Well in the last six days I have driven nearly 3,000 miles – a little more than 40 hours behind the wheel. As you can imagine with all of that time in the van the last thing in the world that I wanted to deal with when I got home was car issues.
I got home on Wednesday and went straight to sleep. On Thursday I was on my way to the airport to pick up Alyssa’s mom, who is staying with us for the weekend, when I felt something a bit wobbly. I got out to look at the tires and saw that the rear passenger wheel was completely flat…fun times.
I was close enough to our house where I just turned around and grabbed the band van to take to the airport. I think it’s important to note that picking up your mother-in-law in a van that six dudes have been basically living out of for the last week is not really the best way to project the message “Don’t worry, your daughter is in good hands.”
Anyway, so this morning I ran out and picked up some Fix-a-Flat, pumped it in the tire and drove it over to my local auto shop. My buddy, Enrique, is currently taking a look at it, and I’m really hoping it’s just a simple patch job.
Waiting in the guest lounge my phone rang. I looked down to see a foreign number and knew immediately who it was – my “Ugandan brother”, David. David is my age, and he runs an orphanage called Springs of Hope in Busia, Uganda. They care for children who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS – giving them food, education, and a place to belong. David and I talk via email almost every day and we catch up by phone a couple times a month. He keeps me informed on what is going on with the children and his family. I’m always so inspired every time I get a message or phone call from David. No matter what is going on he is always upbeat and has an incredible perspective. This perspective usually challenges my own when I’m dealing with what I consider “problems”.
Today, on our phone call, David was telling me about a child that they are desperately trying to get healthcare for. This beautiful little girl was burned severely by her abusive step mother. She currently is lying in a hospital bed awaiting treatment that no one can afford.
Among other needs David said that they are trying to get mosquito nets to deal with the serious malaria problem they face in Busia. I asked David what the cost of these nets are and he said ten dollars. Wow – that’s it? Some days I spend ten dollars on ice cream (seriously though- I have an addiction).
A lot of times I look around and think, “Man there are so many problems in the world – I don’t even know where to begin.” The answer is begin where you can. Don’t worry about trying to cure every problem in the world – you’ll just get overwhelmed. Start with the problems you can see. Start small but think big. You may have to stretch out of your comfort zone, but hopefully if we are all doing a little bit we can change the big picture.
Enrique just called me up to the counter – 13 bucks later I’m out the door.
For me this is out of my comfort zone. I hate soap boxes. I hate asking for money. But I also hate seeing a need that I can help with and doing nothing. If you would like to help me and Alyssa purchase some mosquito nets for Springs of Hope Orphanage in Uganda please see the PayPal button below.