2 months ago today.

I know I’ve always heard that time starts to fly the older you get…and wow, I’m really feeling that…cause it seems like just yesterday I was in South Africa with three good friends playing with beautiful kids…when in reality, it was two months ago.

But here I am, two months later, sitting on my couch, my TV is on, fuzzy warm slippers on my feet, sipping my freshly brewed coffee and they are still where I left them two months ago. I’ll admit that when I’m there I’m focused on their needs…I wonder if they are hungry or consumed with sadness or whether they are having a good time playing the silly game we taught them, etc. But somehow, when you are removed from them, you start to forget about them. I know that sounds horrible, but it’s true–at least for me. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t forget about them in a permanent sense but I don’t think I live with the thought that every hour of every day I live in luxury and there are kids out there who need help…lots of help.

So that’s where I’m at this morning…wondering how I can help more, how I can keep them at the forefront of my mind because they are still there. And for the twenty-something kids that I met and locked eyes with, there are millions more out there. I live in a world of absolute excess…I’m embarrassed at times at the amount of food I buy at the grocery store and waste because I just chose to eat something else. I wake up in the morning in a warm bed, can take a hot shower anytime I’d like, I can see a doctor whenever I choose, etc. I live in a world of excess.

The story I am about to share is heavy, heart wrenching and true. I wanted to share with you because this is reality. It’s not separated from me anymore. A girl who was dropped off at an orphan home in South Africa hours before we got there is 13 and has AIDS. Both her parents have died. She was living with her aunt who was physically abusing her and while that was going on, her uncle was repeatedly raping her. Her aunt found out and got mad at this precious little girl and kicked her out. I could hardly believe my ears. This was this girl’s reality just hours before we arrived. Β And now she is living at one of the orphan homes in South Africa. This story hit me hard.

I wish I had a nice way to tie up my thoughts…so I’ll leave you with a pic of the kids doing a little painting craft when we were there 2 months ago. You have no idea how much your prayers and love helps these kids. Thank you for supporting them with us. xoxo -k

23 Responses to “2 months ago today.”

  1. Melissa Says:

    It’s so horrible to know that there are people out there that get sick just from drinking water. Something they need to survive. It’s hard to believe, as we live with so many extras, that there are so many people, adults and children alike, that go weeks without having a bite to eat because their families are too poor to buy any food.
    That story about the 13 year old girl is awful but is such a huge reality to so many children in poor countries.
    It’s absolutely horrible that there is nothing you can do to fix it, but what y’all have done down there has made such a huge impact on these children’s lives.

  2. Giorgia Says:

    Aww…this blog seriously made me cry. I really look up to you guys for doing all you do for the kids, and think about them all the time. You’re so right- we do live in total excess, and I feel really guilty about it too sometimes; I’m so glad it’s not just me.
    xx Gee

  3. Anakellya Says:

    amazing.
    i think if more people shared stories like this, then a lot more people would actually give to charity and would understand where their money is going as well as realising there are people in the world in worse situations than themselves.
    the girl’s story is so tragic and really does put everything into perspective.
    i don’t really have anything else to say other than, thank you for posting this and hope you continue to have a great october. ❀

  4. Danielle Says:

    Wow, just wow at that story Kate. So sad. But what you said tho is totally true. People go on about how people should remember there are people worse off than you etc. all the time, but you just can’t think about it constantly. It’s ok to ‘forget’ them at times. Everyone does that about someone somewhere. It’s human. Don’t feel bad that you do it Kate. What you’ve done and continue to do makes a big difference to them even if you think you could do more. Small things make the biggest difference as the saying goes. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    If you want ways to keep them in the front of your mind, things that i’ve done before are just put simple things like photos or things that they might have given you around you in places that you’ll see everyday. Maybe photos in your purse (wallet to you guys i think haha), around your house in rooms you use alot, your phone background, have a shelf in a room dedicated to them with memories of your trips to see them etc etc etc. Small things. (you’ve probably done all of these already but just incase haha)

    πŸ™‚ smileeeeeeeee πŸ™‚ x

  5. Gage Says:

    Seriously Kate, you have no idea how bad I needed to read this at this moment. I woke up this morning soooo depressed…. How selfish of me, seriously. You are SOOOO right. Its almost embarrassing and leaves makes me ashamed that I have this stuff and they don’t! I really appreciate that you can go over and help. although right now I could never afford it it really shows you have good hearts that you can and can go over there! Kate your Amazing (jill you too) and I really appreciate y’all. I love people who use their gifts of talent from God. So thank you….

