When visiting teams ask what they can collect and bring with them to the DR, I almost always respond with, “Toothpaste and soap.” The participants in our monthly vitamin distribution program were thrilled to be able to purchase toothpaste and soap at a very reduced price this month, along with their vitamins. The small amount of money the villagers pay for these health items offsets the cost of purchasing the vitamins as well as coinciding with the “Helping without Hurting” philosophies that we are trying to implement.
Earlier in the summer we were having a conversation about health issues in the village and some of the women said they really needed new mosquito nets. They told me that the reason they hadn’t bought them before was because they were too expensive.
Brigida, our ministry assistant, boldly went to a local store in Villa Mella and negotiated a large discount for buying in bulk. With a small supplement, the mosquito nets became affordable and were quickly purchased by families in the village.
Anyone up for a little guacamole? Pictured above is about 1/3 of this year’s harvest from the avocado tree in my backyard.
We’ve talked often in our women’s Bible studies about how we are all rich in one way or another and at one time or another. We have concluded that in these moments of being rich our responsibility is always to share. If we are rich in time, our responsibility is to find ways to help those short on time; if we are rich in energy, our responsibility to help someone lacking in energy, etc.
The villagers often share their mangos with me when they are rich in mangos. And I love the days that I get to share my avocado wealth with them.
However, with all their encouragement, I have yet to master the skill of carrying the avocados on my head. “Oh well, maybe you’ll learn how to do it next year when you’re rich in avocados again,” they laugh. And together we enjoy community, where everyone gets to be rich and everyone gets to receive.