It's 11:00 in the morning and I'm just now watching the American Idol "Idol Gives Back" episode from last night. Oh my gosh. I'm so thankful that a tv show realized its influence and finally did something with it. In funny and heart wrenching ways they brought so much exposure to the issues of poverty, AIDS, illiteracy, malaria and much more. Of course, those of you who know me well know that I am sitting here Sobbing, Sniffling and otherwise Wiping My Nose. Only a heartless grinch wouldn't as Josh Groban sings "You Lift Me Up" surrounding by the sweet faces of the African Childrens Choir. Are you kidding me? And the cynical side of me says that this is an intentionally tear-jerking move by the producers. But if it gets folks to send money in, so be it.
As I watch Simon and Bryan and Carrie travel for a few days in Africa, I am grateful for their presence. But I am even more grateful for the folks who are going and staying and interacting. I think of my sweet E-Rancher Anna and her six months over there making a difference in the lives of so many young African women as she discipled them and helped them to become leaders in their community. I think of Jim Thomas and his tireless efforts for AIDS awareness and fighting for real health policy changes that will benefit those millions of folks in Africa and here. I think of Nathan and how he has used his God-given gift of photography to bring images and stories to life. I'm grateful for Bill and Jenny and how every year they coordinate Carolina Hope Fest, a music festival that brings financial support to Beacon of Hope (an organization that helps women learn income-producing skills and has also developed programs to support communities with AIDS prevention and management.)
These are the real heroes, the folks who give of their time, energy, emotions, and heart so unselfishly. Which begs the question: what the heck am I doing?