Friday, February 11, 2011

World's Apart

When you think about where we live, I'm sure pictures of National Geographic come to mind.  The reality is that we live fairly close - at least our home - to how we would live in the US.  Every now and then we are reminded that we aren't in the US - like when the power is out for hours and there isn't ice on the power lines, or we come home to find a poisonous snake in our hallway.  But, last week we were reminded how differently we live.

My parents have sponsored a child (Monica) through Compassion International for several years.   She lives in the jungle with her parents and 6 brothers.  We have visited them in their village and her mom always comes to see us when she flies out of the jungle for whatever reason (usually a medical need).  We know our lives are very different from each other, but we didn't realize how different until this past week.

Monica is twelve years old and last week was the first time she had EVER been "out" of the jungle!  That is indeed a miracle.  That means that she has never been sick enough to need medical attention.  For someone in the jungle - that's a true gift from God!   I think about how many times I've taken my kids to the doctor!  So, just think about what a scary experience this must have been for her.....she had never ridden in a plane or car, never even SEEN a car before, never been in a house like ours, never met her grandma, aunts, uncles or cousins (her mother is from a different indigenous group and her family lives here in Shell), never been shopping, the list could go on and on! 

Wow, I take so much for granted.  It's so hard not to want to give physical things to their family, to make their lives "better".  But, the reality is that they don't see the need for the same things we do - and they are still happy.  It's hard for our North American minds to understand.  

I'm so thankful for my parents willingness to give to this family.  We are truly blessed by their friendship.

l-r: Monica's aunt and son, Monica, Jacob, Edid, baby Nanki, me, my mom and dad - Ron and Fran

Monica learning to paint with my mom

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