What if this was you?

Julia wrote this the other night.  I don’t know what inspired her, but I thought is was very good.  She visited a Maasai tribe with us in 2009 on our trip with Compassion International. She met a family where the husband had multiple young wives.

A boarding school for girls had been built by a Compassion donor to help relieve the family stress of poverty and reduce the temptation to sell off daughters. We have a sponsored child  who now attends this school.  We are very thankful.

What if this was you? by Julia

You wake up to the sun streaming into your house through the small cracks in the thatch roof that you had constructed earlier in the dry season.  Looking around you see your family sleeping peacefully on the thin woven mats that cover the rough, cracked ground. Your oldest daughters anxiety of the day to come masked by her dreams, sweetly projected onto her features. And you know that the moment you wake her, the all too familiar look of vacancy will distort her face as she remembers the responsibility that she owes to her family. Her suitor will be knocking at the door in a few hours. He will bring three fattened sows to give her father. And you know that the moment he leaves with your beloved baby girl in tow, that that will be the last time you will ever see her.  Your husband’s other wives will come to celebrate the marriage with you and some palm wine, but looking forward, you can’t imagine feeling joyful as you think of the horrors that will come to meet your daughter in the bed of her new husband, at the very same time that you are supposed to be celebrating their union. Your baby girl, only fifteen, she deserves so much better… You wish you could give her the life that you would never have, a life with a love, a life with opportunities, and a life with choice, but those are things of leisure… And you live a life of tradition.

This could have been you. You could have been a mother in tribal Africa. Giving her child away today. But, you were born here. Given a life with the possibility of leisure, opportunities, choices, and a chance to find love. We were given so many blessings in our life. There is a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, and water that we can drink without fear, a world away from the cracking mud huts the rest of the planet lives in. Were we blessed with these opportunities to have the chance to give back? To give that little fifteen year old girl a chance to live a life of choices, and hope against set tradition? Were we given these things for a reason?

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One Comment on “What if this was you?

  1. I too feel like all people should share their gifts, wealth, knowledge, and support with others.

    There are places in America that I’ve been too and feel blessed. So many of our own are also suffering, homeless, hungry, etc.

    We should all continue to assist different people in whatever way we can. When I finish my degree I am going back home for sure to assist those in need in my very own community. I worked there as a social worker for years before leaving to further my education. I have to return and continue to lend a hand. If not me, then who?

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Sandra Jones Counseling

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