Friday, September 10, 2010

A little better

I had a meeting of one of the ladies' groups I belong to last night.

One of our big focuses (foci?) is raising money and giving scholarships - often to students who are not-as-eligible for other help. We awarded two last night.

One of the women came from Central America originally. She didn't give the whole story, but what I figured out from reading between the lines was that her family was fairly upper-middle-class, until a business partner defrauded her father of a lot of money (and there may have been other problems). With the help of people in the Baptist church (she and her family were members), they got sponsors here, came here, and her parents are trying to rebuild a business. (And I guess they are going through the process to become citizens).

She spoke pretty passionately about her faith, about how she felt that God was leading here here, because now she has the opportunity to do many good things.

She talked about her love of America: "This is the country where your dreams come true" she said "Everyone has the opportunity to do what they want with their lives." She said that with hard work, she'd get what she wanted - to work with a church, and maybe be involved with the Christian music business.

She also remarked: "In America, people will help you. Just ordinary people! If they find out that you need help, they will help you." (She did not seem so keen on the idea of the government helping people, but rather the idea of it being individuals or small groups like faith groups)

She also remarked that one of the things she was trying to do, in her work with her church's youth, was to teach young women - "The Enemy," she said, "The Enemy wants to convince girls that they have to look a certain way and dress a certain way and that is what makes them beautiful...but that's all a distraction; beauty is who you are, it's what is inside you." (I thought this was an interesting observation because physically - I mean, her face and hair and figure and everything - she was a very lovely woman, but she didn't seem to want to "trade" on that in her life. She did say that in her home country, the emphasis on dressing sexy and looking a certain way was even stronger than it was here.)

She also thanked us profusely for the scholarship - it came at a time, she said, when she was sitting in her apartment wondering how she was going to manage in the coming months, but also trusting that God would provide. (And I guess, through us, He did.)

So I felt better after last night. (I suppose it was something I "needed" to hear). It's hard not to get caught up in all the minutiae and to see all the little bad things, but it sure does help to be reminded that once in a while, something you are involved in winds up helping a person and being good for them.

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