Three years ago today, my feet were caked with the red dirt of Tanzania. On May 7, 2012, I wrote this post and it is still, to this day, my most shared post. It’s been read thousands of times over the last three years, and of course it has because the message is universal.
People need Hope. They crave and long to know that Hope is alive, and indeed it really is.
Hope is Slow may be the most important blog post I will ever write. This is the message that carried me through the terminated adoption of 2013. It is the message that carried us through the cancer diagnosis of 2014. And it carries us now in 2015, with the unique and pressing challenges of our present.
Hope is Slow. But it is alive.
I’m thankful for the reminder today.
As we ambled back up the rutted dirt path it finally happened. I knew the emotions would take over at some point, but I honestly didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed my second day here. On both sides, children scrambled about watching us with bold curiosity.
“How do you handle seeing this all the time?” I asked Shaun as we stepped gingerly over a stream of muddy water flowing through the red soil. My throat burned and eyes watered as the images of the family we just visited ran through my mind. It wasn’t the condition of their home that left me so affected, though the small, concrete structure that housed two adults and nine children did leave me a bit shocked.
The situation this family lives in is dire in more ways than just physical. There was a hollow emptiness in the eyes of the mother that struck me. A desperation in the grandmother’s voice that tore through me. Abandoned and alone, these women now work only when they can and pray for daily bread in the most literal sense.
Currently, two of this young mother’s five children are being served by Compassion – twins, Doto and Kuluwa. One is sponsored, the other is still waiting. They were all quiet, eyes downcast, shy. When asked what she hopes for her children, this mother replies, “I hope that they can grow up and do business so that they can take care of me.”
I left this home with a quivering chin. “How do you see this all the time and not feel overwhelmed?” I asked. “It just all seems so much, like it’s impossible to ever meet all the needs.”
“Hope is slow,” Shaun replied softly.