Mar 1, 2010

Oh...My Heart

I haven't forgotten what it feels like to capture the attention of 50 school kids. I haven't forgotten what feels like to teach them things that we call basic, and yet have an incredible impact on their quality of life. I haven't forgotten what it feels like to give a child anti-parasitic medicine and vitamins, and then to find them an inch or two taller just a few months later. 




When pencil boxes and a pack of crayons light up the face of a child...it creates a spark in my soul that turns into a roaring blaze. My heart beats for these kids. My heart beats louder and stronger each time I visit a school and bring a basic hygiene lesson. I know that if these kids can catch the importance of washing their hands then they will live a better life.

What? How is that possible?

We live in an environment where basic hand washing means the difference between a healthy child and an unhealthy one. Hand washing is the main component in keeping kids parasite-free, which means that they will get more nutrition from the foods they eat, their immune systems will be stronger and they won't get sick as often, and they will do better in school because they will have energy to learn and study...there are so many things that hinge on good hygiene.

Me practicing hand-washing with the kids. They count to 20 seconds as they rub their hands together...laughing all the way.

After almost 5 months of waiting, my heart started beating again this week. As the kids yelled "Miss Lila" from the streets and asked me if I was bringing vitamins to their class today, as I gathered the kids and began the lesson...I came alive again. We gave out a ton of stuff: vitamins, tooth brushes, tooth paste, soap, band-aids, alcohol wipes, pencil boxes, crayons, bouncy balls and toy cars. BUT the most important thing we gave out that day was hope. Hope in a better life - one without parasites, at least for a while. Hope in a future, maybe one with an education. Hope for the healing of a nation through it's children.

Dave Ohlerking told me one time, "Train the children in the way you want the nation to go," and we are trying to do just that!