Happy Birthday, LWB!
We must never underestimate the importance of one moment, one word, one deed in the life of another human being. – Erwin McManus
This week, LWB is celebrating our sixth anniversary of helping children in China. When I close my eyes and think of all the children whose lives we have touched, all the volunteers who have given their time, all the supporters who have donated essential funds, all the families who have opened their hearts to adoption…..I am filled with both awe and the deepest gratitude.
The reality is that six years ago, I didn’t have a clue about what was involved with running a charity in another country. I didn’t know what it took to open a school, or start a foster care program, or set up a medical mission. I knew nothing about 990s, or foreign relations, or negotiating hospital contracts. All I knew was that I had walked into an orphanage in 2003 and had my heart broken by the number of children living in such need. All I knew was that my own life was blessed with the joy of family and love while millions of children around the world were living as orphans. And once I realized the enormity of what being orphaned really meant to a child, there was no way to go back to life as I had known it. And so my friends and I stepped out in faith to make a difference in their lives and never could have dreamed of where we would be today.
While I can now say that I do know about running a company, building a healing home, arranging for surgeries, and the hazards of trying to send a container ship to China (don’t do it), my heart feels the exact same way it did on the day I walked into my first orphanage. Today, while I open my full pantry, while I snuggle with my kids to read them a story, while I wake up feeling that life is filled with possibilities…..children are being abandoned, children are going hungry, children are waking up sick and alone. But what I have learned with absolute certainty over the last six years is that we can help them. We can change their future, by reaching out with action to show them just how important their lives are. I believe nothing is impossible when love is involved.
So thank you, on behalf of everyone at LWB, for helping us over the last six years to change the lives of thousands of children in need. We have known great joys, deep sadness, real frustrations, true miracles. I know our lives have been changed as much as the children’s. It is my hope that until every child around the world has at least one person who believes in them, LWB can continue doing its small part to change the lives of those in China. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once wisely said, “take the first step in faith, even if you never get to see the whole staircase.” Until every child knows love, we’ll just keep climbing.
Amy Eldridge is the Executive Director of Love Without Boundaries. She is the mother of seven, grandmother of one, and claims to own the world’s largest labradoodle.