Share Tea, Save Lives

These summer mornings have become quite precious. Later bedtimes mean long sleep-in times for the kids, but not for the dog. And consequently, I’m up early with him. This makes for a great time to read emails, catch up on Facebook, and most importantly to spend some time in God’s word. I am now subscribed to a number of daily devotionals including Girlfriends in God (go to www.kkla.com and sign up for this daily devotional and see an advertisement for Compassion Tea!) and GodTube. Today, there was a very moving video about Rachel Beckwith, a 9 year old who donated her birthday money to help people in Africa have clean water. She was tragically killed in a car accident before she made it to her 10th birthday, but in her name $1.2 million has been raised to drill new boreholes in Ethiopia. Watch:http://www.godtube.com/charitywater/

What a kid, huh!

I also received an email this morning from Chris and Jack in South Africa. They have been there for a week visiting the two clinics that CompassioNow supports in that country… Lily Medical Centre and 1000 Hills Community Helpers. This email was about their experience at 1000 Hills with Dawn Faith Leppan, the founder. From their writings:

“Jack hadn’t been to Thousand Hills for six years – when it was still at an abandoned Catholic church. We found the new campus to be an oasis in the middle of exceptional poverty. It was very well kept, with gardeners and workers (volunteers from the community who work for the two meals a day offered) busy at all corners of the site. Dawn Leppan met us with warm open arms. She gave us an extensive tour through the various infant, toddler, and pre-school rooms. All of this was very clean & colorful. There were kids everywhere but no chaos. It was remarkable and encouraging. We also toured the kitchen where cheerful volunteers were preparing meals for the numerous folks waiting patiently. We also visited the well-baby clinic that was taking place that day (every Tuesday). We saw about ten pair of mothers (or grandmothers) and infants waiting to be seen and numerous others had already been seen.

They have a craft store with merchandise produced by locals as well as a trauma center that Dawn’s granddaughter staffs as she is a licensed social worker on the government’s payroll. Dawn recounted some tragic stories of some of the locals who had been abused sexually and otherwise and how they’ve tried to help them recover and move forward.

Dawn took us to a local community [this is the Claremont Camp I wrote about in the Olympics and the Temporary blog] where they’ve established a “safe house” and daytime crèche (daycare). The housing there was appalling with waste smell in the air and outdoor bathrooms overflowing. There were exposed live electrical wires running on the ground throughout and barefoot children nearby. We saw one encouraging house that had a small garden – modeled after the garden at the safe house. We ended this visit by touring the safe house that was part of this neighborhood. The house had the cleanliness of the Thousand Hills Clinic with about twenty kids sitting well behaved at clean, bright plastic tables. Just beyond them was a fenced in garden that would be impressive in any U.S. suburb. The contrast between the safe house / crèche and the surrounding shacks was extraordinary and a real testament to the impact that this group can have on a community.

We ended our visit with the distribution of the four duffle bags we brought there. Dawn was very moved by the supplies provided; commenting regularly about how certain items would be helpful. It was very moving.

We returned on Thursday morning as we were so impressed with this group’s impact…. [W]e gave Dawn the gift of Compassion Tea that we had brought for her and her staff…. We also got to witness some of the impact of the supplies delivered. Dawn gave a pair of reading glasses to a grandmother there. She was very happy but her glasses started steaming up. Dawn asked what was wrong and the grandmother replied that she could finally see well but she had no money to pay for them. Dawn said that they were free and the grandmother was overcome with joy.”

Whether it be fresh, clean water or a pair of eyeglasses, we can change lives. We at Compassion Tea believe that by sharing tea, we can save lives. Please join us!

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