April 6, 2010
“Three Cups of Tea” is a true testament to the difference that one individual can make with a humanitarian sprit. In this book, the main character, Greg Mortenson, makes education possible for some of the most impoverished children and does so in the face of extreme cultural divides. Greg Mortenson was called to educate the child of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In doing so, he was able to see past the extremist groups in the regions, to the vulnerable children in need. His story is one of sacrifices made in an effort to help the children of the world, which in many ways reminds me of the sacrifices made by our selfless adoptive families.
The book begins in 1993, when American nurse and mountaineer, Mortenson, attempted to climb Pakistan’s K2. K2 is the second highest mountain on earth and extraordinarily dangerous to climb. Mortenson failed to complete this task, which he set out to do in memory of his decreased sister, and on his decent found himself lost and exhausted. Two Balti men found him, where he was taken in to the village of Korphe and treated with incredibly selfless hospitality.
In Korphe, a small village located on the shelf of a canyon, the villagers lived off of what little the land had to offer, mainly apricot trees. Many of the village’s inhabitants were malnourished and dirty, yet they offered their best drink and blankets to the stranger. In return for their hospitality, Mortenson promised to return and build them a school, so that the children could receive an education. Almost none of the inhabitants of Korphe were formally educated, many of the children did not even know what a school was.
When Mortenson returned to the United States where he himself was so poor that he had resorted to residing in a car, he dedicated himself to raising funds for this school. When not working, he spent his time writing over five hundred and eighty letters to various wealthy individuals and organizations asking for assistance. He engaged in research and found that it would cost approximately $12,000 to complete the project if local materials and labor were appropriately utilized. After much difficulty, he succeeded in raising funds for the first school.
Mortenson was able to build the first school despite several set backs, including stolen supplies and countless hours of hard labor. He was able to provide the village children with a school and subsequently create over 55 more schools in the most rural regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, changing the lives of hundreds of children. The road to accomplishing the goal of creating schools in the war torn rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan was not easy. Mortenson and his family made personal, financial and physical sacrifices to better the lives of children on the other side of the world, most of whom they had never met.
In many ways this incredible story reminds me of the selfless adoptive families for whom MLJ Adoptions, Inc. provide services. Like Mortenson, many of our families have made personal, financial and physical sacrifices. They have experienced set backs and frustration. They have overcome the cultural divides faced when adopting a child internationally. Like Mortenson, they have made these sacrifices to better the lives of children from another country, most of whom they had never met.
Thank you to those adoptive families and prospective adoptive families who have made, and will continue to make sacrifices in an effort to better the lives of children.
You are an inspiration!