Tuesday, 5 May 2009

What God Has Made


















I know a young Australian doctor and his name is Maithri (My3) Goonetilleke. He has a blog and it is entitled The Soaring Impulse. It is a dream blog with many lovely stories, songs, poems, inspiration that walks off the page, and where a real 28-year old man writes and tells us his truth. He says of himself that he is ‘Just another young poet walking the broken road to freedom.’ Maithri is a man that is making a difference in the world. Maithri is a man among men.

He is doing work right now in Swaziland; a country with the highest prevalence of HIV in the world at 42% of the population, a country where orphaned children make up 10% of the population. The little mountain kingdom of Swaziland has over 70,000 orphans and over 15,000 child-headed families.

The intention of my post is to bring awareness to the children of Swaziland and to, if at all possible for some of us in these hard times, raise some money for the humanitarian work that is being done there. And if not in Swaziland than maybe in your own backyard where you see that there is a need.

My very dear friend Tessa has been selling some prints of her artwork where 100% of the proceeds are going to Maithri’s friend and colleague Dr. Joyce Mareverwa who works hard to save the lives of HIV/AIDS orphans.

You can find Tessa’s artwork and the story she wrote on her decision to take a stand on this very important issue in Swaziland and the people who live there here:

http://aerialarmadillo.blogspot.com/2009/02/world-was-silent-when-they-died-orphans.html

Please watch the video on Tessa's post, it is heartbreaking. I have watched this video a few times because that is all I can stand.

On April 25, 2009 I was visiting Maithri’s blog and was poked through the eyeballs by the truth.

In that day’s post entitled ‘Maybe its the third world’ Maithri writes:

“And yet, somewhere in our collective imagination, we have created worlds within worlds. Third worlds and first worlds. Worlds where it is not ok for even one child to die and other worlds where a child dies every 3 seconds and no one blinks an eyelid. I hear of words like ‘compassion fatigue’…And I have to tell you that the concept nauseates me. That we who have so much can even contemplate tiring of reaching out to those of our human family who have absolutely nothing, is absolutely incomprehensible to my little brain.”

“I know that if we were face to face with these people. If we could only see their humility, their dignity, the immensity of their love and kindness in the midst of the deepest sorrow imaginable…”

Maithri writes about a little girl named Khosiyendzile which means ‘what God has made’ on April 15th and I invite you to treat yourself to pure joy by reading this post:

http://soaringimpulse.blogspot.com/2009/04/khosiyendzile.html

~~ Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. ~~ by Mother Theresa.

If you are able and your circumstances allow, please either go to Tessa’s site or Maithri’s site and donate to help the children in Swaziland.

Love Renee xoxoxo

*artwork by Tessa Edwards

53 comments:

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Thank you for sharing this! Such important work!

lakeviewer said...

Hi Renee, this is a touching tribute to a cause dear to my heart as well. Thank you for showcasing this issue and the work of our blog friend Tessa. I wasn't familiar with the other blog, but here I go.

Angela Recada said...

Thank you for this information, dear Renee. The suffering that we allow to exist on this planet is deplorable. I'm going to check out the links you mentioned.

I hope you are well today.
:0)
xoxoxo
Angela

Yoli said...

I love that man, I have never met him but I love him. As for Tessa, she is a force to be reckoned with and an amazing artist. She has a heart of gold. I bought one of her prints and I cannot wait to receive it. I urge everyone to stop by both of those blogs and see what a difference these two hearts are making. There is another quote of Mother Theresa that I love and quote often, here it is:

"I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time – just one, one, one. So you begin. I began – I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up forty-two thousand… The same thing goes for you, the same thing in our family, the same thing in our church, your community. Just begin – one, one, one."

~ Mother Teresa

Tessa said...

