Thursday, July 11, 2013

Around the World and Back In Seven Days

Jeremiah JohnsonWhere have I been?  Although I never left the states, I feel like I literally went around the world.  The trip began Tuesday evening about 8:30 p.m. and ended Monday morning at 7:30 a.m.   By 8:00 a.m. I was back in bed and slept most of the day.   After a wonderful nap, I felt better, however, my feet still hurt and my legs are still swollen from hours of standing.  I am sleep deprived from doing laundry late in the night for six boys and two men.  I'm getting used to beginning breakfast by 5:00 a.m.  Afternoon and evening meals have been for thirty to fifty people.

I would do it all over again. 

 What did I do?  My home church decided to host the Matsiko World Orphan's Choir for the second year in a row.  Our music director is responsible for two vacation bible schools in row, so I decided I would be the coordinator for the week Matskio visited. 

Who is Matsiko?  International Children’s Network (ICN) exists to augment and support the great work being performed by established "in-country" organizations. ICN teams up with reputable, effective, and established overseas partners to obtain U.S-based financial support to help provide an education for orphaned and at-risk children - an education that continues all the way through the university or trade school levels. This concept is key in ending the cycle of poverty within third-world nations. In addition to educational support, funding is also committed for food, clothing, school supplies, medicine and other needs for these children so schooling effectiveness can be maximized.

The group blessed our hearts as they performed, but getting to know the children individually touched our hearts.  Reading their profiles that includes their background plus their hopes for the future made us appreciate our blessings even more.  Listening to them tell about the first time they went into a public library or a large grocery store allowed us to see something old in a new way.

The director of the Matsiko introduced us to two young people traveling with the group.  Lawrence was sponsored as a child.  He is now a second year petroleum engineering student.  Merta just graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration.  The director shared information about sponsoring a child.  Sponsorship is a commitment of $35.00 a month for a specific child through university.  After graduation these students give back to their community.  The first child ever sponsored is now a heart surgeon in Ghana.  Please enjoy the video below and look around their website for information about sponsorship and hearing the choir.

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