When Mothers Without Borders approached me about going to Africa, I told them I was not interested. For me Africa was a world away, “and besides,” I thought, “I am too busy.” Imagine my surprise when I found myself on a plane to Zambia in June 2007.
One of the first children I met was Kennedy, the little boy you see in the painting. At three years old he has lost both of his parents to AIDS and was found living alone with his six year old brother and ten year old sister. When I thought of those three children struggling to survive and the millions of others across Africa in similar circumstances, I felt an overwhelming hopelessness and said to myself, “No amount of money can fix this.”
Later that day while we were filming, Kennedy climbed into the arms of the man portraying the Savior. As I stood watching them, Kennedy turned towards me and our eyes met. At that moment I knew it wasn’t hopeless. I realized that the Savior could fix not only the problems of Africa, but of the whole world…and we can be His hands to do it.
For the first time in my life I felt what Isaiah meant when he said, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces.” To Kennedy and all who struggle to understand why, I promise that God has not forgotten you.
Looking back I realize that my reasons for not wanting to go to Africa are likely the same as yours. We are busy and feel like we cannot make a difference, but I know now that neither is true. We are never too busy to lift another and every good work is known to Him who said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of…these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”