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

Renee, you and Maithri are friends I’ve made here in this astonishing connective world of blogging. I value you both more than you could ever imagine. Thank you so very much for reaching out and touching my heart and, more importantly, the hearts of those little ones whose lives have been ripped asunder by the HIV/AIDS virus that has that tiny mountain kingdom gripped in its vicious clutches.

I love you, Renee, and I love all that you do because you do it with such eloquence, with such warmth and courage and spirit and generosity.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Thank you for introducing me to "MY3". He is an extraordinary young man and is doing a great deed.

Audrey said...

Renee, that is such a beautiful and important post! I remember several years ago I met an African doctor who was doing a sabbatical in Vancouver. She spoke of how Africa is a CONTINENT at risk of extinction because of this horrific disease, and the developed world has turned a blind eye to their plight. It is truly hearbreaking! Thank you for posting this. And yes...if you can afford it, help to save a life. Maybe something as simple as giving up your Starbucks money for a day - it doesn't take much to make a big difference!
Love audrey
xoxoxo

pRiyA said...

Thank you Renee...

Deborah said...

Good morning my sweet. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I have been making an effort ever since Ryan was deployed to make my world bigger. I am off on an adventure right now! Sending you all my love, Deborah

glorv1 said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I'm sure it will touch everyone who reads it.
Have a nice day. Take care.

yoon see said...

Wow! It's another great mission:)

isay said...

Very touching.....
Thanks

Marion said...

Oh, Renee. So much pain in this world. What a wonderful man to devote his life to easing a small part of it. Thanks for this post. I'll share his work with everyone I know...

Ces said...

First: An admirable undertaking and I salute the doctor and Tessa. Sometimes it starts small from one person and I shall follow through with the blog reading to obtain more information.

My my Lord! *GASP*!* I had no such breakfast as you mentioned! I had tea, biscuits and gravy and with the company of such sweet, gentle and clean meself.

Elizabeth said...

That is an incredible blog, story, man. Thank you for sharing it -- it's helped lift me out of myself this morning, albeit with tears. I so love reading your blog...

Marie S said...

Thank you Renee!
<3
Marie

Sarah said...

Beautiful hon - thank you for sharing this - am off to look nd listen! Love you hon, Sarah

Ces said...

Unfortunately, it is something I cannot guarantee even if you can buy it which you can't because I will gladly share it, give it...

Tessa's artwork is par excellence! I was a champion marble player as a child, my specialties were strikes and bojak! The secret: one must be able to squat with precision and have a hawk eye and tiger instinct. That's how one gets all the marbles. To this day, I have my marble collections. I try never to lose my marbles. For me, it is the ultimate symbol of a happy childhood, oh that and a huge scar on my right knee from sustaining a huge gash as I knelt on a piece of broken glass to catch a dragonfly

Love to you dearest!

soulbrush said...

this is such an important message. i love tessa's art and will rush over there to check this out right now!

JuneMoonToon said...

Oh, Renee, that is so heart-breaking. How can these things be. All the money we, as a country and as a people, have wasted.
Thank you for writing this. I will find something I can do.

Loni Edwards said...

Thank you Renee for sharing this!

Pattee said...

Renee I don't know how you get these wonderful photo's or drawings but they match so much to what your writing, I just love to come to your blog every day and read what you have to say. I think you should be a writer. Seriously, or maybe you are a writer all ready!

Your blogs just touch my heart~
Pattee

JuneMoonToon said...

p.s. Renee, is it possible - do people ever - reprint a blog? You and Tessa say it so much better than I could. If it's ok with you, and I'll ask Tessa, also, could I just copy and paste your entire post onto my web page, and also into a newsletter/alumni thing I sponsor? Everyone needs to read and see this.

~Vintage Nina~ said...

Hi Renee! What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing! I will have to check out the site! I also love the Mother Teresa quote......she is one of my favorites! Hope you are doing well! Sending you lots of love!
HAPPY DAY!!!
~Nina

Michelle said...

