Monday, March 28, 2011
TNEL Day 19: Small world
I'm thankful for 2 reminders I had yesterday of our small world. In church we had a missions week and the focus yesterday was on a small village in Ecuador, Santo Domingo de Onzole, which our church is supporting. The villagers are descendants of African slaves who fled from Colombia. They are totally ignored by the Ecuadorian government and are also discriminated against because they are black. In church we watched a video of some of the villagers talking about what they like about their community but also the struggles they have (no infrastructure, poor education so kids have to board at a school in another town, etc.). The presenter talked about how amazed the people of the village are to know that in Canada there's a church that cares about them and whose youth group is having a 30-hour fast to raise money for them. For me the video was the best part because we got to hear the people's own perspective on their life, their joys and struggles, etc. Then later in the afternoon a girl came to the door trying to raise money & awareness for Amnesty International. She spoke with passion about AI's work on behalf of prisoners of conscience and said how encouraging it is for these prisoners to know that people all over the world care about their plight and are actively trying to help them. Both of these things made me think of the words by poet John Donne: No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.