Thursday, June 11, 2009
I just finished Tom Davis' new book "Scared". It's his first fiction book and I have to say I was impressed. Tom Davis is the President of Children's Hope Chest, an organization that Ben and I are now volunteering with. They try to engage communities of people here in the States to care for communities of people in Africa and Russia. We are going to Uganda with Children's Hope Chest in September on a trip to visit care points and orphanages in need of support. Our hope is to come back and engage people in the Cincinnati area in caring for these precious people. But, enough background! Back to "Scared"...
Tom wrote the novel based on his very real experiences in Africa. I guess that's why I was moved to tears more than once. He has seen the impact of atrocities up close and personal and it makes his writing authentic and gripping. The way that he depicts the AIDS pandemic in Swaziland and its impact on the families there is heart wrenching. To read of a little girl's rape as she is innocently looking for someone kind to give her some bread for her siblings is enough to make my stomach ache. Reading about how a little girls cares for her siblings after her mother dies of AIDS is unimaginable. What if those were my two little girls left alone with no one to care for them or feed them? The very thought of it kills me.
So, while "Scared" was engaging and beautifully written, it was difficult to read because in reality, this is no novel. It's the life millions of children are living TODAY as I sit in my comfortable chair and type this. How do I come to terms with the fact that anything I want or need is at my disposal even in a suffering economy while children around the world have no guarantee of one meal a day? I'm not sure I can or really ever want to come to terms with it. I need to live in that uncomfortable place because if I get too comfortable I won't do anything. I'll become numb to what is going on. It's only because I was born in the country I was that my children aren't the ones crying from hunger pain or watching their mama die a painful death from HIV/AIDS.
I choose to believe that I was born here in this country for a reason. More and more I'm discovering I was born here so that I can use what I have been so graciously given to give to others and improve their lives in the most basic of ways. This is what Jesus lived out day after day...giving Himself to people sacrificially with no thought for Himself. I am SO far from that right now, but I find myself drawn to more sacrificial living every day.
So, I owe Tom a big thank you for writing a book that has broken my heart yet at the same time motivated me to do something about the issues I encountered in "Scared". I know that was his intention all along - to wake us up to what is going on in the world. I'm awake and I will do what I can with what I've been given - loving my neighbor as much as myself.
P.S. We only have $1,600 more to raise for "Feed the Forgotten" in Uganda before we hit the $20,000 mark enabling us to feed 6 villages! Any gift you make is doubled right now. Click here to give - be sure to note "Feed the Forgotten" in the notes section. Talk about relieving the hunger of desperate children! This is your opportunity!
Posted by Amy at 9:50 AM