The Eagle's Tale

Blessed to be a blessing

New perspective needed to promote positivity in today's culture

Watoto+Child+Care+Ministries+houses+Ugandan+orphans+in+a+traditional+family+setting.
Watoto Child Care Ministries houses Ugandan orphans in a traditional family setting.

Watoto Child Care Ministries houses Ugandan orphans in a traditional family setting.

Courtesy of Chase Hall

Courtesy of Chase Hall

Watoto Child Care Ministries houses Ugandan orphans in a traditional family setting.

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As I look around me people are swarming the hallways, using a variation of insults, crude language and a line up of complaints pertaining to how “inconvenient” their life is. What they can’t see though is how incredibly blessed they are; they forget how to acknowledge it. Not to say no one has issues or problems, but it would be a mistake to say, as Americans, we are not privileged. One thing we unequivocally need, as a society, is perspective.

One thing we unequivocally need, as a society, is perspective.”

— Sydney Gadberry, 11

In the summer of 2016, I spent approximately two weeks in Uganda, the most impacting and influential experience I have ever had. I went with a group of eight other short-term missionaries, most of whom had never been out of the country. The trip was a stretch for all of us with 25 hours of total flight time, hot conditions, some unclean water and the gigantic mosquitoes which came with the humidity. 

Despite how different or uncomfortable we felt, we had joy in knowing the purpose for why we were there. Going into the trip my intention was to aid the underprivileged. Although we did help people through Watoto, the truth is, the trip did more to expand my perspective and my spiritual strength than I anticipated. The trip livened my views and showed me how blessed I am.

While in Uganda, I noticed many things which showed how obviously different their culture worked opposed to what I was used to, such as the lack of structure in traffic, the harshness in their security and the one thing which made the biggest impact: the poverty. 

Toward the end of our trip, we went into some of the more impoverished villages, ones with mud huts, clothes lines and children barely clothed. I was expecting sad and distressed faces, but the children were vibrant, happy and incredibly funny.  They ran, played, laughed and sang like any other children would. I don’t know if they realized there was any other way to live.

The trip livened my views and showed me how truly blessed I am.”

— Sydney Gadberry, 11

They were content. They had joy.  They didn’t have anything besides what they could make from nature, yet they still played, still loved, still told stories, still sang, still lived a life of happiness. They overflowed with the one thing Americans have failed to accomplish: true contentedness. 

On our bus ride back to our house, we had a question and answer session with our host. He asked us about different cultural things about America and ended with a question that left us all momentarily speechless. He asked, “Why are Americans so unhappy?”

We are distracted by pursuing the American dream. We cannot get enough. We seek for more and more and more until we are satisfied. Happiness should not be contingent on any thing or any person. If that was the case, no one would be satisfied. As I looked at them I asked myself, “How could they be so happy, even though it seemed like they have nothing?”

It wasn’t true, though. They had God, family and hope. It was all they needed. It’s all we need. We just have to take a step back a realize it.

It is our responsibility to care for the things which break God’s heart.”

— Sydney Gadberry, 11

On our last day in Africa we decided to go four wheeling along the Nile River. It was an incredible experience, not because we were zooming through villages and forest, but because that day I saw something which changed my life forever.

While riding, we rushed past a woman who had an intense and determined look on her face. She was alone, carrying supplies and crawling through the thick mud to get home. She was paralyzed. When I saw her I felt like I was going in slow motion. I do not know her situation, all I know is she was disabled without any help. The thing is, it didn’t matter what she was facing; she was determined. She wasn’t going to stop.

A few days later we had reached home, and, when I got to my room, I started to pray. God vividly showed me the image of the woman. It replayed in my head for a while, and I heard the words, “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” We are responsible to care for the things which break God’s heart, to right the injustices in this world.

We have to recognize how blessed we are, and, with that, bless others around us. To do this is simple: be content, have hope and spread love.

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About the Writer
Sydney Gadberry, Staff Reporter
Hey, I’m Sydney Gadberry. This is my first year on staff at The Eagle’s Tale. I’m involved in choir and Spanish, and I volunteer at my church. I’m also interested in missionary work. I’ve been on two incredibly life-changing missions trips, one to Africa and the other to Cambodia. After high school, I want to...
2 Comments

2 Responses to “Blessed to be a blessing”

  1. Mark Bressler on February 15th, 2018 7:26 am

    Wow! That hit me right between the eyes! We are truly the most blessed people and nation in the world, yet we are the most unhappy. Sydney nailed it!! We aren’t content. We get something we may be shooting for and then that’s not enough. Seems we always have to have more, more, more!! Thank you for this insight Sydney!! This really touched my heart today!!

  2. Taylor Mason on April 30th, 2018 9:30 pm

    So many great quoates in this text. Sydney got it right, what we need is perspective and action and to live for deeper needs than just our own. Great article.

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