Timor: Part II

I’ve got a dream, a big dream. It certainly hasn’t come to fruition yet, but it will. I can say this with confidence because, in reality, it’s not my dream. It’s God’s. To really give you insight into what my dream is all about, I need to tell you about someone else’s nightmare.

Maria

Maria

On January 27th, 2006, I met a beautiful mother named Maria. She introduced me and my friends to her kids, a ragamuffin bunch who each shared her gorgeous complexion and big brown eyes. The kids were pretty shy, but they warmed up to us after awhile.

All of them, except one little girl.

Her name was Akalina and she was seven. She wouldn’t look us when we tried to engage her. She didn’t smile when we gave her a little gift.  She wouldn’t talk when we asked her questions.

And that’s when Maria told us their story.

Akalina, front right

Akalina, front right

Just a fortnight earlier, Akalina and her baby brother had been really sick. Living in a little village with no health care, no doctor and no form of transport, Maria had bundled the two children up and carried them all the way to closest clinic. It wasn’t a walk that took just hours. It took her a couple of days.

Tragically, time was against them, and the little boy passed away just as Maria reached the town she’d set out for. A lack of clean drinking water and a bad case of diarrhoea had cut short this tiny life. So traumatised by the death of her brother, Akalina hadn’t spoken a word since his death, refused to go to school and cried almost incessantly throughout the night.

Akalina

Akalina

Thankfully, she had been able to get treatment at the clinic, but it wasn’t just sickness she had to worry about. At seven years old, she weighed just 13 kilograms, the weight of a healthy three-year-old in her country. That month, her village had already lost three precious children for the want of clean water and enough food.

———————————-

Maria, Akalina and their little family don’t live on the other side of the world. They live in a tiny village, just outside Dili, the capital of East Timor. One of Australia’s closest neighbours. Just a 45-minute flight from Darwin.

Absolutely shocked by the extent of poverty in a nation so close to our own, I returned to Brisbane after my trip with a lot of questions for this God who says he is kind and loving. I couldn’t comprehend the grief of Akalina, I couldn’t comprehend knowing that her brother’s death was just one of the 30,000 children that die each day from preventable poverty related causes.

Village kids

Village kids

And it took me awhile to get there, but one day I realised that like me, our God cannot comprehend the daily death toll of 30,000 innocent children. Just as heartbroken, He’s been dreaming big to put an end to the big problem that is extreme poverty.

My dream is to be part of His solution.

My dream is to see mothers experience the joy of watching all of their children grow up. My dream is to see villages flourishing, communities transformed, nations returning to peace, and the love of Jesus shared in word and in deed. My dream is to see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Smiles

Smiles

Yes it’s a big dream. Yes it hasn’t come to fruition. But I am so excited to see God unfold his plan for my life as I dream this dream with Him.

Taken from my Mother’s Day presentation at church.

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