One friend.

Every year, I write a long email to friends, asking them to come to Yoga for Congo Women, listing out all of the reasons it would be just so wonderful if they could come.

I’ve finally learned that most people really don’t have time for long emails.

But even more than that, we don’t have the capacity to take it.  We get emails from charities of all kinds, all of us.  We all go through psychic numbing, because the numbers are so immense and the problems are so painful that we physically cannot bear it or fathom it, and we shut it out. Don’t feel guilty…it’s a normal defense mechanism. We all do it in some way or another.

One is a tragedy.  A million is a statistic. Right?

But what happens to each of those millions of people who is really ONE person, just like you or me?

If your friend was lost, hurt, or alone, you would care deeply, no matter how gruesome their life had turned out.

So this year, I am telling my friends about just one person.  One woman.  One friend.

Her name is Generose.

(photo by Women for Women International, courtesy of Lisa Shannon)

Just like me, she had six babies.

And just like me, she had a husband she loved very much.

Just like me, one of her worst fears was that terrible people would break into her home and hurt her family at night.  Only for her, it was actually likely to happen.  And it did.

You can imagine what happened to her next.  And as if that wasn’t enough, her leg was also cut off my the militia (a punishment for crying out).  Her husband and son were killed.

In a country the world has left for dead, you and I can only imagine what life was like for her and her remaining children after that.

Luckily, that’s not the end of the story.

Someone in Oregon decided to be her friend.  One friend.  One person who cared enough to do something.

As a result, Generose is now happy, healthy, and doing more than most of us do with both our legs.  

(photo by Sarah Elliot, courtesy of Runner’s World) 

You could be that friend for someone else.

(photo by Lisa Shannon)

For one hour, your life could intersect with another life and change it forever.

It just might change you, too.

(photo by Jen Fauset)

There is nothing in the world more powerful than selfless love.

(photo by Lisa Shannon)

Come join me on October 20th for Yoga for Congo…hear the rest of Generose’s story and the stories of others.  Find hope you couldn’t have imagined in “the worst place on earth to be a woman.”

(photo by Jen Fauset)

(PS – Yoga skill is completely irrelevant in this event…please don’t let that stop you!)

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