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Do Whatever You Can

Dr. Albert Schweitzer, medical missionary and Nobel Peace Prize winner, said, ?Even if it?s a little thing, do something for those who have a need of help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.?

However, there are situations that are so overwhelming, we feel helpless. Such was my situation when I opened the door to find Candy (not her real name), eight, crying while her five-year-old sister cradled her hands. ?Vincent! I am scared,? were Candy?s words.

After settling them down, I asked what was wrong. Candy, emotionally and physically shaken, said she had called the police, and they had come to arrest her daddy. He had beaten the girls? mom up and threatened to kill her. Now, Candy was scared of her own father. ?Vincent, Daddy will kill me when he comes home from jail,? she lamented.

The distant images of sufferers of civil wars, or famines could not be compare with the magnitude of pain, anger and resentment brought to me by these children. Before their family moved to another part of valley, they played with my daughters, helped me prepare my garden and attended my wife?s Bible study sessions.

In a few months, alcohol had turned a loving father into a wife abuser and a threat to his children. For the unsuspecting members of our community, it is startling to learn that Women and Children Alliance received over 12,000 calls from victims of domestic violence in 1999. And reports indicate that only one-third of domestic violence victims ever call for help.

There is an African story about a major savanna fire in dry season. The fire, given momentum by wind, was consuming everything. Animals, large and small, birds and rodents scattered all over. But, there was one small weaver bird who flew to the nearest water source and draw water into its beak. He then flew back to the burning area and let down the drop of water and flew back for more.

An elephant noticed this small bird fly back and forth several times and eventually asked him, ?Why are you doing this. Do you think you can put off this huge fire with just a drop of water here and there?? ?No, my friend? said the bird, ?I don?t think I can put off this huge fire. But, this is all I can do, and I would rather do it than do nothing.?

Domestic violence in our times is a ?huge savanna fire.? I later listened to Candy?s mother narrate her near-death experience and hopelessness now that the only breadwinner for the family was in jail. We made arrangements for her to visit the WCA for emotional and physical support. Then, I asked myself, ?Now that my first drop is quenching whatever portion of this fire it can, how can I make sure the source does not become dry??

The future of this ?fire? is even more disturbing when you hear that the treasure valley area is predicted to have more residents in the foreseeable future. The need to help the increasing number of victims is prompting WCA, a community-supported non-profit organization, to renovate their old building in order to serve more than double the capacity they are serving now.

As we all think of this fire in our ?savanna? and give our drop to help non-profit organizations like WCA?s efforts, let us be governed by the words of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, ?There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.?

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