Saturday, October 29, 2011

How can I make a difference?

I struggle with my purpose here. In the grand scheme of things is my presence here even making a difference? There are so many things that are beyond my control, that at times it seems almost hopeless.

I can’t give the kids at the Hogar parents who aren’t idiots, families who can take care of them. I can’t give them or the kids in the Cerro an educational system that meets their needs. A school adequately staffed with well trained, caring teachers. A school where there is actually a teacher there on all school days. A school where they aren’t treated differently by the adults (let alone the other kids) because of their family or economic situation. I can’t change the fact that their life opportunities are limited simply by the part of the city that they live in. And frankly, that sucks!

I see a lot of injustice here on a daily basis. And it pains me deeply to know that no matter what I do in this next year, I won’t be able to change those injustices. I can fight as hard as I want, but ultimately it is a fight that Uruguayans must take on themselves.

So what can I do when faced with all this brokenness? Though I am unable to treat the root of the problem I can help to alleviate the symptoms. Into these places of pain and hopelessness I can try to shine the light of love and hope. All of the kids at the Hogar need some more love and support in their lives. So maybe, as hard as it is to accept sometimes, the most important thing I can do for them is to push them on the swings. Or to teeter-totter. Or play a couple hours of ping pong. They don’t need someone to tell them life isn’t fair, they already know that. What they need is someone who can tell them, and show them with actions, “You are important and I care about you.”

Maybe this is enough. To try to be that person of love and encouragement while praying for those who are fighting. I hope so. Because those kids need me and I don’t know how else I can serve them. And I can hear a swing calling my name…

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