One of the things that brings me the greatest joys in life is connecting people. Yesterday I was able to help a single mom in our church get a job. I just made a few calls and voila, she had a new job! Sweetness. Last week it was Jorge, a boy in our church who is deaf and mute, who we were able to help.
Last year I was totally shocked to learn that he is 12 years old and has never been to school. I told myself that I would do whatever it takes to get him into school. Part of the problem is that there are no schools for the deaf in our area. The other part of the problem is that his parents, like most Paraguayans, don't know how to take the initiative to break into the system of social work and government scholarships. Paraguay is full of red tape and each step taken can be exhausting. Just take this small example:
I set up an appointment with Jorge and his parents to meet with the director of the foundation in our area that helps children with the schooling expenses. They had always heard of the organization, but had never inquired about whether their son would qualify. They arrived first and the sign on the door said that the secretary was down the street at the laboratory. Instead of going to the lab, they called me and told me that no one was there and what should they do. I told them to stay put and I'd be there in 2 minutes to guide them to the lab. They were about ready to go home!
After Jorge was accepted into the foundation for special needs children, we got an interview with the school for the deaf. We drove an hour away to the school and after convincing the Nun that they should accept him even though he was over the 10 year old boarding school age, I was thrilled when they finally enrolled little Jorge. He was the happiest boy on the planet when I bought him his first school uniform on our way home. It just warmed my heart knowing that he was finally going to be able to learn proper sign language, read lips and eventually speak!
So, we are grateful for the connections we have through our role at the radio station, so we can help connect needs with resources. At times I know my assertiveness is a detriment and a cultural offense to polite Paraguayans, but when it comes to connecting, I (Julie) am grateful that I can knock down doors when I need to. I just love helping and the more I can build bridges in our community, the more opportunities we have to share God's love. People don't care about what you know until they know how much you care. We pray that God would continue to fill us with his compassion to serve others. '
So, the question is, how can God use you to connect a resource to a need this week?