All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We are all children of God

I received a e-mail today from my friend Joanne Stevenson, she recently returned from a two week humanitarian trip to Zambia, Africa with Mothers Without Borders. Her letter and pictures brought me to tears...I have a lot to be thankful for. We all get so caught up in life's little "bumps" that we forget how truly blessed we are. I have attached the letter and the link to her site to view the pictures and I hope it touches your heart as it did mine.
Dear Friends,

I have recently returned from a two week humanitarian trip to Zambia, Africa. It was an absolutely amazing experience and my heart was touched on so many levels, I find it difficult to truly describe my feelings. From humble people in desperate circumstances I felt the most unconditional love I have ever felt in my life. The people in Zambia are very poor, but they have developed the kind of faith that I want to have. They have the kind of charity that I want to possess. They have they kind of relationship with their Savior that I want to develop. They have the kind of hope that I’d love to feel. They rely on God the way I’d like to be able to rely on God.

We had the opportunity, while there, to work with abandoned babies, with children who live on the streets and sleep in ditched among garbage, with children who are orphaned because of the AIDS crisis, and help with families in remote villages who needed medical help.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I also had the opportunity to attend church on two Sundays with the local members. Their spirit was very strong and their dedication to the Gospel was unwavering. There are many members of the church there who may never have the opportunity to make the trip to the Johannesburg, South Africa Temple to be sealed as a family. Most people who have the opportunity to work in ZambiaJohannesburg is an amount they would never be able to come up with, even if they saved their whole lives. They have faith, however, that someday it will happen. Now that I have seen the faces and learned the names of these wonderful people, I cannot sit back in my comfortable home and do nothing about it. Those of us who are members of the Church have been so blessed to have many temples in our midst. Others, in remote areas of the world, if they are lucky, may be able to make it to the temple only once in their lifetime. I have decided to create a fund to provide for these sweet people who desire to go to the temple in Johannesburg. If you would like to contribute to it, please write a check with your donation to me or to Mothers Without Borders, as only make a few dollars a day. The cost of $350 per person to make the trip to they are the ones who actually arrange the bus trip and lodging. I know that many of you, my friends, are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but I invite you, if you feel so inclined, to participate as well. Charity is charity, no matter the religious affiliation.

I have begun uploading the pictures I took while in Zambia, if you are interested in seeing them. One gallery is titled “Zambia-Bwafwano” which is a village we visited to teach and play with orphaned children. While there we also divided up and went into the huts of people who needed love and support because they had or currently have family members dying of aids and tuberculosis. We had nothing tangible to offer them, but they were so thrilled that we took the time to come into their desperately humble dwellings and just be with them during this time of need. The other gallery I have uploaded is titled “Zambia-CRC.” The CRC is the Children’s Resource Center established by Mothers Without Borders. The children you see in these images are children who were in desperate circumstances and brought in by Mothers Without Borders until they can be re-integrated into society. I will upload more as I continue to go through the pictures I took. To see them, go to http://utahjoanne.smugmug.com. I am sorry this is such a long letter. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Sincerely,

Joanne Steveson

2 comments:

Heather said...

I got this e-mail from Joanne and I too loved the pictures. I want to make some kind of a contribution.

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing this! Between Joanne's experiences and the Matsiko Children's choir I saw on Monday...I am definitely inspired. Now, how to focus my inspiration?? I'll be thinking. I love that last photo you posted below the letter!