Touch of Life

How does one cope with the loss of a family member or good friend? This week is Justice Week at ACU and I had the privilege of hearing Pam Cope, co-founder of Touch a Life Foundation, speak.

One of my favorite quotes I heard during her speech was, “The moon moves slowly, but touches the whole world,” an African Proverb.

Cope lost her son, Jansen, 11 years ago. He came home from football practice one day and reported being dizzy. That was the first sign of his sudden death. When he passed, Cope mourned, struggled with her faith and purpose in this world. Yes, she is a Christian, but these types of circumstances can happen to anyone. It’s just the way we choose to handle it that differs.

Her worst nightmare came true and she had to find the strength to live through it.

Cope used her son’s memorial money, a sum of $25,000, to start Touch of Life Foundation.

In Eastern Ghana, at Lake Volta, innocent children were being sold for a small amount of money. Parents sold their children for money to buy food. The children were alone in total abandonment. They were forced to work 20 hours a day, some kids as young as 4 yrs old. They did not get enough sleep or have a healthy diet, only getting to eat once a day.

Cope, having lost a child, hurt for the trafficked kids at Lake Volta. It was through her experience of rescuing them she was transformed. She found hope and healing in serving the suffering.

There’s no word that can be used to replace slavery. Even though the Touch of Life Foundation has rescued around 100 children, an estimated 7,000 children are still in slavery at Lake Volta. More than 27 million women and children are in some form of bondage in the world today.

Another issue is once kids are rescued, where does the rescuer place them? The Village of Hope and other rehabilitation centers welcome children of Lake Volta, but will there ever be enough room for 7,000 people?

All of this information really opened my eyes to what’s going on around the world today. It’s hard to imagine life outside of college, where I’m taken care of and getting a good education. It will rarely cross my mind that people are suffering elsewhere while I’m enjoying my bed, food and spending money on my cares and interests.

It’s also hard to think about how I would cope with a great loss. I hope I could, like Cope, find my purpose through my brokenness. Cope realized her mission was to tell these children’s story.

The kids’ lives and identities have been stripped from them. That’s the meaning of no justice. We have responsibility to give back, serve and love a hurting world.

I know I often go to the edge of a ditch, metaphorically speaking, and do not want to go any further because I’m scared. But I need to get into the ditch because as a Christian (my personal belief), I know that God is dwelling there and that’s where peace comes.

When I feel broken, that’s when I need to dig deep and find compassion.

Cope said she did not save the children, they saved her. She learned that being a mother means we make ourselves available to others. She found what she was created to do.

I need to remember that with a blink of an eye, I can be gone. My life is but a vapor. Life is the loveliest when it is simple. Self-absorption, money and busy schedules complicate things. I want to enjoy the life before and ahead of me to the fullest. Cope and her story opened my eyes to living life moment by moment, making the most of any circumstance.

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