Inspired by Betty Londergan's What Gives 365 and the Bible (not necessarily in that order!), I'm giving away $250 a week in 2011.

This is where I'm recording that journey, and I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Selfless Sabbatical

In case you've lost track, the third week of the month is dedicated to supporting inspiring individuals. Usually the money has gone to a single person, but today it's going to a family. These friends are doing something that I have long wanted to do -- one of the few things in my life that I wonder if I will look back on and regret not having done. They are taking a leave of absence from their jobs, pulling their three daughters out of school, and heading away.

Where would you go and what would you do? For me, it's a toss up. Villa in Italy? Ecotourism in Costa Rica? Working with kids in Eastern Africa? Paris? Turkey? Some combination of all of that and more, as I try to cram way too much into a short time as is my habit? In my friends' case, they found a small school on a small island in the Philippines and they're heading there to live and work for a year. 

Their odyssey officially begins in a few short weeks, but it really began long ago as they prayed and saved and planned. Nailing down the details has become a part-time job in itself.

They're pretty low key people, and generous. They've been modestly but faithfully raising money, not to cover their own expenses but to support the work of the school. Although I'm keen to contribute in that way, my hope is that this week's donation will be used for them -- to buy something that will be a treat, and/or will make their trip a little easier, and/or will remind them of how much they are loved and admired as they head off on this life-changing adventure.

Thinking of their trip reminds me that this life is not a dress rehearsal. We don't get a 'do over.' As they look back on this experience many years from now with a whole range of emotions, I can't imagine that regret will be one of them. They're another example of people who are living abundantly. As a parent, friend and fellow traveller, I'm inspired by their picture on my fridge and look forward to tales of what they're learning even as they teach others. Bon voyage!

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