Today my meals were made so much richer by the simple addition of half of an apple into my morning oatmeal and one tomato to my soup lunch, used from my huge bartering score mentioned last night. As I took a tomato out of my fridge to chop it up for my soup, I tasted a few slices and the flavor was so fresh and rich! This made me pause for a moment to realize how much I take for granted over the course of any normal day.
Imagine being restricted to this list of ingredients. This is quite common in many of the communities I visit for my work with Peace Gospel and She Has Hope in Asia and Africa. Staples such as rice, noodles, corn, beans, flour, potatoes, and bananas combined with a few meagre seasonings are all they have to work with. Working in make-shift kitchens over fire-burning stoves, these resilient people still maintain their hospitality.
Simplicity and a recognition of what truly matters, to share what we have been given, no matter how small, in an expression of kindness to a stranger... and it results in a smile and warmth that transcends all of the "noise" and busyness of our distracted lives...
This mother and daughter in a slum colony of Kathmandu enthusiastically invited me into their makeshift home and fed me the small snack they had available; likely sacrificing what small calorie count they had to survive off of, in the interest of hospitality. This is a picture of true humility! I warmly and gratefully accepted their hospitality and sat and spoke with them using the little broken English we could exchange. It was a moment I'll never easily forget.
A view of their home's humble entrance. Even though the door serves no functional purpose or security, it is a symbol of dignity to have some semblance of a proper entrance.
On to some great news! I'm ecstatic to report that we filled another heart on the "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" today! And we also have some "Hearts of Gold" accumulated to bring us just $37/mo away from filling the $43/mo heart!
With 14 days left in the challenge, I still need 32 hearts sponsored to reach my goal. It seems completely out of reach, especially considering that the hearts are escelating in value, but I am absolutely confident we will reach the goal by the end of the month!
Let's take a look at this progress, and get a view to the finish line. We can do this!
I'd like to dedicate day 16 to this brave young girl I met in the slums of Kathmandu, Nepal. She along with several other children all fend for themselves while parents are away seeking day labor jobs. It seems that it's only a few grandparents scattered about the colonies who are there to watch after the children. Sadly, many like her will fall victim to human trafficking. That's her home behind her.
We provide extensive support for the children in her slum colony. For the past several years we have afforded over 40 children from the colony the chance at a proper education, providing them with everything they need to stay successfully enrolled in school, including nutrition support. It is only through education and proper nutrition that these children stand any chance to break out of the cruel cycle of extreme poverty.
Nutrition is key because a child suffering from malnutrition cannot be properly educated. Although education is no guarantee of success, a child without an education will only stay in the same position as their parents at best. A scene from her colony...
Nepal is one of the poorest nations in the world. It is no exaggeration at all to say that millions of Nepalese live on about $1 per day, and not just for food, but all living expenses. As a result, many live in these make shift homes made of tarps and scraps they find in the trash dumps. They build their homes in areas prone to flooding or other areas not suitable for permanent construction, like along the river. No electricity, no running water, of course.
A photo of the other side of the equation... hope, at our orphan home in Kathmandu. Orphan girls who were rescued from child labor, now with lives full of promise. They attend a good school near the orphanage home, and benefit from nutritious meals provided from organic ingredients grown on our farmland and urban gardening projects.
It's the power of the Heart-Chart coupled with yields from our farmlands and gardening projects that make this all possible! Together, we are making a real difference! Please consider joining us in this strategic opportunity to change the world in an empowering, life-altering way!
Charitable goal explanation. For those of you just tuning in, I'll recap what I'm trying to achieve with the "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" and my goal of finding 50 new sponsors for these "hearts" which I like to think of as representing lives being transformed and, ultimately, saved.
Why am I seeking monthly donors? The orphan care, child labor response, and human trafficking response programs we've pioneered at Peace Gospel and She Has Hope— while sustained in part by small business enterprise— need charitable support to be fully sustained. The budgets of these programs have fixed, monthly expenses. Thus, while one-time donations are deeply appreciated, it's the monthly donations that give us something to count on and plan with. Therefor, long-term, they're the most powerful.
If you're willing to make a small monthly sacrifice of any amount to help ensure that the following merciful actions are fully funded each month, I would be grateful for your partnership with me in this effort. With your help, our monthly budget enables us to…
- Provide resident care for 290 orphans in 11 homes in Asia and Africa
- Operate 4 schools and 4 after-school care programs reaching over 1000 children
- Serve approx. 50,000 fresh meals to children in our programs
- Train 100s of girls how to avoid the dangers of human trafficking
- House, rehabilitate and empower 20 girls recovering from human trafficking
On to what I was able to create with just $1 worth of food today. As I mentioned above, I was able to use half of my new apple with breakfast, and a tomato in my soup, which was extraordinary! I realized I had saved up some corn tortilla and bean rations and was able to enjoy a little splurge for dinner! Very satisfying, all things considered!
Click or tap on image to enlarge...
2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, Amazon.com through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to the work of Peace Gospel's programs helping orphans, at-risk children of the slums, and human trafficking survivors.
3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. One of the main goals is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.
4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!