A giving opportunity
One of the nicest things God does for us, in my opinion, is to put people in our lives who both need help and deserve it, so that we can have the blessing of helping them. At the moment I know two young ladies whom I'd love to help...but I'm pretty strapped for cash what with the nine kids and the legal bills and all; and I'm not likely to be able to help them myself. But just because I can't enjoy the privilege, Gentle Readers, is no reason you can't. So I'm passing on the opportunity to y'all. If you think you might be interested in one or both, then consider it; if you're a prayerful person, pray about it; and if you decide that this is something you're called to do, then let me know. I'll pass on 100% of the money to the young ladies.
1. I know a truly delightful young lady, of very admirable character, who a few years ago was all set to go to college -- and then her mother fell on hard times financially. So my young friend dropped out of college "temporarily" to help pay the bills. She works like a horse but never complains, and her attitude is always sunny and joyful. Well, to my delight, she's decided now, as she comes up on her twenty-fifth birthday, to go back and get that degree, working herself through community college after four or five years of helping her mom. Great young lady, plenty of brains, wonderful character -- this is tuition money that I'm confident won't be wasted. If I had the tuition money lying around I'd pay her way through school myself, on the grounds that thirty years from now I'm not likely to be getting any pleasure from remembering that I once drove a brand-new Lexus rather than a used Nissan truck, but I'll still be able to get pleasure every time I remember that my friend's life is different because I was able to help. [UPDATE: It occurs to me that this could be read as moral criticism of friends who drive nice cars; that was not the intent. Didn't have anybody in mind except myself. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression.] Well...doesn't look like I get that privilege.
But one of you (or a few of you together) might want it. I'm not sure exactly what she needs for this semester but I'm guessing it's in the $700 to $1000 range. Let me know if God's assigning this one to you, and I'll get the money to her.
2. The other opportunity has to do with my "niece" Nurgulya back in Kazakhstan. (The polite way for a respectful young lady to address affectionately in Russian an honorable gentleman old enough to be her father but not in fact related to her, is as "Uncle Kenny.") She is graduating from college and is therefore getting pushed out of the youth house -- which means her only option, until she can save up close to $10,000 to buy an apartment, is to live in the Karaganda equivalent of the housing projects, in both poverty and danger. I mean, last time I checked, those things didn't even have stoves in the kitchen and most of the light bulbs in the halls tended to be missing -- oh, yeah, that's exactly where I want a twenty-one-year-old young lady whom I care about to be living. Here again, if I had the money, I'd be happy to buy the apartment for her (it's not like Dessie and I didn't put up the money to help buy apartments for these kids more than once back before the divorce left me worse than broke). About all I can do in my present situation is set up a savings account earmarked for Nurgul's apartment, put as much money there as I can spare, and get her out of those projects as quickly as I can manage it.
But again, if any of you want to be a part of that, you can send me the money and I'll sock 100% of it away in that savings account.
You may very well not be interested, and no hard feelings if you aren't. But I have gotten so much pleasure over the years out of helping people, that I wouldn't feel right knowing the opportunity was there and not sharing it with you guys. And for the Christians and Jews in particular...well, our Bibles have pretty strong words to say about our responsibility to help the widows and the fatherless, and both these young ladies fall squarely in the second category.
So there's the opportunity. Do what you want to with it.
UPDATE: It occurs to me that you guys might like to see a picture or two. I don't have a picture of Miss Daniela, but here is Nurgul, wearing the half-smile that is her most characteristic expression (you'll have to fill in the eye-twinkle with your imagination):