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Thinking AheadĖLetter from Chaille: Living Well Requires Giving Often
A number of industry professionals met last year at the National Wooden Pallet & Container Associationís annual meeting to discuss an industry-wide service project to impact Africa.
By Chaille M. Brindley
Date Posted: 11/1/2007
†† I can remember it like it was yesterday. My first mission trip to Africa. Only minutes after getting off the plane I was in a car with a complete stranger heading down the road from Nairobi toward Mombasa. The road was beyond disrepair. My driver, an African named Ishmael, was asking me questions about my home while he played chicken with oncoming traffic at speeds in excess of 128 kilometers per hour. Thatís 79 mph for us Americans.
†† Ishmael smiled as he looked over and saw me about ready to rip the arm holds off the door. I was never so scared in my entire life. When I say chicken, I mean serious chicken. Evidently, that is just how people drive in Africa. Thatís kind of surprising given the fact that they are habitually 1-2 hours late to wherever they are supposed to be.
†† Please donít get me wrong. My experience in Africa was life changing, and I want to go back as soon as possible. I really believe that you havenít really lived until you have been to a remote part of Africa. The people smile even when they have no reason to do so. I have never seen so much joy coming from people who have so little. I was challenged to my core by their belief in blessings.
†† Since my first visit in 2004, I have been to Africa a second time and participated in a number of projects to help the poor there, especially well and water projects. Even if you are not a Christian, most people consider Jesus a prophetic teacher who did a lot of good works and said a lot of wise things. Jesus once said, ďIf anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.Ē
†† Jesus recognized the life giving nature of water. His earthly ministry was marked by incredible acts to touch the worse off people around Him. His example shows us the power in giving. Somehow by reaching out to help other people we find that we are the ones that get rescued. Giving produces joy in the giver as much or maybe more than the receiver.
†† My adventure in Kenya allowed me to go into public schools and see conditions that were beyond comprehension. I worked at an orphanage and did various outreach programs to rural schools. One school that I visited had an annual budget that was equivalent to my salary for two months. That included supplies, books, teaching resources, facility costs and teacher salaries.
†† My eyes were forever opened to the disparity in the world. Before my trek into the Kenyan countryside, I never thought of myself as wealthy. Seeing their poverty changed that.
†† If you want a sober reality check, visit www.globalrichlist.com to see where you rank in terms of the richest people in the world. You might be shocked to discover yourself higher on the list than you thought. We all have something to give. It could be your time, your money, your prayers, and your voice.
†† The pallet and lumber industries have an opportunity to make a big difference in one, small part of the world. A number of industry professionals met last year at the National Wooden Pallet & Container Associationís annual meeting to discuss an industry-wide service project to impact Africa. The group developed a planning committee that has come up with a number of projects to help the Karbururi people in Northern Kenya. This includes digging a well, building a water catchment and expanding a school.
†† Led by John Conway of Conway & Robison, a HT certification agency, the group needs to raise $50,000 plus assemble a team of volunteers to actually do the projects in Africa. The mission trip will take place in the summer of 2008 and is a great cause to rally behind as an industry.
†† Industrial Reporting Inc., the publisher of the Pallet Enterprise, is supporting the mission effort. The Brindley family would like to encourage every company in the pallet and lumber industries to consider taking part in this mission in some way. There are a lot of ways to participate, from donating money to sending team members to coordinating a sponsorship drive at your company. Of course, the effort always needs your prayers and word-of-mouth support too.
†† Anyone wanting more information about the trip should contact John Conway at 540/898-4193 or email@example.com. If you would like to receive updates on the projects, you can sign up for the Karbururi Dispatch newsletter by sending your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
†† The Karbururi project would make an excellent Christmas focus if your company or family looks to help others in need during the holiday season. The Kurbururi region is very poor and desperately needs these water resources due to intermittent drought conditions. While it is always good to give where there is a need, we give because it is the right thing to do and we are all made in the image of God. There are no unimportant people.
†† For more information, read the complete article on page 38.