Today I want to post on many things. First, I wanted to share that I had a very interesting conversation professor that made me ponder what I am doing with my life. She knows my heart very well and knows that I really want to spend some time back in South Africa. My prof (Bonnie) told me to go for my dreams and never let them go. Last night I drove down to Spring Arbor and my best friends and I talked about our lives and where we want to go. I realize that sentence has a lot of “ANDS”, but I am okay with that. We are talking about skydiving in May. It would be a rush of a lifetime, but none the less we’re all about living up our dreams. As our conversation continued we began to talk about my adventures in South Africa and it became very clear to me that I am called back there at some point. I know that God will direct my footsteps, but I feel that I have too much passion and heartache for God just to leave it sitting there and not allowing me to be his hands and feet and do something about it.. We’ll see..
As I promised this would be a debrief of my Africa Adventures.. Here is another story and another picture. I hope this will speak to you in some way where ever you find yourself.
This is my first picture in Fine Town. Fine Town is an informal settlement (also know as slums or shacks) that the government does not acknowledge it’s existence. The people and children live in filth. They live in piles of trash and will often play in it because it is something fun. Here in the states we would never allow this on our streets, but the government does not care about these townships. As we entered this township, instantly we were greeted with smiles and hand waves. People were extremely excited to see us. As we headed out of the cars we were greeted by tons of children. This was my first time to be able to pull out the camera.. Instantly, I started shooting tons of photos of the cute kids when all of the sudden they started grabbing my camera. They grabbed my camera, so they could see themselves. Most of these kids have never seen themselves in a mirror let alone a camera. It was a really neat experience to be able to show them their picture.. They were tickled pink and would often laugh in excitement or point at the pictures of their friend and laugh. This picture speaks a 1000 words to me and more. Hear I am in the middle of a group of kids showing them a picture of themselves for the first time. It makes you stop and wonder how many times you’ve looked in the mirror and have hated what you’ve seen.. It changes your perception and mindset. I am very challenged by this thought. I hope you are too..
I love this story and thought it needed to be posted from the news!!
Good Samaritan helping accident victim's family
GRAND RAPIDS -- A man's own family tragedy may bring some light to a very dark time for another family.
Merida Mateo-Pablo, 14, died after falling out of her family's minivan at speeds of 70 mph along a local highway.
Now John Beck wants to help send her body back to her homeland of Guatemala for burial.
Beck knows something about hopelessness. His family last week buried his niece who was born prematurely. He put aside money to help with any expenses but the cost wasn't as great as he expected.
Then he saw Merida's story, learned she had been in the United States for just a year, heard her family's desire to send her body back to home, and knew what to do.
"I believe in my heart that God holds me accountable for if I can make the difference and if I don't...and I believe that if I can make the difference then I'm supposed to," he told 24 Hour News 8.
He contacted 24 Hour News 8, offering to pay the costs of Merida's burial and journey home.
"I saw the eyes of a young lady that was very much alive and very hopeful of the future. And as I see that it touches my inner being and saying, you know, that life has been good to me, and it's been good to a lot of us here in this country and a lot of us here in Michigan. When we see young people we know that is our future and their hopes are our hopes," he said.
He says he sees a need, is trying to meet that need, and that there is no other motive. Beck says no "thank you" is wanted; it's just simply a core value learned while growing up.
"The people of West Michigan know who they are and we don't do things because we want recognition or want someone to pat us on the back. We do it because it needs to be done and it's the right thing to do. And then we'll let God sort the rest of it out."
We don't yet know the full cost for the burial, but met with Merida's family who said there is an account set up at Fifth Third Bank in her name for anyone interested in helping with expenses. We then gave that information to Beck and put him in touch with her family.