Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Night

Her name is Fedelis. She is 7 years old and lives in Kenya. There are two children in her family, and her mom sometimes works as a farmer. Her birthday is the day after Marin's.

She is the child we are sponsoring through Compassion.

We all piled on my bed on Friday night, talking about it, looking at children waiting for sponsors. My older daughters had lots of questions, many of which were hard to answer. I don't want to burden their little hearts. But I don't want to gloss things too much, either.

I have a lot of mixed feelings, still, about Compassion, about "choosing" a child, about basically giving the child food and other resources in return for Christianity.

But I can't stop thinking about Fedelis. Is she ok? Has she learned she is sponsored yet? Did she eat something today? Is she safe? Is she cold? Kate asked me the same question as we ate breakfast this morning. "Do you think Fedelis is hungry?" she said, as she chewed thoughtfully.

I had to say "yes".


Lice. We don't have them. Yet. I guess it can take 10 days to 2 weeks? But I've been looking at little scalps and have not been seeing any activity. So. There's that.

The mom of those girls DID call me. I think she was so mortified by it that it took her awhile to work up the nerve. After I talked to her, I felt like an ass for being so grumpy about it all. I was totally not being sensitive to how having head lice was making her feel...

Also, I was wrong about her kids playing here that afternoon. I've since learned that as long as they've had the treatment for 10 minutes (or whatever the package says) they are fine to return to school/activities etc. They chose to keep her home for that whole day, but they did not NEED to...

So while my head is itching- still (right now, in fact)- every time the subject comes up, I feel bad about how I reacted. I mean, I DON'T want head lice, that much is still TRUE, but I didn't need to be so whiny about it.

Talk about 1st world problems.


This weekend was perfectly lovely. Friends, dinner, church, lunch date, a little shopping, projects, spring toys out, walks, more friends, happy outside children...

We are warm, fed, comfortable, independent, happy... we are wealthy, by the world's standards. We really are among the luckiest people on the planet. I'm starting to learn that appreciating that is more effective that feeling guilty for it.

And I can't help wondering if Fedelis safe.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, now my scalp is itchy, too.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

The Compassion thing gives me this heebie jeebie: it's sorta feels like you're shopping in a catalog. For a kid to help.

And then, if I can get past that, how do you chose? I like the idea of a being close to one of your kids birthdays.


And the religion mixed up in it gives me another set of heebie jeebies. How much must they accept the religion to receive the help?? Does that even matter when we're talking about STARVATION?


Marie Green said...

CBHM- Oh, I know... I SO KNOW what you are saying. I've been wrestling with this for a couple of weeks... but I don't know of another organization that helps kids to the level that Compassion does. So I kept coming back to Compassion.

The "shopping for a kid" thing made me uncomfortable. I thought a child my twins' age (6-8 years) would be nice- then my girls could write letters to her and have it be a bit more relavent, and they wanted a girl, and I was drawn to Kenya. So that helped narrow it down a ton. We found a few little girls were in that group and then David chose one. We all felt like we should sponsor them ALL, and we might add another. First we wanted to see how it all went.

The religion stuff eeks me out too- I sincerely hope that it's not "if you come praise Jesus we'll give you food". On the other hand, we are talking about a people that have basically ZERO hope, and I'm thinking the religious message is very comforting.

(Compassion states there is NO requirement for conversion to be part of the program... I get the feeling though that there's a strong... urging, or peer pressure or whatever... to become a Christian.)

I'm still wrestling with it all... but I'm happy and relieved that others have those same feelings.

Marie Green said...

And I should have said David chose Fedelis b/c of her birthday... he didn't, like, look for the cutest little girl or something.

See? I'm all squiggly now. It all seems so... odd. To "choose" a child. Gah.

Also, another main reason we chose to sponsor a child (beyond just simply feeling called to do it) was because I feel like 1. our money goes a long way and makes a big difference which is nice when you're not ready to commit to a large donation, and 2. it's the best way to involve the kids in giving. Even though I still feel like sheltering them from some of the world, I also want them to have a heart for those in poverty (both here and elsewhere)...