Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Meet Yet Another Blogger...

The tension at the intersection was palpable. All traffic had come to a halt in the sweltering heat of early November summer as stern-faced policemen prepared the way for the president and his motorcade to pass.

The year was 1970, the location was Lima, Peru, and urgency seemed to emanate from a gold-colored International Harvester Travelall station wagon that sat marooned in the traffic jam. Inside the car sat an American couple, and the tension seemed to elevate with each gasp from the woman…who was in the advanced stages of labor.

It’s a good thing the Americans were missionaries, because the situation certainly called for someone who knew how to pray. And pray they did…until finally the motorcade was gone, the road opened up, and they set new speed records to the Anglo-American Clinic in the San Isidro neighborhood of the city. The American lady was rushed to the delivery room, where moments later I arrived on the scene – blissfully unaware of the drama I had helped cause.

That was 38 years ago today. Since that time, I’ve lived in Peru, Costa Rica, the United States, Brazil and the United States all over again. Having grown up as the son of missionaries and later served as a missionary myself, I feel a real connection to people in developing countries who struggle daily against overwhelming poverty. After all, they were my playmates when I was growing up.

Today I’m blessed with four healthy children (two teenagers, a “tween” and a right handsome young man who just turned 9). I’m constantly reminded of just how privileged we are to live in a comfortable home where our worst weather-related fear is whether or not the cars will get dings from the hail traditionally dropped by our famous Midwest storms – so unlike the fear that grips poor families’ hearts when it rains…a fear born from the knowledge that, when the rains are over, their houses and belongings may not be there any more.

I’ve worked for Children International for the past five years. What we do with the help of our sponsors is truly incredible. In an era when few employees stay with a company more than five years, I’m looking forward to many more fruitful years of working with CI – and with you – as we continue to bring real change to people’s lives around the world.

Helping families can sometimes lead you to be in unusual places at unusual times. This photo was taken while visiting a sponsored family in Santiago, Dominican Republic, during Tropical Storm Noel. The hillside was steep and the rain had turned the ground to slick, soupy mud. One misstep and I would have had a long, fast trip down the hill!

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