Awhile back an acquaintance suggested that instead of doing the work of HARAMBEE, I could work in my profession full-time instead of part-time, and donate more money for Africa, thus accomplishing more in the long run. This is logical and efficient and would work well for some.
But not for me. Giving even a great deal of money would not result in the thrill that comes every time I travel to Africa and embrace one of our friends who has received something wonderful from HARAMBEE. These personal encounters and rich fulfillment just don't happen when you merely sit down and write out a check--no matter the amount. So I am hoping that quality is a fair substitute for quantity. (And I hope God is listening, too, so that those who are so needy will get quantity, as well.)
This kind of economy also governs my thoughts about donors to HARAMBEE. Those who give $5 or $10 are highly valued, even though more programs could be established if it were $5,000 or $10,000. Last year a woman sent $10 a month for an entire year. It was what she could afford, and her monthly donation was cherished by us. She gave what she could, and from a very large heart.
A child approached me at a holiday fair and handed me $1 "for Africa's children"--another sweet and selfless gift, and I am so honored by her compassion.
I happen to know the "executive director" of a non-profit that is far larger than HARAMBEE. He is a good person, and does excellent work to help many others. But unless you have a check for $5,000 or more he won't talk to you. He says that he far prefers to get $10,000 from two people rather than $1 each from 20,000 people. He justifies this by stating that it's not unkindness, merely pragmatism. I suppose he's right. Yet I think of those who can only afford to give a small amount, and know that they must not be devalued in this way--just as we seek to avoid devaluing those in Africa who receive our gifts. And...if you get $1 from 20,000 people, then you have 20,000 new friends, instead of just two!
I was never particularly good at math. Maybe this has confused my thinking about big numbers and small numbers and people. But maybe not. And maybe some of you out there will understand, and share my belief that God is not a statistician.