“Sometimes working in a Third World Country makes me feel like I am emptying the ocean with an eyedropper. And just when I have about half a cup full of water it rains: more orphaned children from the north migrate to where I live, more abandoned and dead babies are found, more people are infected with HIV. It is enough to discourage even the most passionate and enthusiastic person……love is the reason I just keep filling up my little eyedropper, keep filling it up and emptying my ocean one drop at a time. I’m not here to eliminate poverty, to eradicate disease, to put a stop to people abandoning babies. I’m just here to love.”
I’ve read Kisses From Katie twice now and each time I was struck by this quote. The words jumped off the page and caused me to place the book down and think of the magnitude of Katie’s words.
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Katie's story, so I’ll give you a very basic background. She is a young woman in her early twenties who started teaching kindergarten in Uganda after she graduated high school. She didn’t plan to stay forever, but God broke her heart for the nation of Uganda. After a few hurdles, she found herself moving across the globe to live with the people who had forever stolen her heart. Not long after she became a mommy to a sweet Ugandan orphan and then slowly God added more orphaned girls to her family. She is not much older than me and yet she has 13 girls who call her as “mommy.” Katie also started Amazima Ministries.
I can’t say I know what it’s like to work in a Third World Country. I’ve never even been to one. I can’t say that I’ve experienced any of the cruelties that are a daily reality for Katie in Uganda. I don’t know what it’s like to care for those infected with HIV or hold an abandoned baby in my arms. But, I do know what it’s like to invest so much of myself into something and feel like nothing has changed. You feel like your work has all been in vain. It can be so disheartening when you suddenly find yourself back at square one after you just made progress. This can be manifested in many ways…
Maybe you’re a teacher and everyday this year has been a challenge. You have a student(s) that you can’t seem to reach whether it be academic or behavior challenges. You’re pouring yourself into reaching this student(s) and nothing seems to change. You feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Maybe you’re a student in college and the stress of the semester is tearing you down. On top of classes and work, you feel like you’ve overcommitted yourself. At the end of the day you sit down and wonder where all the time in the day has escaped to. You finish one major assignment to start on another one. You know you’re pursuing your passion, but you wonder if you’ll ever earn your degree.
Maybe you’re a mama who loves her children something fierce. You would do anything for your babies, but one of your littles is stretching and challenging you more than you ever imagined. As a parent, you feel defeated.
The scenarios go on and on. You feel as if you’re “emptying the ocean with an eyedropper.” You are laboring away without seeing any results. I know this is much easier said than done, but I want to encourage you to hang in there. Keep going…keep “emptying [your] ocean one drop at a time.” A drop may not seem like much, but a little is more than no change at all. Remain faithful to the job you have been given.