Thursday, August 14, 2008

Step Into Africa

Last night, we had the opportunity to visit Holman United Methodist Church in South Central to check out World Vision's exhibit "Step Into Africa." It was an incredibly moving experience. World Vision has authentically recreated the home lives of 4 children living in AIDS affected villages and towns in Africa.

You walk through the exhibit and, with the help of an iPod, hear narration and the child's voice telling their story. My guide was Mathabo, an 11 year old girl from Lesotho. The display is interactive, with sets, props and lots of photographs of the kids. By the time I got through Mathabo's story, I was in tears. It's alternately heartbreaking and inspiring. One set is a small chapel and inside were dozens of pictures of the children that World Vision is reaching out to in their mission. All of them were angelic. Of course, I had to choose one to sponsor. His name is Stewart. He is 7 and lives in Uganda. His birthday is the day after mine, it was the only way I could select just one.

If you live in the L.A. area (or anywhere the exhibit is touring), I urge you to take 30 minutes to check it out. Or at least visit the website and get more info. You might be moved. I know the spirit sure moved me. Step Into Africa will be at Holman UMC through Monday, August 18. Another neat part of the experience was meeting all of the ladies from Holman who were volunteering for the event. We shared our impressions of the exhibit and the mission. The majority of visitors have the same reaction, they told me. The plight of the continent of Africa particularly is a global responsibility for those of us who "have."

Say a prayer and lift up the children who are orphaned by disease and overwhelmed by poverty and hunger. There are plenty of opportunities in life to take action and help someone incredibly less fortunate, but equally loved in God's eyes.

Peace and Love


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