Yes, Maithri's blog is a beautiful eyeopener for sure. I want to show it to Tahni but I'm sure if I did she would be over there within the year!

Strawberry Girl said...

Hi Renee, you too are an inspiration to us all!! Thank you for bringing this blogger and this cause to our attention. :D

Ingrid Mida said...

It is heartbreaking to see children suffer. Your friend Tessa has put her art towards a wonderful cause. I'm adding a little donation for this cause in your gift box that you can pass onto her.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Renee,

Thank you for sharing this message and such an important issue.
Will go over now and check the link.

Hugs
Carolyn

Lola said...

Funny how this blogworld works. I started blogging and ran into Rosaria first. She opened her lakeview and introduced me to Tessa. Off onto an African tangent of my own, I met Maithri and it was love at frist post. Then you and I met and idem with potatoes, as we say here. You often wrote in your comments how Tessa and I should hook up, and we had already. And now this, where the circle closes perfectly. You write a powerful, touching, eloquent and generous post that showcases both Tessa and Maithri. Rosaria reads, and moves off to meet him.

The world has just become a very small neighborhood.

Thank you Renee, I like it so much better like this.

citizen of the world said...

On my way over, although I suspect I'll have trouble watching the video.

Manon Doyle said...

Thank you for sharing Renee! A very important message indeed! I will check out the sites you mentioned!

Julie-ann said...

Hi Renee, I forgot about the dentist and forgot to ask for a spare box from a shop. To come home and see I have one big enough holding my canvases in. So going to parcel tomorrow and visit the post office.
Did you have a good weekend.

Luv and hugs!

Julie-ann

Sue said...

"...first worlds and third worlds"... Wow - how true is that! Sad, but so true.

Renee, thank you so much for introducing us to this exceptional young man and also to Tessa's work. It is an issue that because it is removed from our cozy little corners, one we don't think about, nor give it the importance it should have.

You are such a special lady also.

Hugs

kj said...

renee, now i KNOW it's a small world. i have been visiting maithri for two years or more. he is a totally special man, inspiring and inspired. he is doing god's work, one person, one child at a time.

i just about fell over when i saw your tribute to him on your blog. i will now give myself the pleasure of meeting your friend tessa.

you too are an angel renee, doing god's work. i think of you every day and give the universe a daily nudge to take good care of you.

love
kj

Lisa said...

now this had made me think and shifted my axis off me and mine to us and ours xx

Bella Sinclair said...

Ah, Renee. Maithri is an angel walking among us, a soldier of the gentlest kind. Thank you and Tessa (whose art is spectacular and moving) for bringing this to our attention. It's so easy to forget, living in the sanitized world as we do, that there are people -- children -- suffering.

Bless you. xoxo

yoborobo said...

Renee -
Thank you for introducing me to two of your friends. I am proud of the human race for producing the likes of them. :)

And thank you for the gentle kick in the butt. An "Er, hello, Pam? Wake up and look around you sista!!" kick. I need those every now and then.

Betzie said...

So glad I stopped by just now...have no idea why I clicked on your blog, other than I hadn't checked in for a while...heartfelt post Renee...will go check out those posts. xo

studio lolo said...

I knew this was Tessa's work right away. The way she paints "her beloved Africa" as she says, she does it like no other. Her women and children have such depth and soul even though you never see their faces.
I've seen Maithri's name appear here and there on blogs. I love his words and his passion. I'll be sure to stop by to see him as well as Tessa and do what I can for this desperate cause. I've never heard anyone complain of "compassion fatigue." I know I'd have quite a comeback for them if I did. Can you imagine the arrogance of a person like that?
I'm going to have to go to their blogs tomorrow later in the day.
We're letting Casey go tomorrow. It's time. I don't have to tell you it will be a hard day as was today.

Thank you for this post Renee. You can bet not one of these orphaned children will ever get 'compassion fatigue.' They're little warriors who'll continue this fight until they win the battle. God willing.

