Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am rich!

I was a college sophomore, scrambling around my room trying to find a textbook for my next class, when the room phone rang.  It was a fund raiser asking me to buy a magazine and help support a cause.  

“Sorry,” I said, “I’m a college student so right now I’m to poor to help any cause.”  Then I laughed a little, sure he’d understand. 

“Ma’am, you are not poor,” he replied.  He said it gently...quietly...firmly.

I paused and thought about it for a second.  Wow.

“No. You’re right, I’m not poor. Not at all. Thank you.”

Then he told me to have a nice day and we hung up.

Two years later, I joined my parents on a trip to Ethiopia to bring home my newly adopted brothers.  I was only there for 10 days but it changed my life.  

A little boy begging on the street curb, one of the very few curbs in the city.  His mother was huddled behind him.  She looked like she had AIDS.  

Am I poor?

Babies at an orphanage, many HIV+, two to a crib – and these are the fortunate ones receiving care.

Am I poor?

Women carrying a heavy load of bamboo.  It will take them all day to bring their burden to the city.  The next day they will sell it and then walk home.  The going rate for a bundle of bamboo is one burr = $0.12.

Am I poor?

My sweet little brothers enjoying what was probably the first bath of their lives.  They couldn't stop exclaiming over the water!

Am I poor?

These kids were learning about hygiene at a Compassion program we were privileged to observe.  They absolutely couldn't get over seeing their own faces on our digital camera afterward!  

Am I poor? 

The man I spoke to so many years ago was not trying to guilt me into donating when he told me I wasn't poor.  I don't think that was his intention.  Posting these pictures, I don't want to guilt you into giving away all your money or make you feel wretched because you have so much and they don't. 

I am not dying of AIDS and begging on the street,
I am not an orphan in a crowded crib,
I am not walking for miles with a load of bamboo on my back,
I have water, food and even get to bathe occasionally,
I even have a digital camera.

I am very, very rich.

 It puts some things in perspective, doesn't it?

I want to tell you something though: being rich is not just about material things. I could have everything in the world and not have any hope beyond this life.  I could have everything in the world and not have love.  

On the flip side, I could have absolutely nothing on this earth yet have every eternal treasure.

I have been blessed with not only material things, but eternal ones as well.  Here on Treasuring It Up, I hope to share some of them with you.  I love this life, but I am SO excited about spending my eternity with Jesus Christ!  

You will see recipes, pictures, stories, tips, and little insights I have throughout the day.  And I hope to get to know you better, too.  So, welcome to my blog :-)  I'm so glad you're here!


Hillary said...

Hannah, I loved this post. I want to go on a mission trip, hopefully with Compassion (and hopefully to our sponsor child's place of living!!) someday. We are not poor, and this post was beautiful.

Thanks for such a great reminder. :)

Beth Ann Zeller said...

This takes me back... Oh, the overwhelming emotions of that time in our lives! Indeed, we ARE wealthy beyond description! Proud of you for getting your blog going! mom

mom24jewels said...

Thanks so much for sharing you wonderful experience with us!! I can't wait to ready more of your blog!!

Hannah said...

@Hillary - I'm so glad you enjoyed it :-) We didn't have a sponsor child at the facility in Addis but it was fantastic to see how the local churches put hands and feet to our sponsorship!

@Momsy - Thank you for encouraging me :-) You will get to see some pics of your grandbabies as well, I promise!

@Lesly - I can't wait to share more with you!