Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Blessings of Social Networking

On any given day, I like to spend, at the very least, a half an hour checking in on my emails and social networking sites.

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The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. A few days have afforded me just enough time to sit down and skim through emails, having to dash before I could even shoot off replies.

Social networking is a funny thing. There have been times when I was certain that I was giving too much time and attention to the laptop screen. Too much time reading blogs and and replying to status updates. And there have been times, like the recent weeks, where I glance at the computer and feel an overwhelming feeling not being caught up. Google Reader tells me I have well over 100 blog posts read, my conscience reminds me that I haven’t visited or posted to blogs by my friends, my inbox is so backed up it may need a roto-rooter.

This connection to our computers can vacillate between being a blessing and a curse, no doubt.

A few things have happened recently, though, that have me marveling at just how amazing this whole social networking thing can be.

Yesterday, a sweet girl that I met on OurCompassion was able to meet her Compassion sponsored child in Ghana. I happened to read her account of this visit yesterday while at the library in town, during a small break between swim lessons and free swim at the school. Tears flooded my eyes as I read Mary Catherine’s experience.

When I first read that Mary Catherine was going to Ghana, I contacted her and asked if she would be willing to take a small package for our Precious in Ghana and drop it off while she was there. She told me that she would be happy to, so we jam-packed a gallon zip-lock bag with Crayola crayons, markers, some small stuffed animals for Precious and her siblings, a cross necklace for Precious and angel necklaces for her sisters, Matchbox cars for her brother, a handmade purse for Precious and a few other small gifts. Yesterday, that package was dropped off in Accra and will soon be in the hands of a little Ghanaian girl that makes my heart swell.

Without social networking, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to send these gifts across the ocean.

Social networking has also been crucial to one of the most amazing sponsorship experiences I have ever been a part of. The group sponsorship of Kwagala Deborah has been divinely spectacular from the very beginning. While our family and a group of faithful readers of this blog have been supporting Deborah for less than a month, there have been so many awe-inspiring moments in this journey. This coming week, a friend from OurCompassion will land in Uganda for a Pastor's Discipleship Conference (led by their founder Richmond Wandera, who was once a sponsored child). My friend will be delivering a Bible, backpack, photo book and funds for some much needed clothing and shoes for our beloved Deborah.

So, this week, I am thrilled to reflect on these amazing opportunities that have come because of the ability to reach out to people through the internet. I cannot help but daydream about the day that our package for Precious arrives at her project and is placed into her hands. My mind is wandering to the moment that our group sponsorship is explained to Deborah and she realizes just how much she is loved. I think about her wearing the necklace we purchased with our pooled funds, with the word love written all over it.

And I am thankful.

Thankful for opportunities. Thankful for the amazing people I have come to know. Thankful for the ways to reach out and help. Thankful.

-Michelle