“Now that I’ve seen I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead.” Brooke Fraser
I recently had my vision more expanded through my first foray into South America. Colombia, specifically. Having become smitten with the assorted Asian cultures great opportunity has allowed me to experience I welcomed this trip to parts unknown (at least to me). As our organization, Hope For the Silent Voices has been primarily focused on impacting young lives in the Southeast Asian region and a sliver of Europe; a trip to Cartagena, Colombia with old travel pal, Trager Watson seemed a great way to expand the mission geographically. As Trager’s passion for the orphans of the world overlaps with the charge of HFSV, I set out in search of such children and particularly those who are suffering by the grim hand of abuse and trafficking. For this road trip I didn’t have to learn another new language as Spanish is already wrapped up and somewhat neatly and fluently packaged for me. Another testament to my father’s “recommendation” I learn another language. In spite of my attempts to pay as little attention as possible to my Spanish teachers in high school (unless we were learning slang or “dirty” words) good teaching must have entered my brain. Or perhaps it was osmosis. Whatever the case, I am quite grateful today as language proficiency has followed me as I wander out into the corners of the world in search of those children neglected and discarded by their culture.
What is remarkable is how the twistedness of man’s mind doesn’t stop at continental borders. Man is constantly crossing assorted boundaries in search of new adventure, new quests and unfortunately; new victims. And worldwide, the younger the victim the higher the price.
We were able to spend time with a great organization in Cartagena, Colombia named Restaurar. They are certainly an organization in the trenches of the battle against the abuse and trafficking of children. We were told of boats that would pull into the harbor and children who would be sold to the boat owners. Some of these boats coming from as far away as China or Russia.
Restaurar has established a learning center and a daily safe haven for many children who have been rescued or brought out of situations of neglect or abuse. But don’t be fooled to think this is only prevalent in lands far away. If you are reading this you are most likely in a developed country and one in which this situation is certainly occurring at this moment. So I beg of you, don’t just read words for the information. Do something about it! Everyone truly deserves the opportunity to be treated like a human being and those of us who can help have a moral responsibility to do so.
I often marvel at how at uniquely wired all of us are and the roads we pursue to leave that lasting impact or make that mark on the world or to have some sort of legacy. But what is just as wild (in a make-sense sort of way) are the people who wander across our paths while we are in the midst of doing what we were born to do. In so many corners of the globe I have met the most intriguing individuals living and breathing what they found they were created to do. Or at least they are on the journey of finding out what makes them “tick” and what they do with that during the short and precious time they get to breathe as a resident in this big world.
Over the course of my short (but seemingly long) life I continue to encounter people wondering what this life is truly about. What is the purpose? What are we here to do, individually? There are so many offshoots of questions that arise here and it is the life that takes place during this search that makes it so special. I know I have mentioned this before in a posting but the real tragedy is realizing too late, or never beginning to actually seek out the answers to these deeply profound and life-giving questions. Perhaps my deepest regret would be to lie on my death bed and only then begin to wonder what “it” was all about.
This realization has become one of the heartbeats for Hope For the Silent Voices. After having been along for the ride and witnessing life change on the part of trip companions I realized how important it was to facilitate trips to parts unknown for experiences unfathomable and be changed unquestionably. How cool to help people expand the lenses they look at the world through while effecting (hopefully) the lives of countless children and neglected people globally.
Thanks again for stopping by.