Ambassadors of Hope

Ambassadors of Hope

The village of Malake seems so distant now when only a few short days ago we were answering a prayer. In the past days, I have thought often of our contribution to the village and the lives we were able to touch. I am proud of every one of you, of the willingness with which you gave and the generosity of amount. Thank you.

It is almost unimaginable in the western world to think of children without such basics as school chairs and reading books. We easily, almost without thought shift our paradigms back to the reality of our materialistic lives upon returning from far away.

Those who were on our second Fiji expedition were able to witness first hand the immense gratitude of the village for your gifts. For those who made the initial visit let me explain. Through the financial gifts of our group we were able to purchase 24 school chairs, a photo copier, and a supply of toner and paper for the village. It was suggested that we inform the village of our gifts in advance of bringing them so as not to embarrass them by being unprepared for the acceptance of them. When we arrived we were led to a special ceremonial area they had built since our first visit, complete with tin roof and hand woven mats. We were blessed with special flower leis. The women of the village not only wove the special mats which were given to Ridlon and me as a thank you, but they also made cakes and tea for us. We went to the school where the children performed dances and songs they had prepared. Afterwards, they took the opportunity to try out the new chairs and then, hoisting them over their heads, ran off to the classrooms to put them in their new homes. The headmistress explained with tears in her eyes that we had answered their prayers. It was quite an emotional event. At the end, Ridlon asked to speak with the student who was academically at the top of the school. He proceeded to then take off his watch and present it to the student with encouragement to continue his education.
However, while it is nice to provide the material things that are desperately needed for the village, we created so much more. We created a global connection between our worlds and realized that all people have hopes and dreams, fears and doubt. We established trust and respect between cultures. We furthered the cause of hope and created friendships. While those friendships were physically brief they will forever be special memories.

I would like for everyone to remember what it felt like to have the higher purpose of Ambassador of Hope during our time in Malake and to make that purpose one that is carried with you wherever you travel. The world is full of people exactly like you and me though outside appearances attempt to deny that fact. Think of Malake when you see someone in need whether it is in your own town or across the world. Give when you can, give often, and give generously.. because you can. Thank you again for all you did.

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