Another Senseless Day…

Many of you know of our friend Simba who works diligently on behalf of New Vision in Kenya. He is one of the bravest men I know, often going into the slums of Kibera and Mathare to deliver light and hope to those really living at the “last mile.”

Today, my heart bleeds for him. Here is a portion of his note:

“Thank you very much for always checking on us and caring so much for us! l have lost two friends whom l considered to be foot soldiers of Christ in the Garissa Terrorist attack today! They were strong men of God leading the Christian department at the university! 147 students were killed in cold blood and many were injured and in critical condition today by armed terrorists known as Alshaabab. Words cannot describe how l feel but l find comfort in Christ knowing that this world is not my permanent home but am just passing by! “

When terrorists strike, as they did today in Kenya, there is no sense to their heinous acts or good reason. They went into the university and killed students who had hopes and dreams. Students who were trying to create brighter lives and make this world a better place.

If I know my friends who are in this world to help others less fortunate, and if I know my friend Simba, this terrorist act won’t deter them. In fact, it will only make them dig in and become stronger. There are too many young people who need hope for the future and too many lives are at stake. Won’t you help us?

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Put The Remote Control Down and Do Something. A Guest Blogger’s View on Life at New Vision Renewable Energy.

New Vision has officially launched our #UCanChangeTheStory campaign.

We have seen iripple effectt time and time again, small gestures of kindness making huge impacts in the world. So many times we all are guilty of sitting back and watching terrible stories happening in the world, whether in Liberia or any of the other countries struggling with other traumatic issues.

So here is our challenge to you.  We believe that doing something, anything, will make a huge impact. Take action today, do one act of kindness or make a donation and watch how what you do has a ripple effect.   You can sit back and hear the tragic stories going on in the world or #UCanChangeTheStory.

We will be presenting guest bloggers talking about how #UCanChangeTheStory and their own experiences here on my blog and on our social networks.

And please let us know what you think you can do or have done to change the ending of a story.  We would love to share it on our Facebook and Twitter pages (we don’t have to post your name) and if you are chosen we will send you a New Vision leather bracelet as our thank you.

Just use the hash tag #UCanChangeTheStory and your story may encourage others and help overwhelm the world with good.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.   ~Mother Teresa


PUT DOWN THE REMOTE AND DO SOMETHING

by Cindy Simons Bennett (guest blogger)

I was watching the news last night at home with the sound off.  Each picture and headline was more unbearable than the next.

Stories of people suffering and cruelty to one another one and I thought this is more than I can bear.  I went to turn off the television when I saw a story about a pregnant woman in Liberia who was sent away from the hospital overfilled with victims of the Ebola disease, leaving her nowhere to go to give birth.

My heart broke and just as I had done a thousand times, I thought how awful, but the problems, her problems, are too large for me to solve.

But for once, I took the time to really think about the story, not just listen, but think … what could I do?  And it occurred to me that I have the power to change how that story ends.

New Vision Renewable Energy

I have worked with many different clients in my business, but working as a contractor for New Vision Renewable Energy has been the most fulfilling.

I have reviewed their videos and photos and listen to incredible stories about Ruston Seaman, President of New Vision, helping children in orphanages in Africa learn how to build one of New Vision’s Ray of Life solar lights, teaching them a vital new skill while lighting up their small orphanage. Replacing their fears of the dark with laughter.

Or John, their “Mad Scientist,” who helps families add solar panels to their homes in the lower income communities of West VA, so they can afford heat in the winter time.

Or one of their in-country partners in Kenya who risks his life everyday going into one of the worst crime ridden neighborhoods in the slums of Mathare to bring solar lights so they can continue to make their vital hand-dipped candles once the sun goes down, the only source of income for the people who live there — many drug addicts or victims of AIDS, abandoned by their own families.

Working with them, I must confess many a time to feeling a bit unworthy.  I didn’t know if I would have the courage and fortitude to do what they do. I would like to think so, but it remains to be seen.

But as I looked into the eyes of the pregnant woman in the story on television, I knew I could change the way that story ended.  It was right in front of me.

Every Little Bit Counts

Desmond Tutu once said “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

And indeed it does.

It was right in front of me. I realized my “little bit” would be to make a donation helping New Vision send one of their Ray of Life whole room solar lights to Liberia, changing the way many stories end today and for years to come.

How is that possible?

New Vision works with a small clinic in Liberia, The Pool of Bethesda Medical Clinic.  The clinic is one of the few medical centers left open for the residents in Monrovia.  Mr. Varmah, the Director of the facility, has asked for just 16 solar lights to be sent to him, one for each of the 16 rooms of his clinic.

These lights will replace the candles or kerosene lanterns they must use in the clinic.  By candle light they help to stop the spiking fevers, perform medical procedures and yes, even deliver babies.  It seemed too simple. But I, sitting at my desk in Gainesville, Florida, had just impacted hundreds of lives in Liberia.

Overwhelm The World With Good

I would like to think someday I too will be brave enough and strong enough to work with New Vision in-country, helping teach villagers how to build solar lights, how to use their lights as vehicles for micro-businesses and to see in person the faces of the people as they light their homes for the first time.

But for now, I will feel content with the knowledge that I put down the remote, I went to their website and I made a donation.  I changed the way the story will end for the next pregnant woman searching for a place to deliver her child.

Perhaps tomorrow I will watch the news with the sound on… maybe. But either way, I made a mark in the world today and I know my “little bit” matters.