, Bijaya, did not live a long life. He was bit by a bug, but his family lived too far from medical treatment to get him help. He died at the age of 12. From a bug bite. That was obviously a sad day in my life, but I imagine most people would not have cared about this little boy from India.
My goal as a dad, is to raise our children to have hearts that break for those in situations that can be helped, but that haven’t been reached…yet. I don’t think it’s too early to start helping my kids understand the pain that’s in the world and inspire them to help change that.
If you are interested in finding an organization that is making a difference on the local or international level, here are a few that we have either worked directly with or have friends and family that do.
Organizations making a difference in the Kansas City Area:
- Hillcrest Transitional Housing-This is the organization that my wife helps out every year by working a fireworks tent. They help the homeless become self-sufficient by giving them a temporary residence for 90 days and financial management skills. They have a 95% success rate.
- Raytown Christian Church: Summer Lunches and Community Services-This church partners with other churches in the Raytown area to put together lunches for children that would normally be on the school lunch program. The sack lunches are put together at the church and then driven to various locations to be picked up. They also offer tutoring for those who need it and serve a hot meal on Monday nights for those in need.
- Gillis-This organization has been operating since 1870 to help at-risk children and families and children to reach their potential through counseling, education, and social services. Their vision is that all families can live in an emotionally stable environment.
- Hope Network-This is another organization that assists the people of Raytown who make less that $16000 a year. The provide food, clothing, and transportation assistance.
- March of Dimes-This is actually a national organization but we are familiar with the work that is done on a local level. We first became associated them because of our high risk pregnancy. March of Dimes works so that babies will grow to full term but in the event that babies don’t make it that far they work with the parents to know what to expect and provide emotional support.
Organizations that are making a difference on the Global Level:
- Kiva-With a loan for as little as $25, Kiva connects individuals with microfinance institutions to help alleviate poverty worldwide.
- World Vision-This is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustices, working in nearly 100 countries, they serve all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or gender.
- Compassion International-This Christian child advocacy ministry releases children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults through sponsorship. This is a great organization for families to participate in.Your kids can write letters and draw pictures to send to kids their own age!
- Cure International-helps children in developing nations who need medical assistance. In some of these countries, physical deformities produce superstitions that cause communities to shun these children. Cure works with these kids to heal their bodies and spirits.
- Blood-Water Mission-this organizations works to rid Africa of aids and builds wells so that the people of Africa can have clean water.
The Amazon book linked in this post is an affiliate link. However, no links to organizations are affiliate links. We just really like them! For more info, please see my disclaimer page.