Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mothers Without Borders

Tonight I had the wonderful opportunity to listen to Kathy Headlee speak to our ward relief society and speak with her after wards.
She is the founder of Women Without Borders, an international organization that offers hope and help in a holistic way to orphaned children throughout the world. Her work has taken her to Romania, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other places throughout the world.
Now, I have always wanted to be able to help "make a difference" as we commonly say about going out into society and trying to make it a better place. I sat through the presentation and was touched but at the same time I thought to myself, "But I can't really do anything. I have a husband in school and a two year old to take care of. I can't up and go over to Zambia and I'm no Daddy Warbucks either."
I have gotten to a place where I generally refuse to let myself feel too much emotional about these presentations that talk about all the hard, horrible things going on in developing countries because it rends my heart to think I do not have a solution in the least degree and I know if I dwell on it, no good seems to come from it. This however was to be a bit of a different experience. Two things she said during the presentation that I want to mention:
-Seek to be aware of the defining moments in your life.
-Pay attention to what gets your attention. What do find yourself drawn to in the news and in life."The Worth of s Soul" by Liz Lemon Swindle. Kathy's husband was actually the model for the painting and Liz Lemon Swindle went out to Zambia to do this painting.

Well after the presentation I got up and just stood and stretched a minute, said hello to a few people and then suddenly she was at my left side and apparently right where I was turned into the meet and greet. So I listened quietly as people came up to talk to her and tell her thank you, ask about the program and about her. She stood closely next to me the entire time and I thought, "well, don't you have anything intelligent to say to her, Deborah?" Nope. So as silence fell from the last person who had engaged her in conversation I fumbled asked about the educating they're doing over there in the schools. I was asked a bit about the main challenges of education in the remote villages, who the teachers were etc.
More disarming than anything else was just how incredibly sincerely simple she was about the whole thing and about conversing with me. Once I stopped freaking out about trying to talk on her level so to speak, I had a very sweet conversation with her and she said some things I definitely needed to hear.
One of the things she said that I am grateful for is that she realizes that the Lord loves and cares about a little child in Provo just as much as one in Zambia and the reverse is true. There are things we can do here and now. She talked about how she use to take her children to shelters for battered women and children and throw the children there birthday parties. She said she was always just looking for service she and her children could provide.
When she first decided to do an international project people thought she was crazy. As she continues to do work people will ask her about her qualifications and she just raises her shoulders, half smiles and says, "I was a mom."
I just love her and hope anyone that has any time or means to volunteer will look into it and remember also the changes you can make here. She told me, "Its all about your relationship with Him and learning yours talents and skills. I was 'just a mom' with no college degree, my life didn't go that way and I needed to learn from him what my talents were and what I could do. I also had to learn, and its taken years, to really trust Him. Some people thought I was crazy. But I knew, even though I would fight some things for months, that I had to do it. I still get into situations where I have no previous knowledge of what to do and I just have to trust. Keep an open heart, keep pouring out your desires and you will learn." Let me just say it again-I just love her. Wonderful, wonderful woman.
I came home and Johann and I talked about what we can do to start serving more in the community. We have an idea and hopefully I'll be able to post about that soon t00. =)


Joshua and Rachel said...

I love that picture. That would have been a great meeting to go to.

Brooke Self said...

I didn't know they were responsible for that painting as well! I actually purchased a print of it about a year ago. Very cool. And that's such a tender idea- to throw birthday parties. She has such a good heart.