Love & Goodness For Everyone...No Matter the Borders
Global Partners in Hope has been an important non-profit to our family. We have always loved its mission, its goals and vision. We attended events and donated financially over the last ten years. What we did not know was how we would be impacted by a visit to where they are working. We took our three children, ages 18, 17, and 14 to visit Agbelouve, Togo and remote villages with a GPiH water well. Knowing what we knew, we were still surprised by the emotions we felt and the things we saw. There is something different about going. There is so much you cannot comprehend until you are standing in the hot African sun and looking at a dry watering hole. Or meeting new friends, shaking hands, holding hands, speaking their language, and sharing a smile with your new friend.
There are so many happy people, despite isolation and poverty. It is difficult to understand why there are smiles. There is no air conditioning, no comfy couch to lay on with a movie to watch. There are no iPads, iPhones, or AirPods to listen to. There are often no shoes. And yet, we were warmly greeted everywhere we went. Our favorite visit was to the school where we met three grades of students from first through fourth grade. They cheered so loudly for us that it rang in our ears. We touched them, hugged them, played some soccer with them, and handed out candy. The joy in their spirits was infectious. We shared in their joy because it is impossible not to and also because we felt in our hearts that we were exactly where God wanted us to be.
The impact on our family is still happening. We never said goodbye to Togo. We never felt goodbye. Instead when we returned home, we talked about learning more French and talked about when we would be returning. Our children returned to their normal schedules with a new appreciation for the water that comes out of the tap every time we turn it on, or for the urgent care facility that is just down the street. The ripple effect of our visit is still extending out. Our children got to touch the other side of the world and shared God's love with new friends. This has opened up their imaginations and dreams and goals, and placed a greater importance on giving back and making the world a better place. Our experience in Togo is something we will carry in our hearts and continue to be reminded that God's love and goodness is for everyone, no matter the borders.
Author ~ Jessica Chaon