Hope and Healing

Harder – Smarter – Louder

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I celebrate how many people Hope and Healing was able to bring hope to last year. I am haunted by thinking of those we could not.

We are in the process of planning for next year – budget, focus, and impact. We also look at the results of the last year. One key number for many of us is the number of people that our Hope and Healing programs have touched – how many people did we bring hope to in 2009? We desperately want to touch as many lives as we can – bringing hope to people with a disability living in poverty. That number is large.

No matter how large that number is – for me it is not enough. I think of being in Kinshasa a few weeks ago and hearing that over 1,000 children with CP have been identified through the community workers and volunteers. None of these have been given any services last year because of a lack of resources. I saw some of these children and visited the home of one of them. These children are as important in the eyes of God as I am. They are as precious as my children. They crave love, attention, interaction, and hope. Their mothers crave recognition and support. Yet we could not find the resources to help them last year. Visiting some of them was hard for me – but important. I want to see not only the ones we have been able to touch, but reminded of those we have not.

That was only in Kinshasa – there is also Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Haiti, India, Bolivia and Paraguay.  No matter how many other lives Hope and Healing touched last year – there are so many that we did not. That is sobering.

This reminder forces me to look at past decisions that I have made. Could I have been just that much more efficient which would have allowed us to provide services to just one more child with a disability? Could one more family have been given hope? The real sobering reality is that I know that for at least many of those we did not help last year – next year will be too late.  

I think of the story in the Bible where the shepherd had 100 sheep and one was lost. The shepherd was not content with the flock of 99 – a large number and sizable flock. He went searching for the 1 who was absent.

Our number last year – the number of people with disabilities that the global cbm program touched – was large. It was 25,733,094! What a great number to celebrate – and like the shepherd’s story in the Bible, a large flock. At the same time I am haunted by the stories of those we did not help – the ones that got away. Like that shepherd in the Bible, contentment for the large number is not enough. As long as we can do more – that is what we have to strive to do.

My hope for Hope and Healing is to work harder, smarter and louder next year. I pray that our decisions for next year will help us do more.