My heart was not prepared for the things my eyes saw when we were in Iloilo City to pick up our daughter.
I have traveled to places where poverty is prevalent. I have been told about the terrible living conditions in other parts of the world.
But, my eyes, MY EYES have never physically witnessed what I witnessed in Iloilo City.
I have always been the American tourist driving by in the shuttle bus on my way to the 5 star resort. Staring and wondering how people could live in cardboard boxes or mud huts.
You know the resort – the one where you stay and, if you didn’t know better, you would have no idea people are suffering and dying all around you because of poverty. All while we lay on the beach, soaking in the sun with our frozen drink and umbrella straws.
In Iloilo City, I was submerged in it. Not just submerged meaning I was there for a few days and my life was changed.
I mean submerged so much that my heart couldn’t shake just turning away and going back home to my privileged life.
I felt like my daughter, the people who love her and care for her, their neighbors, the kids on the street… all the ones I encountered were now somehow a part of my heart.
A part of my heart that broke in half when I watched the way they did life.
I don’t know what that means. I don’t know where that leads, but I know it’s something God is stirring in me.
What will I do?
That is the question God has laid on my heart. I don’t have the answer, but I assume, He will show me the answer when the time is right.
The orphanage fundraiser was a huge help to the children left behind. But that’s only 15 children out of hundreds and hundreds of children who are living in less than poor circumstances.
Not knowing when they will eat next or where they will sleep.
Can you imagine that?
I worry about if I will have time to get my fountain coke before church. A church where we go and they have free donuts and coffee. Where it’s air conditioned and has seating.
I can not fathom wondering if I will even get to eat that day. It breaks my heart into a million pieces.
I know there’s more I can do.
I say all of this mostly just to get it off my chest.
Because writing it out and remembering those days there makes me want to appreciate the way I live my life here. And honestly, sometimes I am a grouchy spoiled brat about my life.
It makes me want to smack myself when I get annoyed at dumb things like my internet being down. Or my lawn guy coming smack dab in the middle of Nella’s nap.
Mamas, the next time you go to pour your 97th sippy cup of milk for the day, remember to be grateful we have milk in our refrigerators.
Thank God for the things we do have. Because not everyone is living with such privilege.
And maybe ask God to stir in your heart, a desire to do something small for someone in need.