Goodnight my dear. Lots of love.
xoxo
Lolo

Jaqi said...

Hi Renee, Hope today finds you well, thank you so much for this link, what a remarkable young man and what fantastic work he is doing. Thanks for sharing, Jaqi

Chrisy said...

I will definitely visit this blog..as somebody who works in the hiv/aids area I know the heartache that this disease can bring, particularly to those who don't have access to appropriate medicines...thanks for sharing...

Mim said...

I'm in tears at that little boys crying...literally. I always think I do alot to help but it's never enough is it? I did AIDS research for years, and have friends in Africa who help...but it's still never enough. Those poor children...missing their mum.
Ah well...one keeps trying and off I go again to check out the artwork.

keep well

maledilla said...

Thank you for sharing this post. The video is heartbreaking, I can not stop tears from my eyes. I lost my dad and one of my daughter a few years ago, so life is fragile, and we have to cherish every moment of it......! I think you are one of the strongest people I have come across , your blog is an inspiration to everyone.

Be strong Renee and thank you !!!!
xoxoxoxo
Mona

A Cuban In London said...

I love Maithri's blog and try to keep up with his posts as much as I can. He is already making a difference and so is Tessa, and so are you. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Maithri said...

From a little internet cafe in the heart of siteki, with the buses blaring outside and the red dust flying....

I just wanted to say...

Thank you

for your love for the world,

for seeing
for believing

For making my heart so glad today...

The world is one,

And your love matters more than you can know,

Maithri

Caroline said...

I have just returned from Tessa and Maithri's blogs and I thank you, Renee for highlighting the tragic plight of these orphans. Blogs are surely the perfect platform for reaching out and I hope that your message will reach many people who will donate to help these youngsters.
Caroline x

Lori ann said...

Dear Renee,

I love Tessa and Maithri. I love what they are both doing. Thank you for shining a bright light on them. You are so lovely.

p.s. sorry i'm late!

love, lori

kj said...

i love all these comments, renee, but i just read laurel's and i am soooooo glad she is who she is!

don't we just love that girl?!

xoxo

ps verf word is ticitic. that's it! the secret message to living fully: ticitic!!

Shelly said...

Life is unbelievably unfair; thankfully there are angels among us. When I hear about a person like Maithri really making a difference in the world I always think about when the time comes for them to go to heaven and meet their maker who then asks them “what have you done with this life I have given you?”
Sometimes it is very hard for me to see what I am able to do…thank you for showing me.

Woman in a Window said...

He sounds like a wonderful man, with a huge heart and wise beyond his years. Tessa is wonderful as well.

Karin said...

Beautifully shared Renee! I got a couple of Tessa's beautiful prints shortly after she made this offering. It's a double duty win, getting beautiful artwork, and getting to do good - what's better than that?!
xox K

Tessa said...

Renee! RENEE! God, how I wish I was right next to you so I could fling my arms around you and give you a big bear hug!! And all the incredibly wonderful people who read your amazing blog. I could just about POP with delight! Today I've sent Maithri another $140! And it's entirely due to this post and you, you most fantastic woman in the entire world! That makes the total I’ve been able to send to Swaziland so far a mind-boggling $840. Can you just IMAGINE how this is going to help those little ones? The medical teams at the Good Shepherd and Baylor Clinic will be able to buy more food, more medicine and equipment to help them in their quest to conquer the horrendous problems that beset that gorgeous little African kingdom. I’m in love with the world and with every single one of those the generous, caring bloggers who have found it in their hearts to reach out and build these bridges.

Maithri so poignantly said to me a little while ago, "The needs here are so broad and deep. It boggles my mind, my friend." Well, together we are really, really making a difference.

Hadasse said...

What a beautiful quote from mother Theresa...
This week someone gives me a Renée Award, and at a blog from a friend of mine I read about the meaning behind this award. How special!! And now I discover that you even has a blog! I love the pictues on your blog!