Have you ever been told to put things in perspective? Or you find yourself thinking one way until you get one more bit of information, then your entire view changes? So the case for me!
After reading Lisa Shannon's book (A Thousand Sisters) and looking into the organization set up to provide the sponsorship program for women in the Congo, a few things became clear.
$30 ($27 in the US), assists a Congolese woman for a month. She receives medical & psychological care (many of these rapes are extremely violent and cause much damage needing medical treatment and often surgery to repair). It also helps her feed her family as well as contributes towards training to allow her to become sufficiently independent to continue to care for her family after the sponsorship year has passed.
I find now when I'm looking to spend a few bucks on something frivolous in my world, a new thought pops into my mind. It costs $35 to feed my family supper at McDonalds - which we did rarely before and even less frequently now that this keeps popping to mind. I paid $40 for a sitter last night so I could go to a class I'm taking (French, if you're wondering). A few days ago, I spent $20 at a home party for something I likely didn't really need (in fact, I know I didn't need it!). Now my brain wants to do the mental math & remind me that could have helped 3 ladies for 1 month or give 3 more months to 1 lady. Perspective!
I don't want to work the angle of leading everyone down the road of guilt, but moreso share my own journey of thinking a little deeper before I plunk my loose change down for a coffee or something else that I don't really need. We are all always looking to improve our quality of life, are we not? That coffee would certainly improve the quality for a few minutes, but really putting that again into perspective might make me think again.
My house is small, but I have a house!! We may not be eating steak & lobster, but I know I'm not going hungry any time soon. It's not always my idea of fun to walk my kids to school, but they can go TO school and I can walk there without fearing for my dignity or my life. Perspective.
I received an email yesterday informing me who my Congolese sister is. This woman is a bit older than me, she has 8 children and she is a widow. Considering the state of the country and the fate that leads many of these women to become widows, I think it is safe to assume that her husband did not die peacefully of natural causes. That thought was sobering to me as again, more perspective came to light and I am humbled.