Some people have asked me, and I know many others are thinking - So why Africa? Actually, I have never asked myself that question. Since I was a small child, my entire family have participated in the educational and spiritual raising of children from developing countries through the sponsorship program of Compassion International.
As the youngest of three girls, I watched as both of my sisters was allowed to choose a child to sponsor. When I became five years of age, the honor was bestowed upon me. At that time, Compassion would send a grouping of children who needed sponsors and we were allowed to choose one.
I remember distinctly how I felt when I saw one child with a birthdate listed as "Unknown." That broke my heart. I immediately knew she would be the one I would write to and become my friend. She agreed to celebrate her birthday with me on my birthday. We were long distance pen pals who happened to grow up together while being worlds apart - both literally and figuratively. She lived in Africa!
Since that first sponsorhip, I have chosen children from Africa, and more times than not, they have been girls. I feel drawn to that part of the world from a youthful time of love and friendship. Just as my mind has grown up in knowledge of the intertwined relationship between illiteracy and poverty, so has my heart grown in the passion to somehow help.
It should be no surprise then that My Dream I have within me resonates almost to the beat of the African drums.
photo from flickr treyreynolds