Monday, September 19, 2011

Impacting his world

My boy, who arrived so fast into the world the midwife missed it. He literally fell from womb to floor. And he cried for the next twelve months - especially when strapped in to a pram, a car seat, a high chair... He didn't want to be held back. Or held at all. Interesting, really, that his birth was so independent. 

My sensitive boy. The one who likes his own space. Is faithful to his family. A loyal friend.  Loves a project, persevering with it until the end. Determined. Stubborn. Kind.

Already 9.

When we arrived in Jakarta he was fearful. He didn't feel safe when we were in the streets, didn't like being stared at because he was white, didn't like being touched and photographed. 

And he saw the poverty around him. He wasn't comfortable with that either. He provided the 'solutions', thinking of the options available if it was he who was poor. I would gently suggest that these were not practical, would not solve it. That unfortunately it wasn't that simple. He would frown, and think some more.

As the months passed the solutions became fewer. But then a new thought. 

"I'm going to start a Foundation and feed the poor."

I reply that it is wonderful he wants to, and perhaps he could support the many existing organisations trying to do just that? But my determined boy wanted it to be his. His idea, his way. Weeks rushed by, and suddenly I realised the lack of wisdom in 'fighting' my son, who wanted to change his world. 

And so the 'White Box Foundation' was born. Like him, it was fast, and done with determination. He gathered donations from his brothers, and family and friends who heard about it. He bought the food, placed them in shoe boxes, and delivered them to people living on the street in Jakarta.

Yesterday he gave two boxes to this Dad and his little ones, who were sifting through rubbish piles near some of the biggest mansions in Jakarta. Enough food for a couple of days. Not much really. But more than the alternative. And done with love.

Better than doing nothing. Don't you think?

Giving thanks:
  • A boy who wants to find solutions.
  • That he was willing to do something, no matter how small.
  • The example of Jesus for my children. The ultimate servant.
  • Sobering images, right where we are.
  • Overcoming fears.
  • Gaining some understanding of our relative wealth.
  • Those who have donated to the White Box Foundation. An encouragement to Ethan.
  • Determination. Hard to deal with sometimes. But good for his life.
  • A sensitive boy.
  • That a family has some food today, when they could have been without. 


  1. That's one thing that always disturbs me about Jakarta: the ridiculous wealth of many locals, bule, and expats, and the poverty that goes on around them.
    What an encouragement to see a NINE year old doing more than 90% of the above mentioned have probably every done. What a blessing in this world.

  2. Praise God for a boy who cares.

  3. Here's to wonderful boys, the beautifully written word and lovely photos!

  4. I have a sensitive boy, although he isn't quite so independent as yours. They are treasures, and they teach us so much about life...and God.

  5. What a sweet boy! He sounds so much like my seven year old daughter. I hope she grows up in similar fashion.
    Your writing style is lovely...

  6. Thanks for your encouragement, both to me and to Ethan! Lovely to hear about some of yours too. Yes, he is a blessing - I love learning from my boys!