Those of you who have followed my blog and receive my newsletters most likely remember Timothy’s story. He had a serious speech problem and, as a result, was often teased by his peers. Since April, I have been meeting with Timothy on a regular basis to help him with his speech and reading, and I am continually amazed by all the progress he has been making.

Today, I went to the orphanage to teach Timothy’s lesson. Before I got a chance to sit down with him, though, Evelyn (the mother of the home) pulled me aside and said, “Elena, I want to tell you about the good English that your son was speaking today!” She said that Timothy and a few of the other kids had been drawing water, and all of them were talking about the “buck-eh” (FYI: many ending sounds are omitted in Liberian English.) Finally, Timothy spoke up and corrected them: “It’s not buck-eh; it’s bucket! You have to pronounce the ‘t’!”

It’s a funny story, but it also melted my heart because it reminded me of just how far Timothy has come. (It also totally made me feel like a proud parent!) Sometimes, I can get overwhelmed when I focus on the enormity of need here and I start trying to figure out how to help them all. But then I remember stories like Timothy’s, and it brings me back to reality. I wasn’t called to help them all—but I wascalled to help Timothy.

Mother Teresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” I love that. The truth is, I can’t help them all. I wish I could, but it’s just not possible. But I can help one. And that’s a pretty good start, if you ask me.


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