Today, while reflecting over how incredible it is to be involved in the life of purely hoping to survive on the generosity of others, an email came through to my account. For those of you who don’t know, to keep the Voices4Peru Private School open during the last year and a half, I drained the rest of my inheritance that my grandfather left for my mother. She passed away prior to my grandmother, and so the generous amount of money was passed on directly to the next of kin. Through those months of lacking funds every month, I would pay the rest of the expenses for Voices4Peru Programs out of that fund. The fund dried at the end of last year.
The transition of changing from knowing that I would make it through the month to not knowing how I would survive without moving into the streets became very real and alarming. Its easy for individuals to say that they serve their God by helping others, (something that I could always say), when there was always a source of income. I know of a few Pastors that claim to be serving their God yet if it weren’t for the large paycheck coming in for their multi-millon dollar homes and expensive cars, they’d be off looking for a professional career elsewhere. The idea of just living to share the message of desperation that comes from those marginalized by poverty because you love is another story. The mere act of serving to advocate, fight, and stand up for those who are struck hard by poverty just because you know its what Jesus wants of you is acting out your belief and placing your words to action.
It is one thing to say that you love those who are poor but its another thing to be willing to be poor to love the poor. How are we poor? That is only between the One that made you and you. I cannot say that one person doesn’t love the poor because he or she brings in $15,000 a month, but I can only say what I know to be true. I had to become completely broke in my financial life to realize that to serve the poor, I must have nothing, and nothing is what I know have.
What a feeling. What an emotion. What a challenge. What a fear. However, in this, somehow, there is a peace that comes from deep within. I can’t explain it. I have no health insurance and I have no savings account. I have no plan for how or what I will do when I get old, (some say I’ve arrived), yet, its okay.
I have no idea how to defend myself when a gun is put to my head like it was on March 04. I have no idea how I escaped the bullet being discharged from the gun of the mafia gang member that stole everything I had. Yet, if its for the cause, if its to bring justice to the poor and needy, then let’s bring this on.
In all of this, I was reflecting on this entire journey this morning. An email came through from a generous individual from Iowa. A young man with a beautiful family gave a generous monetary gift to assist with the end of the month deficit that we still had with the school. Without the generosity of others, we would have had to close the school for the month of September. This gift was so graciously appreciated and I wrote back to my friend, thanking him for the generosity and for thanking him that he would remember someone from years ago of high school.
Perhaps its old age, or perhaps the stress of life, but I had forgotten some things about our friendship, to which he was so kind to remind me.
He wrote back….
I had forgotten. My senior year of high school I volunteered for one year at my old elementary school. Wanting to be a teacher, I selected to be involved in a course at my high school that allowed us the opportunity to work or volunteer in the area of study that we would acquire at a university level. It was for only one semester if I recall well, and enjoying it so much, I asked my school professors and staff if I could stay on for the completion of the year, to which I did. Now, looking back into the memories that of that year, many of them are vague, however I do remember tutoring students, taking time to talk with them at the back of the classroom during break, and conducting a short play for the classroom. We had auditions, and we acted out an entire play. I cannot remember it was about, but I do remember involving many of the class members. Under the supervision of the classroom teacher, I had learned how to serve others.
A little message. A little encouragement. The time that this person took to write to me last week to let me know that somehow we had helped each other along the journey of life meant more than anything.
I had forgotten about the opportunities here and there that must have occurred to speak positive encouragement into the lives of others, but as I received the email from a friend, I must have made the effort. More than a flashbulb memory from the past, I realized that although I didn't follow the professional coursework to become a public educator, I have in a way continued to head in the journey of sharing with others.
Now as the years go on, I see a small private school here, nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. A safe refuge of this place called a school is where many children find safety from the haunting realities of modern day child slave labor.
We never know how or when our dreams nor our past experiences will serve us in this day moving forward, but be assured, God will use every single event that has ever occurred in your past to be part of reaching who He has created you to be and to fulfill the very purpose to which you are called. Daniel M. Klopp
Advocate 4 Marginalized individuals & communities globally
Advocate & Journalist
Die Daily to Self
Legacy to leave.