To figure out what I wanted to capture for this challenge, I needed to phrase the word “Opportunity” into a sentence of some kind (must be that “language” side of my brain kicking in). So I thought of a few things like “If given the opportunity…” and “I had the opportunity to…” and finally “What gives you opportunity?”

That last sentence reminded me of the answer to a question I once asked of a boss of mine. “If one of your children wasn’t sure if they needed a college degree or not, what would you tell them?” His answer was simple. “A degree is simply a key. It unlocks doors you can not get through otherwise.”

Somehow that conversation with my boss led me to thinking about the unknown opportunities that are awaiting our newest “member” of my little family.

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His name is Sergio. He lives with his 3 siblings and parents in Africa. I don’t know very much about Sergio right now, but I hope to get to know him and his family in the months and years to come. Sergio is our newest Compassion child we are supporting. He was “hand picked” by D last week after our Sunday church service. Our 1st Compassion child has been a part of Hubs’ life since he was a young boy and is now 20 years old. I had been wanting to include the boys in this type of decision for awhile and when the opportunity arose last week, I jumped on it.

Hubs and I talked about it before signing the papers. I wanted this to be as much of a family affair as possible, one that didn’t result in money being deducted from our checking account and glancing at the child’s picture on the refrigerator now and then. So we decided that we would make a meal once a week that would remind us of the child and discuss the child over dinner with the boys to help all of us learn about him, the region he lives in, to better understand issues like hunger and poverty.

Tonight was our first “Africa” meal. I didn’t feel quite as prepared as I had intended since I’ve been fighting illness for a few days, but I followed through. I prepared pinto beans from scratch with a little seasoning, cooked up some rice and I heated up some tortillas. (I know, I’m pretty sure Sergio isn’t getting flour tortillas where he’s at!)

L would have almost nothing to do with the meal. D took a few bites of the beans, ate the tortilla and a bit of the rice. I told them that, most likely, the amount of food they had on their plate that night was all the food Sergio received in a day, possibly less. We talked about food being sustenance for healthy bodies, even if there isn’t a lot of flavor or “fun” around it. We talked about what it’s like to be hungry, that if they didn’t want the meal, that was their choice. However, they would not get anything else until breakfast the next morning.

While the meal wasn’t terrible tasting, it most certainly was bland. However, it was inexpensive and nurturing, and my hope is that each week these “Africa” nights will bring all of us closer to Sergio and his family as well.

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