Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I have a confession. I am terrified to go to a developing country. There are a couple of reasons for my fear, and they both are all about me.

My only current valid reason for traveling to a developing country would be as part of a short-term mission trip, likely through my church.  These opportunities come up every few months at our church, and I have avoided partaking because I am afraid that I would make a mission trip about me. I am not totally sure that my motivation for a trip would be to impact the lives of others, versus making me feel better about myself by the sacrifices I would have made by making such a trip. You know, it's the "hey, look at me, doing good, on the other side of the world" kind of thing I am afraid of.

The other reason for my fear is that I am terrified of feeling like a life that is so different than mine, void of all of my necessities and conveniences, needs to be improved or changed. Sadly, I am a fixer by nature - I want to fix things, situations and people. And even more sad, is that when I can't change things out of my control, I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and then I obsess because I don't want to fail.

So, that's messed up me.
Then, there is my cousin, Louie, and his wife, Gina. Totally not stifled by their own issues and fears, like me.
Louie and Gina recently moved their family to Dhaka, Bangladesh, because he is a diplomat in the U.S. Embassy and has a 14-month position within the Department of Justice to the State Department.  
I used to babysit him! And now, he is an Ambassador!
Louie and his family taking home their Christmas tree in Bangladesh.
They have only been there a few months, since September of this year, and immediately, they noticed that the families of the Dhaka slums were going through their days hungry. Gina and her friends acted.

Gina started Thrive, which is an organization that is already helping to feed the children of Dhaka. Their current project is rooted in the Korail Slum, Dhaka's largest. While they are researching sustainable methods to meet this need, they are also working on a smaller scale of getting one healthy meal a day into 250 school kids. Every week, Gina and her team search for the best prices for the food they provide and hand deliver the food to the school.
Thrive buys farm fresh eggs for 6.9 Tk each (equivalent to about a dime) on a Monday.
They wash them, rinse them, and boil them so they are ready to deliver to
250 smiling children on Tuesday morning.
Get this. With recent incoming donations to Thrive, these 250 children are already guaranteed at least one healthy meal a week until the end of May 2013.
The children in the school, located in Dhaka. 
All donations to Thrive go straight to feeding the children, which obviously helps them to better learn and grow. Thrive makes ZERO profit. Every single cent/taka goes directly to the purchasing of food. Thrive's members cover all overhead, administrative, distribution, preparation, and fuel costs.  Pretty cool feature of a grassroots effort.
I know many of you will want to know how you can help. Thrive needs your donations! It has set up some pretty cool ways to do so in someone's honor, and it can all be done online! A perfect Christmas gift for someone this year!

For every $50 donation, Thrive will feed 250 elementary school children living in the Korail Slums with a meal in your honor or in the honor of someone of your choice. They will take pictures to show you how they spent your money and the joy it brought!

For every $250 donation, they will feed 250 elementary school children living in Dhaka with 5 meals in your honor or in the honor of a someone of your choice. Again,  lots of pictures to share, and you will receive a special thank you gift straight from Dhaka.
If those donation levels aren't doable, especially around the holidays, then give what you can, and be sure to like their Facebook page to keep in touch and hear the awesome stories of how Thrive is blessing the children of Bangladesh!

Today, I am thankful that Louie and Gina took a leap and are in Dhaka, where they are doing what they can do, one day at a time, to impact the lives of others. I hope you will help their effort in any way that you can... pray, give, and share what Thrive is doing! It will make a huge difference for those 250 children.

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