It’s not often that I get the chance to blog anymore. My time is split between coaching and speaking, running my brand Flourishing Fit Moms, working on my book, running and then of course mommying my 2 kids (Noah 8months old and Sarah 2). But when, like today, that I do get a few minutes to reflect and write, I savour every moment.
As I sit here today my heart feels sore and tired. We have had a rough long weekend with 2 sick kids, plus I’m on an antibiotic myself, but the reason for my heartache is bigger than all this. On Friday afternoon we took our sicklings for a much-needed (cabin fever escape) walk around the block. We do this walk at least twice a week with the kids, so we know our route and surroundings backwards. Yet today, something was different.
We live in an affluent area in Kloof and rarely see beggars apart from those who scrounge through the rubbish bags on Mondays. But as we passed a local restaurant, we were spotted by a young, somewhat desperate, boy (around age 12). He ran up to us, noticing my nativity (or kindness.. I am unsure) and told us his story. We listened but with reserve as he told of his dying grandmother, schooling (his English was flawless) and desperation for help.
I am super trusting by nature, but we’re not the naïve type, especially not H. We rarely give unless we feel led (by God) to do so, or if we know where the money is going. But this instance was so moving. Whether his story was well-practiced or legit, it evoked deep emotion for both H and I. I committed to bringing him some money (/or food) after our walk around the block and he literally dived into my arms to embrace me. This of course brought on the tears. For both of us.
Was this young man poor? YES. Was he in need? YES. Was his story honest? Perhaps not.
The facts were, and still are (we’ve looked into his story a bit), uncertain. He is indeed poor, a beggar perhaps, but probably not an honest one. Would I be honest if I were desperate for something to eat? I’m not convinced.
The reason for my writing this is that occasions such as these move me deeply. I dreamt of him that night, as I did the drunken that dances for cars at the circle near our house, last week. Their stories move me. Change me. In my Varsity days, I spent much of my time in the local communities and then went on to work as a Community Developer for 2 years overseeing the running of a crèche, a hospital project and starting a prison outreach. This was my life. But after our year and a half abroad, I arrived back on SA soil and somehow blocked this part of me out. Protecting myself, I suppose, from the emotion that poverty stirs up in me. But enough is enough.. And so I put onto my 30 by 30 list, to get involved in an NGO this year.
And March saw me to just this. I am now working alongside Lorina Waters, running the Nyusa Project, an incredible program where we get to mentor High School students in Molweni and then send them on to Varsity. The project currently has 10 students at Varsity, 1 of whom graduates this year on the Deans list.
You may not be stirred to support or volunteer for an NGO, but my encouragement to you today, is to find YOUR THING. In what way were you created to support your community? Counselling, hospitality, animal care, childcare? Find your thing. And do it well, Beautiful <3