Most of us commute somewhere on a daily basis, whether it is to work or school. Recently I moved much closer to my job, which makes my commute only a few short minutes every morning. But I’ve found that I take things for granted. Things like transportation, the ability to own a vehicle that gets me to and from various locations in a reliable manner. Being able to be sheltered from the elements while traveling to work/school is common and accepted.
Imagine a different reality. What if you walked everywhere, rain or shine?
What if the distance you traveled was great, but the effort was worth the reward?
In so many countries there isn’t a choice. Public transportation isn’t always an option, and if it is it usually costs something. In rural communities it is not uncommon to see people walking all day long. They don’t complain either because it is a way of life.
When I visited Mawanga this past summer, I observed this every single day we were in the village. And my eyes were opened. ROWAN mainly served widows and orphans who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS in some way. I had the great privilege of meeting Asanansi, my sponsored child who has been orphaned by AIDS. And she was one of the many who lacked options and walked everywhere because she had no choice.
But get this. In one day, she traveled 10-12 miles on foot just to get to and from school. She walks 5-6 kilometers one way, rain or shine, in order to attend classes and gain an education. You see, she goes to a boarding school, but is unable to stay there due to responsibilities at home. So each morning after finishing her chores, she makes the trek to school. There are some days she is late, others she is unable to make it depending on weather and other circumstances that are out of her control.
Asa is a dedicated student, diligent in her studies and committed to excelling in her classes.
And I wanted to do something to help. She never once complained to me, but she shared with ROWAN staff that having a bicycle would be helpful. So I determined to raise whatever funds were necessary to get Asa her bike. As soon as I arrived back home, I enlisted the help of others and got the money together, then sent it to ROWAN to purchase a bicycle for Asanansi.
I can say without reservation, I have never seen a greater impact from a gift I’ve given. When I received the email from Pastor Paul and saw Asa’s wide smile in the pictures, my day was instantly amazing. To be a part of something that seems so small but has such a huge effect in the life of one I love is nothing short of incredible. She was so surprised that her patience had finally paid off and one of her wishes was coming true. This gift will enable her to get to school in a more timely fashion, to be back home quicker to accomplish her tasks and to save her feet from all that walking. I know she will continue to do well in her studies and keep pursuing her dream of becoming a policewoman.
“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
~ Acts 20:35 (NASB)