Friday, November 30, 2012


Well it arrived with little warning - the first wintry blustery day of the year - just in time for my day off. I thought I would break with tradition and start my Christmas shopping in November. And as I braved the mall that was fully decked out in seasonal glitter, humming along with tried and true Christmas favourites I couldn't help thinking about an email I had received about my Women for Women sister I sponsor.

Claudine lives in the Congo and if you have heard the news lately, there is a serious outbreak of violence that is teetering on civil war.

It's surreal... While I was wandering around a Mecca of commercialism deciding what gifts to buy my kids, my WFW sister on the other side of the world is trying desperately to stay alive and protect her children. Her country is known as the Rape Capital of the world and sexual violence against women is rampant. In short - she is living a nightmare. Is she surviving? I can only imagine what she thinks about in the darkness of night. 

And so I will suspend my concern for my "first world problems" and be grateful for the bountiful life I lead; for the warmth and safety of my home; and for the love and support of my loved ones. This precious season of giving and peace is the perfect time to pray for those who do not have even  the most basics of life - food, water, shelter and safety - and are deprived of human rights and dignity. Women for Women International works to help women affected by war to become self sustaining by matching them with women sponsors. WFW has had to suspend the program while the violence has escalated but will resume the programs as soon as it is safe for their staff and clients.

Tonight, in the darkness of night, my thoughts and heart will rest with Claudine, my Congolese sister.

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