  6. Marian Says:

    I too think about the children of the world almost daily. It preys on my mind and heart. It depresses me. But I try to help them through donations. It isn’t a lot but what I can afford. I’ve followed you all during Kelly’s SA tour. The children at one of the orphanages sang with kelly, Kate and Jill “Home”. I wish it was recorded and placed o ITunes. I know a lot of people would have bought it and some of the proceeds going to help these children. Is there an address that one can send a donation? Please respond.

  7. Selena Says:

    You’re right. It’s a difficult reality to live in and to even witness or be aware of. It’s too overwhelming for any one person to fix. However, I believe every contribution and prayer helps. Don’t feel embarrassed that you’re more fortunate. Be proud that you’re in a position where you can and do make such a positive impact. God bless, y’all!

  8. gypsygies Says:

    Kate, you really are so very beautiful. I wish you could understand how very much you actually *do* help the future world…you and kelly and jill and aben and all y’all…by simply being *beautiful kind people* who are visible in this world. If just one person growing up somewhere reads this and “gets it”, that person affects other people and so on and so forth. You all spread love and kindness like branches of a tree out into the world.

    I thank you for it.

  9. Lauren Says:

    I work with children and although I moan about the early mornings, they never fail to somehow make my day and make me smile and so I always feel physically sick and angry whenever I hear about kids being mistreated. You’re right though Kate, I know I take for granted everything I have when there are kids out there who have nothing and yet they still wake up every day with smiles and hope on their faces.

    Anyway in which you think off to help them more…please post it up, especially if there’s a way we can help too!

  10. cha Says:

    thanks a lot for this blog, kate. i can tell my problems aren’t real problems (“i don’t know what to do with my life”, “i need a boyfriend”, “i’m not confident, whyyyy”… blah blah blah”). i’m ashamed because i really feel unlucky sometimes, and even if i know i have everything to be happy, i can’t help ! but thank God, there is always something that tells me “shut up charlotte!”. and today thanks to you, kate, i’m a better person cause i know i’m lucky, i really do. i promise i won’t complain. (it’s kinda hard for me to say in english what i exactly feel as i’m french but sorry i really wanted to share something too…)

    there’s nothing better than helping poor people. i try to do so as much as i can. there’s a beggar i see almost everyday when i go to the university and i always smile at him and i give him 1€ or a little less it depends, but he smiles and thanks me (with his italian accent πŸ™‚ and i know it’s not that huge from me. but it’s better than nothing…

    byyyye and you’re awesome, guys ! je vous adore !

  11. Mary b Says:

    All of them and y’all will always be i’n my prayers… Thank you for this Kate, everyone who lives i’n excess needs to step back each morning and thank god for what they have and pray for te ones less fortunate. We take everything for granted i’n some way or another and it’s sad to say but i’n a way it’s human nature…

    So just now I had an idea, a way to not forget those precious kids and a way to remember to prayer for them… print some of the pictures Jill an Kate have shared with us and place them where I know I’ll see them… The bathroom mirror, my bedroom mirror and the place i’n my car where the speedometers are… Now every morning or anytime Im getting ready or just driving around I’ll remember to pray for those who are less fortunate than me.

    Thanks Jill and Kate : )

  12. I'm just sayin'... Says:

    Wow. My heart breaks just hearing the story, I can’t even come close to imagining how this brave girl feels.

    Though your heart breaks for these children, you have to look at the bright side of things- If you don’t you will go mad with worry. You have helped these kids more than I think even you know. This girl (along with other children) were taken out of a bad situation and saved. With your help- not just monetarily but actually BEING there for them- you’ve changed their lives for the better… you should be proud of that. πŸ™‚

  13. Amanda Says:

    Living in the USA and never leaving North America its easy to forget that there are people out there that aren’t as fortunate. People (including myself) get so caught up in the little things in life that really don’t matter. I’ll get mad that I have to wake up early and go to work when really I should appreciate the fact that I actually have a job I get to go to everyday and can make a comfortable living for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Jasmine Says:

    Just a big BIG THANK YOU to the Founder(s)of House of Hope. Thank you for stepping up and out, charging for these awesome kids. Offering them Hope,a safe place to learn, live and to just thrive is so invaluable. So again, THANK YOU! My heart and prayers go out to all of those beautiful kids and everyone who steps up to provide for them, whether big or small.
    Folks, this is what it’s all about right here! Take Note: Don’t take anything for granted and live life governed by LOVE & Compassion. I hope you all can experience the overwhelming joy that comes from just loving others! It truly is life changing.

