Our family is pretty normal. We fight, we make up, we stomp around mad Amos chewed the trim on the door (and yes, when he does that he’s “Your (my) dog!”. We ride bicycles, eat out, and talk.
One of the messages that is continuous in our home is that we don’t need to reach very far to find people we can partner with to make all our lives better. We aren’t lifting people out of despair into some shiny new reality, we don’t know how to fix problems in the world, we don’t have all the answers, but:
We will stand with you through your trials and do everything we can to help.
We aren’t perfect, we have our own trials. One of mine was working with a church we attended back in Montana that wanted to minister to the poor in Africa. This is something dear to my heart — I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. We were tasked with doing some “Business Analysis” (my words) of the various options we proposed.
I proposed putting feet on the ground in Africa, pouring resources into the region and establishing a network of self-sustaining group homes. Places where “families” — a set of local adults and a large set of local children — could live, with clean water, growing food, have some goats, try to be energy independent (solar, etc) and become a “center” for the community it was embedded in.
The proposal that was acted upon was to create an adoption pipeline, where people in the church could adopt African children into their homes. Fast forward five years: today’s New York Times.
I still want to create communities in Africa where people can live, learn, and build community. I don’t know what that looks like yet. In the mean time, since I can’t be within arms reach of the people on my heart, I give via Kiva so that my money does enable people in that community to build a better tomorrow.