Letter from Arden

Dear Friends,

As I get further from the year I lived in Zimbabwe, I find more of my time is spent on logistics and fundraising and less on the soul feeding connections that drew me to this work.  Many days the morning arguments that come from my elementary school girls trump thoughts of barefoot children singing songs of thanks.

As I stand in my beautiful home with a refrigerator and pantry full of food, the discrepancy between my life and the lives of kids we support in Zimbabwe feels unconscionable.  It’s a given that my water is safe, that the electric company will work tirelessly if power is cut during a storm, and that my children will attend school and have a warm place to sleep at night.

For children in Zimbabwe, this isn’t so.  Theirs is a less forgiving world.  A mistake such as dropping a dozen eggs could mean the loss of potential income to feed the family, while for my children it would mean no scrambled eggs.  Just as it is inconceivable for my children to think of skipping dinner, it is inconceivable for many children in Zimbabwe to imagine having two pairs of school shoes.  I know this, and yet, at times I feel compelled to provide my own children with the latest fad.

One morning when I was last in Zimbabwe, I was overwhelmed by the discrepancies of my two realities.  Through tears, I dared admit my struggle to Vitalis and a group of older children.  I was surprised when they began to share their stories and draw a parallel to their own lives. They reminded me that C4C children have a full uniform and school fees paid on time.  They know if they get sick they will be taken to a doctor.  They recalled when, years ago, all of their neighbors were without food and they felt guilty for receiving a basic food pack.  To my surprise, they each spoke of their place as a C4C scholar as one of privilege.

As they drew their parallels, I was able to find comfort in the similarities of our human experience.  The discrepancies are clearly much more extreme than the children comprehend, but I appreciated their humility and the fact that they recognized their own privilege.

It is my greatest hope that this appreciation will blossom into a spirit of giving.  I want both my American children and all of our C4C scholars to have an appreciation of what they have.  In addition, I’d like them to have a deep understanding of social justice, a knowledge that they are special, and that they have the power to positively impact and influence a corner of the world.

We encourage you to join us, as we do what we can to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots.   We all have a lot to be grateful for.  Let’s get into the spirit of giving.

Arden

Lovejoy Arden Annah

Lovejoy, Arden, & Annah

 

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