Change of schedule this week, so posting my “This week on the ground” post today. Better late than never!
I am not a morning person. Ask my family. My husband long-ago gave up the idea of enjoying a nice coffee and breakfast together before work. I sleep until the last possible second and then run around like crazy getting ready in too little time. My 3 year old son has never been a terribly early riser probably because he pretty much figured out within the first few months of life that mommy just wasn’t getting up and there was no point in trying.
This morning, however, I was up early. Up and out the door – with time to spare for a cup of coffee – by 7:15. That’s early for me and made me feel extremely accomplished. Sitting at the stoplight with all the other morning commuters, I found myself looking around and thinking, “Hey, look at us! We did it! We all got up early and out the door. Three cheers for all of us for being here right now!”
I had to rearrange my work schedule this week, which necessitated the early start to my day. And while it was the responsibility of being at work on-time that made me set my alarm for an oh-so-early hour, it was the thoughts of the kids for whom I work that propelled me out of bed and into a frame of mind that was ready to tackle the day.
I thought of Neatness, who I’ve been honored to meet several times. In rural Zimbabwe, she and her siblings and cousins, who rise 4:45 am to (hopefully) eat breakfast and start the several mile walk to school.
I thought of Senzi, who I’ve never met but I would love to. I think I could learn a lot from her. In the overcrowded neighborhoods on the outskirts of her city, she wakes up at 5am to cook for everyone in the house and to make sure her grandparents take their medication properly. She helps bathe the young ones and sees them off to school. She then cleans the house before leaving for school at 7am. There’s usually not enough food for her to take a lunch.
I thought of the people who are caring for children like Neatness and Senzi, though they’re not related. People like Sister Jessy, a volunteer with her church Zambia who committed her time last fall to preparing fields for planting maize seed. The eventual harvest would be used to improve food security for orphans and vulnerable families. The farmland available to this urban church, however, is across the border in the Congo. So before she even starts preparing the soil, planting the maize, weeding and fertilizing, Jessy faces an early morning on foot and by bus to get to the fields.
Land provided by church for families to farm
What a profound privilege to get up early today to invest part of my life working on behalf of children like Neatness and Senzi. To work – in some sense – alongside volunteers like Jessy. These children and caregivers inspire me every day, and especially on the early morning days, to make the most of opportunities presented, to serve and love my family and to keep my eyes wide open for ways that God desires to use me as a channel for blessing others.
Have a wonderful morning and a great weekend. Thank you to all who have opened yourselves up to being a channel for blessing by supporting the work of Forgotten Voices. It’s an honor to work alongside you as well.