Google+

Learning The Meaning of Giving

 

By Whitney Leets

 

Horrific statistics—we hear them every day. It’s not every day when you can be a force against one of the worst global statistics in existence. Nearly 20 million children around the world suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), and it contributes to the death of more than 3.5 million children every year. This past August, I went to Malawi, Africa with PB+J Foods (Peanut Butter & Jesus) in hopes to curb this statistic.

 

Story #6 - Photo 2.Whitney Leets Dancing with Malawian Child

Whitney Leets Dancing with Malawian Child

It’s challenging to explain a place and culture like Africa without experiencing it firsthand. Every parallel or comparison I attempt to draw from an American perspective does not even come close to the amount of devastation, hardship, and unjust situations I witnessed.  You might be thinking, why would a 20 year old college girl leave all familiarity behind—comfortable living, friends, family, and of course, the ever important cell phone reception to go to help people in Africa who she has never met? This question can be answered easily, without hesitation: Alan.

 

After serving in the Nkhoma region for the first week, I was both physically and emotionally exhausted. I remember journaling that Thursday night, frustrated as to what my purpose was here after having served for four days. I knew the goals of the team, but God, why me and not someone else? What do you want to show ME?

 

That next morning, God gave me my divine appointment. We were doing our normal village walks, which consist of talking with the Malawians, praying with them, and being in fellowship with their children through sports and activities. During our closing comments with the villagers, I saw a little boy sitting up against a tree, and was immediately drawn to the severe infection that took over his right leg. I felt the immediate need to grab Stan Smith, founder of PB+J, to go and talk to the little boy with me. The 18-month child was overwhelmed with pain, and had been living with these horrible feelings for the last 3 months due to an accidental burn from a cooking fire. With no ability to make a 40-mile roundtrip to Nkhoma Hospital on foot, Alan was left to fight off the burn and resulting infection. I was able to take Alan and his mother to the hospital, and Alan was able to be registered and have the first medical check-up of his life. His injury was cleaned, bandaged, and was to be treated with internal medication. I thought to myself—wow, God has really shown me why I’m here! Then, like God always does, He goes above and beyond in meeting your expectations. During the medical check-up, doctors noticed that Alan was running a fever. After further testing, Alan was found to be positive for Malaria. Malaria, a disease that is completely treatable, is one of the number one killers of children in villages because children have weak immune systems and do not have the means to naturally combat the illness. This was my “aha!” moment—my moment of realization that I am having a direct impact on the lives of these people.

 

Want to know the craziest part? Saving Alan’s life cost 84 cents. Transportation, hospital registration, check-up, treatment of injury, malaria test, antibiotics, and malaria medication. Eighty four cents.

 

 

Whitney Leets Playing with Malawian Children.

Whitney Leets Playing with Malawian Children.

No amount of words, tears, or emotions can articulate the effect Malawi had on my life. How do you live knowing someone else is alive because of you? You can argue that ‘anyone’ could have seen Alan’s leg and helped save his life. But, I would like to argue that you have missed the point. God knew I needed Alan as much as he needed me. God gave me the eyes to see what no one else was able to see and experience in that village on August 9th, 2013.

 

After much reflection and prayer, it is because of experiences like the one I had with Alan that I decided to forego the opportunity of studying abroad in Madrid this semester, and felt lead to work for PB+J part-time. I have learned the meaning of giving, and cannot picture my life without Malawi as an integral part of it.

 

Malawi—this  ‘alternate universe’ – created at first what seemed to be an uncomfortable disconnection, but quickly become everything I wish my life at home could embody. Amidst the many devastating problems that exist, Malawi will always be a symbol of peace, simplicity, happiness, redemption, and God’s undying love and compassion. My Malawi will always be Alan.

To Join PB + J helping the Children of Malawi Please visit:   http://pbjfoods.org/donate/

 

,

REQUEST INFORMATION

Entertainment

Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Co-Star in WWI Docudrama

  The Promise DVD Review by Kam Williams Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Co-Star in WWI Docudrama It's Eastern Turkey in 1914, which is where we find druggist Mikael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac) plying his trade in his half-Armenian/half-Turkish village where Christians and Muslims get along swell. The ambitious, young apothecary would really rather be a doctor, so he strategically courts a neighbor (Angela Sarafyan) from a relatively-wealthy … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance your home, you need to do it ASAP. If choosing to wait too much longer, homeowners across the … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide

  Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide by Amy Lignor   Much like the political realm, there will always be debates and disagreements when it comes to the technological realm—especially when it comes to your health versus the almighty cellphone. Now, it is a fact that communication in the 21st century literally brought about a revolution. Mobile devices are being used and will remain at the top of “must have” lists for all ages for … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt

  Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt Any hunter will tell you the most important choices to make when going for that ultimate successful hunt comes from the little things. Yes, the guns, the location for the hunt, the clothing that’s best for the winter and/or summer hunt – all of these things are on the hunter’s ‘must-buy’ list. But there is one other thing that is just as important: the binoculars. As you slowly develop … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017

  Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   Okay…we all know that football is America’s favorite sport. Or…is it? NASCAR has a wide following. People still love to go to the ballpark in the lazy summer days to watch a Yankee hit a homerun. There are those who love to practically melt in the summer watching the Williams’ sisters prove that tennis is a ‘cool’ sport. And, there are gazillions of soccer fans all over the globe … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Is Social Media Still Growing?

  Is Social Media Still Growing? by Amy Lignor   It was in 1999, Bill Gates wrote a book titled, “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” Within these pages, the man who became the computer world’s wizard made massively bold predictions that, at the time, sounded ridiculous and outrageous to those who read them. But when you look at how the social media realm has grown over the past few decades, it is important to take note that not only … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too!

  Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too! by Amy Lignor   Most children (and adults, too) will either roll their eyes or sigh when, while speaking about vacation locations, the word “learning” just happens to be mentioned. Yes, it is a fact that school trips take all of us during our younger years to everything from museums to libraries to historic locations in order to teach us things we should know. But when thinking about your … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]