Unfortunately I have heard very rude remarks and criticism from people when they see that I have adopted, that I want to keep adopting or that I want to help starving helpless children in another country. Someone close to me said, “Do you really think you can make a difference in Karamoja.” My response: “No, but God can. I just want to be His hands and feet.” I think God will use our family for the Karamoja people but I think more importantly is that I have 5 beautiful kids that I can make a huge difference in their lives everyday. I have lots of feelings about this topic, and I ran across an article in “The Complete Guide to Celebrating the Messiah in the Festivals.” I love this article and it says exactly what I am feeling so I would like to share it with you. It is a little lengthy so I apologize. I encourage you that if you do not have time to read it now, to read it when you have 5-10 minutes:
Saving One Saves the World
Sometimes we don’t want to help because we think, “What can helping on individual do when there are so many in need? So we end up doing nothing. But a Jewish Proverb states: “If you save one person, you save the world.”
How can that be? This proverb came from the story of the Egyptian princess who saved one baby from death in the Nile. Little did she know that baby would grow up to be Moses, the man God used to save the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, to receive God’s Law, and to make His people into a Nation. In turn, Jesus the Messiah came from that Nation to save all mankind from slavery to sin. So in reality the princess, by saving one person saved the world.
The following story by Ester Normand shows how this proverb can work today.
My husband and I had been married only one year when we flew to Nigeria to teach high school English and bible. We were glad to move in near my parents who were still missionaries after thirty-seven years.
Three months later Alimo (Ah-LEE-moh) came into our lives.. She was a starving, brain injured, physically handicapped six-year-old. She couldn’t stand up or talk. Her mother had kept them both alive by gathering palm nuts in the wild and selling them in the market, but was no longer able to carry Alimo around with her as she worked. Naked and emaciated, Alimo sat all day in the dirt.
My husband and I immediately took Alimo into our home. She was so thin that I did not think she would live through the night. But she did, and with food and affection, grew quickly into a cute, giggly little girl.
We sought help for her. Our goal was to get her to be able to take care of her own basic needs and to communicate in some way. We tried physical therapies such as massage, stretching, and patterning as well as many educational activities. Nothing we did seemed to help.
Meanwhile my husband suffered recurring illnesses: allergies, sinus infections, and frequent long bouts with debilitation malaria, then parasites and hepatitis on top of everything. He became bedridden and after a lengthy illness showed no signs of improvement. We had no choice but to leave the tropics.
We could not get a visa for Alimo. My parents could not take care of her for they were already on medical leave In the States. We had to leave Alimo with a volunteer we had barely met. I tried to block out feelings of anxiety, confusion, and helplessness. I had tried to save one person and could not even do that!
Later that year, my dad passed away, and my mom went back to Nigeria and took in Alimo. Since Alimo’s care and therapy was a full-time joy, Mom decided to admit other children to the program. She soon had six children and as many caretakers in her home.
Meanwhile, because Alimo had drawn public attention to the existence of handicapped children in the area, the local churches established a “special” school just fifteen miles from my mom’s home. And six miles from the school, the Edeh family founded Ministry of Mercy, an orphanage for motherless babies, physically handicapped and brain-injured children.
In Nigeria widows usually become destitute, especially if they have no children to support them. The Edehs hired widows and other disadvantaged people to care for three to ten children each. Thus the children and adults formed family units where both were loved and wanted.
We tried to save just one child, but God had bigger plans in mind. Even though our stay in Nigeria was short and difficult, our love for on child set in motion two groups which are now saving more than six hundred!
Hope you enjoy that article. Just a reminder of how big our God is.