Friday, February 9, 2007

The Power of ONE

“Money comes from places I never expect, and places I expect to get money from I don’t,” she said. “Part of my message is, you don’t have to have tons of money, but you have to have a willing heart.”
- Pam Cope

When you think you have it hard - look into the lives of those around you. When you see the children here - what do you see? Do you have the power of one? Can you imagine selling your child into slavery? What would you do if your back was up against the wall? African mothers enter that dialog daily. Hard choices are counter balanced with hope, sometimes from the strangest places.

Pam Cope might as well be known as Pam HOPE. She saw a picture of a child in Africa, her heart began to ache because she knew that it captured something very wrong, and she took action. As a result, many children who were labor slaves in the fishing trade are now safe, in an orphanage where they have access to safe accommodations, showers and education for the first time. She is an average person who did something extraordinary.

Her life was first touched by tragedy when she had to endure the pain of losing a child. For many of us life would never recover from that experience - our story would end there. However, she and her husband immediately knew that God had a plan for their experience. Memorial flowers were replaced with a memorial fund in the name of their son, and they set out to figure out a way to make a difference. She was subsequently touched by the plight of Ghanaian children who were forced to labor up to 14 hours a day for fishermen on Lake Volta. She and her husband read an article in The New York Times about how the child workers in fishing villages around Kete Krachi were deprived of necessities, schooling and freedom. This is where they distinguish themselves. They took action. It speaks to the Power of ONE.

Working from her home, she initially adopted seven children and began a steady communication cycle with a Christian orphanage, The Village of Hope. The process, far from simple, requires the fisherman to release the children - often by offering them additional equipment, support for their business, and resources to use in lieu of the child labor. The parents of the children - often responsible for selling their own children - have to determine or acknowledge that their lives will be more fulfilled by living in the orphanage. The experience transformed lives, not the least of which was Pam's.

Lately, I have grown tired of the television devotion to pop culture - even when I think I have contributed to it. In a time where we can learn so quickly about the love, addiction and scandal of choice - I was heartened to learn of this story on Oprah. Learning of the story simply isn't enough. If we are to take anything for this experience, it should be that the Power of ONE can change a life. From tragedy she brought transformation into existence. Now, what will we do to follow her example?

To support the Cope's legacy learn more about Touch a Life ministries in Ghana, Vietnam and Cambodia. Their dedication to touching the lives of kids sets the example for us all.

If you want to increase the power by supporting a Christian organization, with a mission to use the funds according to God's will - your tax deductible contribution can be directed to:

Touch A Life
~and mail to~
Pam Cope
Touch A Life
1510 Eric Road
Neosho, MO 64850

* You can designate your specific area of interest.

Please share your experience if, when, you donate.

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