Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sen. Brownback: "Serving God, Saving Humanity"

Sen. Sam Brownback writes at InsideCatholic:
A few years ago, I met a woman I will never forget. Sally Savery was a waitress in Wamego, Kansas, who had recently gone through a divorce and bankruptcy. Through a twist a fate, she had met a missionary from Brazil and was inspired by the woman's story to travel back with her. After saving up the money to travel to Brazil, Sally worked at the mission, serving local poor children.

When Sally returned home, her life had changed forever. She resolved to raise money for those poor children and returned to Brazil a year later to continue serving them. Through Sally, those children received medical care, better food, love, and encouragement. But through those children, Sally saw her own life in a new light.

I can speak to something similar. In 2003, I visited the refugee camps in Darfur, Sudan. The refugees I met were victims of the brutal war of extermination the Sudanese government continues to wage on its citizens. The children I met -- seemingly at peace and full of joy, despite the devastation -- amazed me. They sang and danced and were joyful and smiling, teaching me a great lesson: Joy is possible even in the face of unthinkable evil.

Those images and those faces have stayed with me. You can't come back from a trip like that without realizing how much you have compared with those who are suffering. Your heart grows larger, with a greater capacity to love.

Once you see it, you realize you've got to do something. This is why I encourage people to take "impact trips" to parts of our country or the world where there is hardship. While foreign aid is vital and necessary, Americans taking impact trips can make a great difference, for others and for themselves.


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