So there’s this book called Half the Sky that quotes an old Chinese proverb about how women hold up half the sky.
Women hold up the sky, but there are 100 million women missing.
- Missing because in China 39,000 infant girls die each year because parents don’t give them the same medical care that they give their sons.
- Missing because in Pakistan and the Middle East women and girls are doused with kerosene and burned or seared with acid for ‘disobedience.’
- Missing because in some parts of the world if a young man commits a crime, raping his sister is seen as a suitable punishment.
- Missing because governments shrug when impoverished girls are kidnapped and imprisoned in brothels.
- Missing because women lack the access to basic maternity care that we take for granted in the United States. In the U.S, a woman has a 1 in 4800 chance of dying in childbirth. In Niger it’s 1 in 7.
100 million women who are no longer there to hold up their part of the sky.
I read the stories of the women who overcame obstacles to change the world. Obstacles like poverty and lack of education. Obstacles like forced prostitution, kidnapping, and rape. Obstacles like leaking urine and feces because of unrepaired childbirth injuries, and obstacles like cultures that simply consider women less valuable than men. And I wonder: if I were in their place would I share their courage?
I see the need, and I feel the call to do something. To alleviate the suffering, yes. But also to point girls and women to hope–the hope found in our Savior. For our Father has created them to be his daughters and he calls them to come home. He clothes them with dignity and strength, and he longs to rescue and redeem their brokenness. It is only in him that we are made whole.
But what can I do?
That’s where Compassion comes in.
Child sponsorship programs make a difference. Through Compassion, I have the opportunity to make a difference for a child in poverty. Compassion’s church-based child development programs help provide Christian training for children, as well as providing educational opportunities, treatment and training to maintain child health, development of self confidence and social skills, and vocational training. $38 dollars a month transforms the life of a child.
And so, I sponsor a 6 year old girl in Burkina Faso. Because I can make a difference for her. One less shirt to cram in my already stuffed closet–one meal cooking at home instead of eating out. It’s a small price to pay to change a child’s world. I’ll give. I’ll pray. I’ll write.
And I’ll hold up my small piece of the sky so one day she can hold up hers.
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