Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 7 - Bright Blue Inside and Out

Today was spent back at ACFFC. We split up into four groups. I chose to go with the group to paint a house that the Art Foundation has built for one of the student’s family. We traveled down a path and around a bend to find a 16x16 plywood structure that would soon be home to a family of 9. Yes, NINE! All of their belongings were outside the house waiting to find their home inside the house once painting was done. Some friends from ACFFC already started painting. We jumped right in with rollers and paint brushes. We were painting the house a bright blue color inside and out. No decisions would be made about which color to paint which room since it is only one room. As we started to paint I was reminded that just a couple months back my three children picked out colors for their rooms. Alex picked purple, Luke picked red for the Devils hockey team and Emma Grace picked a bright teal blue. Since Alex and Emma Grace share a room, how lucky are they to have two walls purple and two walls teal blue! If I hadn’t painting this house, I probably never would have thought twice about flipping through the Benjamin Moore samples to pick out paint colors. Not only to pick colors for one room but for multiple rooms. How lucky are we to be able to do this and enjoy the process of decorating.

Throughout our time painting there was this adorable little girl playing peek-a-boo with us from time to time. She simply enjoyed watching us. She was in the space next to us. (Generally I would say in the yard next door but it wasn’t really a yard.) Nothing to do, no soccer game to play, no dance lesson to go to, no birthday party to go to. Just hanging around watching us paint. It was sweet. I think there was maybe a dog, some chickens and a pig in the little yard with her. Yup!

While I was painting this “house” I couldn’t help but again feel like why do some people have so much and some have nothing or VERY little? Nine people will live in this 16x16 plywood room soon to be called house and home. No electricity, no running water, no carpeting or throw rug, no couch to hang out on to watch TV. Let me take a mental inventory of how many couches and TVs I have in my house. Well, right now one couch and 4 TVs. It simply baffles my mind. I feel like I have been sheltered from the world. Why did it take me till I am 40 years old to open my eyes and open my heart? I hope and pray that I go home and I remember every moment of this trip and remember ever stoke of paint I painted on that plywood. I hope and pray that I raise my children to be open to everything and everyone in this world. I don’t want to close my eyes anymore. Now that I know, now that I have bare witness I have no choice but to make some changes in myself and in the way I choose to live my life. In turn I hope and pray that my children learn from me. How can I not try to make a difference?


  1. We love you Gina! You're such an inspiration! You're opening our eyes too! Miss you!

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  3. You are so right! We Americans have NO idea how fortunate we are. I have seen extreme poverty around the world as well. I wish that every American (rich AND poor) could experience what you are experiencing! By no means am I saying that our poor have it easy, but hopefully they would realize that it could be much worse. As for the rich, hopefully this would open their eyes to the plight of the least fortunate of God's children compelling them give of their vast wealth and actually make a difference. After all, how many houses, fancy cars, or boats does one family need? The poor people of Haiti (and elsewhere) are given a 16'x16' structure for a home and believe that it is truly a blessing. Gina - glad that you are feeling better!