Sunday, January 10, 2010

Looking for Sunshine in Seattle

Seattle is quite grey this time of year. Many folks go to sunny warm places to escape it. Looking through family pictures, I found these shots taken of Leyla at one of her brother’s soccer games during a much brighter season. She reminds me of liquid sunshine. She is so naturally joyful. And she brings such joy to those around her. Leyla has changed much since she came home last year. She is talking up a storm and is more little girl than baby. The photos are a wonderful way to capture her essence at each fleeting stage of her life.

It is never far from my mind that so many Ethiopian children don’t make it past their first birthday. It is a truly sobering thought. But one that also makes me want to know how to help change that statistic for the better. Looking around our area, I found a great organization called Blue Nile Children’s organization that is working to do just that. Coincidently, Leyla’s birthplace is close to the Blue Nile which is an incredibily beautiful part of the world.

This organization has found a number of ways of bring sunshine into dark situations. They recently went on a medical mission. Providing basic medical care is filling a huge need and light to dire circumstances. You will find more details in their blog which I am following.

This mission started with a rather unlikely friendship between an Ethiopian woman, Selamawit Kifle, and Richard Oslund, a Mason. He helped raise funds for her efforts while he lived. When he died, he honored their friendship by leaving $46,000 in his will to seed the medical mission. Their dream was realized with the recent opening of the clinic. Although when you read their blog, you will see opening a clinic in Ethiopia is not without many challenges.

It is amazing how much sunshine was shared with one woman’s vision and her friend’s support. They inspired others so the sunshine was then multiplied. These people bring light into my life through their efforts and inspire me to find my own ways to help. I look at my lovely daughter’s sunny face and am humbled every day. She is also an amazing source of sunshine I intend to find ways to spread.

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