    Kate – Thank You for sharing not only your story but your heart with us. We need more people like you in this world Kate!! Keep up the AWESOME-NESSSSSS!!

    PS – Still rocking the friendship bracelet!! It’s hanging on for dear life! HA! But i am reminded everyday by it to pray for HoH and others!

    Praying for you and with you guys!
    -Jasmine

  15. Erin Says:

    that breaks my heart. over and over again. it makes me feel guilty that i complain about anything…ever.
    thanks for sharing. keeping those kids in my prayers.

  16. Boston_Holly Says:

    Kate, you have a tremendously big heart. I think the guilt/reflection you feel is just part of being human. It’s when we don’t take a step back and reflect on what we’ve seen, or how we fit in this world, that we, as a society, are in serious trouble. I’d be more worried when these things DON’T invoke a deep response in our hearts and minds. It’s so easy to lose perspective when so many of us are truly blessed; our blessings so often are taken for granted. I think it’s wonderful that you and Jill and others have, and will continue, to make a direct difference in these children’s lives. And for those of us who don’t have the opportunity to meet many of the less fortunate face to face, I think it is still our responsibility to educate ourselves and be aware of what is going on around us. I read a wonderful book by NYT columnist Nicholas Kristoff; it’s called “Half the Sky” and while parts of it scared the you-know-what out of me, and other parts made me cry, and other parts made me truly hopeful, I was really glad I read it, because I realized how lucky I really am, and how much more I can do. God bless.

  17. Elle Says:

    This might sound odd, but you guys write the best blogs. I never know what you’re gonna talk about next. Whether it’s silly or sad, thoughtful or goofy it’s always an interesting read. Thanks for always being so honest, and in regard to this entry, opening our eyes to the many gifts we have and to those that others may not have. It’s heart-breaking to think about all the injustices in the world, and it can be even more difficult to understand why such hardships are thrust upon such innocent children. Just wanted to say thanks for reminding me to look beyond myself and give a bit more to others. πŸ™‚

  18. Jennifer Says:

    It’s so hard hearing about these things happening because they are so cut off from our own lives.
    I’m a volunteer with kids that are considered unprivileged in the area I live in and these are just kids who come from families who struggle to pay bills/buy things/make ends meet etc and I find it hard enough to accept they can’t do certain things and won’t experience things in life that they should be able to due to this.

    So thinking about kids who are thousands of times worse off than them it so so hard to comprehend and really understand why it’s allowed to happen in this day and age.

  19. Erin Says:

    I think we all tend to take things for granted, it’s just human nature. As sad as it is to hear stories like that, I am grateful for them and the perspective you gain from it. No matter how “hard” of a day you are having, you have to remember that there are people out there fighting with things you couldn’t even begin to imagine and if they can make it through the day, you most certainly can too. Thanks for that reminder.

    It’s hard wanting to help but not exactly knowing how to. I can say that those children will absolutely be in my thoughts and prayers. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for sharing!

  20. Michelle Says:

    How true!… i live in South Africa and our country is riddled with poverty and people in need. We are faced with so many issues at the moment with the mismanagement of our local governments that too often it is only the international organisations that are actually making any kind of progress.

    I read in the news yesterday that instead of spending money to give a small village running water, they donated some carts and donkeys for the people to help them transport water from the next town. People are up in arms because not only did they not provide the village with running water but now they have to find money to look after the animals and maintain the carts.
    Our biggest issue at the moment is that greed too often prevents people from receiving what they actually need or in other cases, donations never ever reach the people that need it.
    I could list two instances where my friends and i tried to get involved with local organistations to literally be turned away or to see things that were just shocking.

    I learned about House of Hope when i learned about JillandKate a short while ago. These houses are shockingly only about an hours drive from where i live…
    How can i get involved… Who can i contact?

  21. Amy Says:

    Jill & Kate, Hopefully you get this since I’m posting on an older post of yours. I was wondering if you all collect any donations of things like school supplies (markers, paper, etc.) for the orphanage. I have so many and would like to see them go to good use. I found another organization that donates them to Africa but I wanted to see if you all accept any first. Thanks!

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