Our Why

Our WHy

“Down through history, poverty has been one of humankind’s greatest and most widespread challenges. Its obvious toll is usually physical, but the spiritual and emotional damage it can bring may be even more debilitating. In any case, the great Redeemer has issued no more persistent call than for us to join Him in lifting this burden from the people.” -Jeffrey R. Holland

 

Our Why
Evan and Lindsey

Evan

Evan was the first one that we experienced such a deep love and change with. After meeting him, we felt an urgency to do something more. We met him on our first ever trip, which was to Haiti. This trip was our first real life exposure to poverty at that level and quantity. Evan was 18 years old at the time, he couldn’t talk or walk yet had the best constant ginormous toothless full mouth smile that lit up the room, and our world!  He was so small, probably the size of a 4-5 year old. Evan had cerebral palsy so his body was small and restricted. He spent his days in a bed and when it was his turn, he got to sit in a ripping at the seams umbrella stroller. He was at an orphanage for special needs kids, and had great care for his most basic needs, but that’s all the overworked nanny’s were able to give him. They would quickly dress him, feed him, and brush his teeth and then quickly set him to the side and move to the next kiddo in need. So most of his days were spent alone in a bed or an umbrella stroller with flies buzzing around him. This was his life day in and day out, yet he was the biggest light. You can get a glimpse of his light and happiness from his picture. This wasn’t a “capture the right moment” picture. This was Evan….always! When we think of Evan, his story, and how he impacted our story, I can’t help but get teary. It’s hard to wrap our heads around. Our lives are very very different, but what we learned from Evan is that we want our light to shine like his and to make others happy like he did. We hope to find him in heaven and thank him for teaching us that we can find joy in the worst of circumstances, and we can light other’s worlds with very little. 

Abena & David

We met Abena on our first trip to Ghana. Abena can’t walk or talk, yet she is the life of the party and makes everyone around her smile. She lives in a rural village with no roads or sidewalks, just dirt and revines from rushing rain water. Her knees, feet, and hands have calluses from dragging herself around on the dirt floors of her home and village. Pure love shines from this girl. While we were there, we helped get Abena a wheelchair so she could get around easier. At the time, we didn’t realize the gift we were giving her, but completely recognized the gift she was to us. We were in awe of her pure spirit and wanted to radiate her same light and love.  
On a different trip just months later in Guatemala, we witnessed a heartbreaking story that had a very different outcome than Abena’s. We were serving in a special needs hospital and met Davie, the sweetest four year old boy that kept crying and when we’d go over to him, he was so happy and would immediately stop crying. The wall above his crib had a few pictures above it, which was not the norm, so we were curiously inquired from the caregiver. She told us that his mom recently dropped him off, and although she loved him dearly and had carried him around on her back his whole life, she had recently had another baby and was unable to carry and care for both of them and didn’t have any other option. Our hearts broke. I can’t imagine the anguish that mother felt as she dropped him off and walked away, and then the fear he must have felt being left alone to soothe himself in a new bed in a strange new place. 
The contrast of these two experiences motivates us to have as many “Abena” families as possible! Families that stay together because they are given resources, opportunity, and education. These two had special physical needs, but many families in poverty are torn apart or make horrible decisions out of desperation – kids are trafficked, fathers and mothers often leave their children for hours or days to find work, young girls and boys don’t go to school so they can help with adult responsibilities, children and women are mistreated, alcohol is misused and the list goes on, but with a few resources, a little knowledge, and love, it’s amazing what can happen.
David
Thomas

Thomas

Our love for this little guy and his family was immediate and deep the moment we looked over and saw him sitting alone playing in the dirt. We had this immense desire to help him. Thomas was born with cataracts. If his family had had the resources at birth, he could have had surgery and been able to see, but because they didn’t, his brain adjusted and his cataracts made him completely blind. At the time we met him, Thomas was the oldest of 4 and was 4-5 years old. Just as God does in work like this, He worked so many miracles to lead us to the right people to get him help. What happened next was the gut puncher. Up to this point, we had always served and visited people in their own villages, but bringing them to a town and a hotel to receive care he needed was so extremely humbling and eye opening. Thomas’ family had never used a shower before with hot and cold water, so we showed them how that worked. They had never turned on a tv before. They didn’t know what spaghetti was, tostadas or any of the food we bought them, their diet consisted of beans, rice, and tortillas only. They had never used disposable diapers and wipes before, they didn’t use any diapers, they just put clothes on their kids and Thomas’ pants were often soiled and rank. We tried to put ourselves in the shoes of this young family of 6 as both the mother and the provider, and it was overwhelming and sobering. We don’t know how they do it, but we’ve loved seeing the hope in their eyes when we gave their home light with solar panels, and helped in their kids school, and at their home. Thomas’ village is one of the villages we are working with to lift out of poverty. 

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