A couple months after Jack passed away, we were told that a library was being built in Africa. Large donations were made and we were told that Jack's picture would hang at the front of the library.
This Wednesday, Joanne had a special Enrichment night in her ward where they would talk about the Library that had been built as well as collect book donations to fill it's shelves.
Shelly (Coby's cute aunt) told everyone about the conditions in Africa and how amazing these people were. They were humble in every sense of the word. They usually got one meal per day and never once did you hear a complaint come from their lips. She said that they are CONSTANTLY smiling and laughing. For more information or how you can help go to www.kenyakeys.org
I love this picture of this beautiful little girl. I loved that she was holding a book that said Little Lamb. That reminds me more of Jack than anything. We would always call Jack our little "lammy". Oh, how I miss that boy!
She said that these children loved LOVED to read and instead of asking for food or candy or money even, the children would beg for books. I thought that was truly amazing. They want to learn. It brings them such happiness. Then I look back and think about my life and consider some of the things that I consider important. I have the world at my disposal...sort of. My life is a whole lot more convenient and lavish even in comparison to them.
They told the story of the man and the starfish told in a conference talk and I thought I'd share. See below:
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"
The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."
"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."
Wow, how truly blessed we are! In Africa it's quite common for one or MORE of your CHILDREN to die at an early age. When we lost Jack, the Lord in all his graciousness sent thousands of people to help us. A "comfort kit", a loaf of bread, flowers, trees, a warm shoulder to cry on and the list could go on and on. We were NEVER alone. HE never left us alone. He's eased our burdens and made us stronger. I think of all the tremendous blessings we received and how hard it was, is and continues to be every. single. day. Then I think of the mothers in Africa and how they must feel when they lose a child. They don't have all the comforts we take for granted and in most cases they don't have the comfort that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring. They don't know about the Plan of Salvation or that through the Atonement and power of the sealing power through covenants made in the temple, we KNOW that Jack's not only still alive, but that he's ours FOREVER. Without that light and knowledge I don't know how I could go on. I don't know I could breathe.
Tonight, I am humbled at the sight of these AMAZING people!