There's been a lot weighing on my heart this week. Before I get to that, I want to mention that in the "Russ" posting I did a week or so ago, I said I would try and get a photo of a Russkort for that post. I did and it's there...they are fun to read. (always more fun in English so I know what it actually says!) :o) Also, a big hurrah for the Norwegian flying folks...the strike ended and Joe was able to make it to Sigtuna, Sweden! It appears like he'll be doing almost all of his events today, on the first day of the meet. He is scheduled for shot put, high jump, 4X400 relay, and the 1500m run. He texted me yesterday to let me know he got there okay. He took his camera, so hopefully he'll get some good pictures.
This week...actually I can't say that it all started this week...it's been a few weeks in the making. It sometimes feels so surreal when you are in such a beautiful country and things like the cyclone in Burma take place and the earthquake in Chengdu, PRC. My heart just aches for these people. Imagine in China...with the one child policy that has been in place for decades now...how many parents are now childless...losing their only child in one of the many crumbling school buildings we are hearing about. Thank goodness the Chinese government is allowing help to come pouring in. Burma...wow, it's been three weeks and I just read today that the UN president finally talked some sense into their military leaders to allow some help to flow more freely into their country. We may never know how many THOUSANDS lost their lives that could have been easily saved. I know from living in Okinawa, where there are all sorts of different military bases poised to react to such natural disasters, that it could have been there less than 24 hours after the cyclone hit. My stomach curdles thinking of the small children...and there are thousands of them...that are starving...dying of thirst with no clean water to drink. It just baffles me.
Another sad note to mention...on Wednesday, a terrible tragedy occurred to Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. He may sound familiar to you because he is one of the most well-known Christian music singers of our time. What you may not know is that he has made several missionary trips to China with his wife and has adopted three young girls from there. He has reflected his adoption of his daughters in his music and in several books that he has written with his wife and daughters. He already had several older biological children before adopting the three from China. On Wednesday, on of his teenage sons accidentally ran over and killed his youngest daughter, Maria, who was 5. Evidently he backed out of the driveway in an SUV and never knew she was there. I cannot imagine the pain that the entire family is going through...the son...the children...the parents. Many of the family members witnessed the entire thing. He is such a champion for international adoption...especially in China. He has an organization that helps families adopt when they need the extra money. My heart goes out to his entire family.