We spend our lives looking for our purpose. Looking for our destiny. Our calling. We look for that one big thing that will fulfill us and confirm to us that our lives have meaning. We seek and we wait. We wonder and we wait. But is it just that one big thing that awaits us? Or is it the little opportunities that come our way each day that hold the greater significance? I believe they are.
|Nyara covering her eyes.|
You all know our story. We are the crazy American family who sold everything and left all behind to come to Africa to develop a vision. That is a pretty big thing. But what brings my husband and me the most joy are the little things we encounter each day. This is what brings us that deep feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives. In the simple acts, we are finding our purpose and calling.
Meet my new friend, Nyara.
She is so very beautiful. She lives in the impoverished community of Matola Santos in a little cement block home. I met her while we were down two houses down working on the home for the 3 orphaned children we are supporting. I would watch her as she went up and down the dirt road playing with friends, and she captured my heart. Maybe it was pity that grabbed me first. It was hard for her to fully play and enjoy these moments of fun with her friends because she was always shielding her eyes from the sun. She always kept her forearm up over her forehead to block the sun. Being Albino, her eyes are extremely sensitive to the light. I have always striven to ensure that every child I see is able to experience life to the fullest. I made up my mind then and there to get her proper sunglasses and a big floppy sun hat.
|Nyara with her "Hello Kitty" sunglasses and blue hat|
Yet where oh where in the land of Mozambique would these be found?? They wouldn’t. So I took my quest to America. You would think that children’s sunglasses and beach hats would be easy to find in stores in the month of August. Not! Despite the fact that there was still one month of summer left to enjoy, all I could find were winter clothes already out for sale. Summer items were few and far between. So I searched every children’s store in every town I went to from Philadelphia to New York to Boston. I was about to give up when the mall in my parents’ hometown rewarded me big time. I found “Hello Kitty” sunglasses and added a pink headband to them so they would stay on securely. I found a floppy washable hat with ocean animals on it for when she plays. I found a big blue woven floppy hat with lots of ventilation for those hot days of December, January, February, March,… And finally I found a beautiful white hat with a pink flower adorning it for church and good days. Best yet…they were all on clearance! I couldn’t wait to bring these back for her!
My first trip back to Matola Santos rewarded me with little Nyara walking down the road towards me, forearm over her forehand, squinting to see. I sprinted to the car to retrieve the bag of goodies. It was like Christmas for me to pull each one out and present it to her… first the sunglasses and the headband, then the play hat, the blue hat, and finally delighting her beyond measure with thebeautiful girly white hat. We were both grinning from ear to ear. She looked so pretty. She looked so happy. She now could play and run and enjoy her friends. And all it took was about $20 and a little of my time to search these items out.
|Such a beautiful princess!|
I am learning that we are presented with many opportunities each day to pour into the lives of others. We don’t have to sell everything and move to Africa to make a difference (or for those of you in Africa reading this…you don’t have to sell everything and move to the mission field of America!). We can find fulfillment and satisfaction in our daily lives with simple acts of kindness. These are just as, if not more, rewarding than that one big thing. So I encourage you to stop waiting, stop seeking, and start doing. Your destiny is right in front of you - fulfill it!