You know I love to share a good thing... and, this latest read is just that--GOOD!! :)
"Too Small to Ignore" is written by former president of Compassion, Wess Stafford. It has truly been one of the most amazing books I have read lately, revolutionizing the way I think about children, missions... and poverty! To be honest, when I first saw that a man that had worked for Compassion wrote a book about children--I thought, "This is going to be an obvious read: Sponsor kids."
Instead, the book takes you on an intimate journey through the Wess's life, from growing up in a primitive tribe in Southern Africa, to boarding school, to living in the US... He offers a valuable and unique perspictive on the things dear to his heart: namely children and poverty--or better said, children in poverty.
Although I am a person who loves children, and one who has lived in a third-world country... I was blown away by some of his insights, and it totally made me understand things even about Rey or about the culture I was living in while I was in Mexico.
The author is heart-broken that the church today does not see what a treasure children are NOW. He says too often we just kind of "put up" with childhood, bear with it until it's over: "When the child is grown they are a valuable asset to society"... keeping the child on the sidelines.... while Jesus--more than once--states that children are very important. Just as they are--being children.
Wess stresses that he believes the root of poverty is fatalism-- "I don't matter.There's nothing special about me." That was a profound thought to me, and bore true the longer I thought about it. Which, Wess says, is why the GOSPEL is the perfect antidote to poverty! "When a poor child comes to understand that God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, knows her name, that God cares deeply about her, that he knows how many hairs are on her head, that he etched the unique design of her fingerprints, that he gave her a unique and delightful way of laughing, and that he sent his own Son to die on the cross to save her, that leads to an epiphany that changes, everything. 'I guess I matter after all!' "
I took pages and pages of notes from his book, and I won't bore you with all the morsels (or spoil it for you)... But, here's a quote I loved: "A child may be born into poverty, but poverty is never born into the heart of the child." He spoke of giving up, of loosing the want to dream, as being the greatest poverty.
Also, Wess talks long about the many rich lessons and life-perspective he gained from growing up in his tightly-knit African tribe--many of which I want to try to weave into our way of family from now on.
I could seriously go on and on.. but, I won't. Just go get it! Oh--and as if it needs to get better--Wess asked that all author's royalties from the sales of his book be given back to Compassion International to further their work... so, it's really a win-win! :)