Lately I’ve been struck by the stories of friends and acquaintances who are stepping outside the borders of our professionally landscaped and Pinterest-pretty world and going and doing or maybe just telling those of us back home about the things we won’t see on the news or in our Facebook feed.
We get so caught up in our lives here, we really do. Spend a day on Twitter and you might think that the entire universe spins on US political party conflicts and who the modern Church is excommunicating or vilifying this week.
But I know there is another world out there, and maybe you do too. I can still feel the mud of Bangladeshi ride paddies in between my toes and still smell the alleys of Bangkok, even though I haven’t visited those places in over 20 years, and I think we all need to be reminded that there is so much more to life than Starbucks getting our coffee right.
So I’m sharing the stories that have taken me out of my little universe over the past few weeks, in the hopes that you’ll read one or two—or all of them—and allow yourself to step outside too:
Anne & Tim Visit Zambia | Anne Marie Miller: We Saw Them Become Orphans
“One morning, I went into the room and rubbed on their thin hands in just before we left. We returned from a full day of filming and we were told the mother passed away. In just a few short hours, these babies lost their mamma …”
– Anne Marie Miller
The Days Go to Mexico | Golden Threads: I See a White Butterfly
“We see the grit and the depths of brokenness. Maturity does that. I don’t want to be a child who only sees incomplete bits, but watching my kids on this trip reminded me to train my eyes and heart to see past the surface and find the beauty …“
– Stephanie Day
A Family’s Journey to Uganda | Proclaiming at Valley: Justice to a Child is Justice to a Nation
“Neither of us could comprehend the fears that these people have to live with. We can’t imagine the horror of knowing that your children are always at risk. Many parents will mar their kids in some way at birth, scarring them in some way because they believe that makes them less desirable as a child sacrifice …”
– Diana Durrill
Sarah Returns to Haiti | Sarah Bessey: In Which I Fall for the Beautiful Facade
“There isn’t much room for romanticism in the real world of orphan prevention and community development. This world needs open eyes, this conversation needs hard questions, these are real people. Real people. Real homes. Real families. They deserve our open eyes, our respect, and we need to honour them by hearing the truth …”
– Sarah Bessey
Kari Reflects on Rwandan Genocide | World Vision Blog: Rwanda 20 Years: Why I Was Afraid
“In a place that had played host to mass murder, I felt afraid. What do you do to vanquish this kind of fear? You replace it with love …“
– Kari Costanza
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you stepped outside our borders lately or read the story of someone who has? What struck you most about the experience?
P.S. Shortly after I posted this Diana Durrill published a post summarizing her family’s experience in Uganda and what they’re learning from the experience. The title? Do Something. If you’re walking away from these stories (or your own stories) moved, but unsure what that tug is at your heart, it’s a must read.
Authors Bio: Patricia from Stephaniereinhardt.com. Bornand raised in the Saginaw Bay Region of Michigan, I have always been the generally curious sort (sometimes too curious – sorry Mom and Dad!). When applying for jobs in high school, I begged my parents not to make me turn in any more applications until I’d heard back from the public library about a page position. Fortunately they called me back, and it set me upon the path toward librarianship…