Our agency has just finished up with two site inspections from two different overseeing organizations. Inspections are a ‘beautiful’ thing you know. They keep an organization in line and on their toes. When you’re running an agency and in the middle of a site inspection (or preparing for an upcoming one), it dominates your thoughts. I guess I should say, it dominates my thoughts.
We got through them both, but the final ‘verdict’ on how we faired won’t occur until weeks from now.
As I was sitting at my desk thinking about the experience, my eyes drifted to the picture that is posted right in front of me on my corkboard. It’s a picture of a very special young lady in an orphanage in Matugga, Uganda. Her name is Patience and she’s 16 years old. By Ugandan standards, she’s not likely to be adopted and she’s unable to be adopted and brought to the United States (as she’s past the age limit). She’s lived at the orphanage for quite some time. My wife, Debbie, and I started to support her financially this past year. Our support enables Patience to attend and live at a Boarding School, so that she can receive a better education than some of the other local children. She also has the opportunity to pursue a chosen career path. Patience is great with looking after younger children.
Here’s what happened though. During the past several weeks while I was steadily focused on those site visits, I completely forgot about Patience. I could accurately say that I didn’t think about her once. I felt awful…shame on me.
It’s so easy to forget important matters when you are completely focused on attaining a goal or completing a task.
It’s so easy to forget young people that live in another country over 7,700 miles away…in an orphanage…with no parents…even when you support them.
Our life in the United States, the greatest country on the planet, is a truly privileged one. It’s easy for us to forget that also. I really believe that everyone should have the opportunity to visit a country outside the U.S.
I’ve moved that picture of Patience down a bit on my corkboard. It’s right smack in the middle now. She’s staring me in the face with that bright smile of hers. It’s not so easy to forget to look at her now. I still have to remember to pick up my head and look forward. I still have to remember that there are more important things than the work that fills my mind and saps my energy each day.
There’s this teenager in Uganda who is so easy to forget about because she’s so very far away.
My hope in 2015 is that she’ll be hard to forget.