And a child shall lead them ...
By Ramon Presson, Columnist
In October of this year 10-year-old Courtney Grable, a fourth grader at Christ Presbyterian Academy, and the oldest daughter of Tim and Terre Grable, joined her mother and several others on a mission project to Belize. The original plan was for Courtney to tutor Belizean teachers how to use the donated iPads that were brought for them. It was there that she met Ruth who donated the property for a safe house for battered women and shared her story with Courtney.
Courtney’s parents said, “Living in Williamson County provides us with so many opportunities and advantages. It can be easy to assume everyone has such opportunities or to become inwardly focused and just ignore the pressing needs of others, both locally and globally. Personally for us, mission trips have served as life's greatest teachers and we wanted the same for our daughter.”
Children are not typically prone to a profound and lasting burden for others. Deep empathy, compassion, and generosity are no more fully formed in them than their skeletal frames. While it may not be remarkable that Courtney felt something for the troubled Belizians while she was in their presence and face-to-face with their plight, it is quite unusual for a young girl to 1) be unable to shake the images and stories of a city or shake her concern for its people, 2) feel compelled to take specific and meaningful action, and 3) believe a 10-year-old who is 1,300 miles away can make a difference.
The House of Ruth provided Courtney the bull’s eye of a target to aim her compassion and assertiveness. The House of Ruth is a 900-square-foot home that will provide a safe haven from domestic violence for women and children in Belize. The House of Ruth will be only the second safe house in the entire country. While there, women will be loved, protected, and connected to social services in the community. Upon completion The House of Ruth will have bedrooms, bathrooms, and a living area for women and their children.
The home is just one ministry of The Belize Project (www.thebelizeproject.org) that reaches out to Belizeans through health care, education and micro-enterprises. The Belize Project must raise $5,000 in order to renovate the home to habitable standards and functionality.
To a youngster $5,000 is a lot of money but apparently is not an intimidating amount to Courtney who believed she could help raise that money herself. And that is exactly what she has set out to do. Courtney is asking for 1,000 people to step forward with a donation of just $5.
Check out Courtney’s two-minute video at www.thegrablegroup.com. There you will also find a button to take you to a donation page that is quick and easy to use.
It is not only Courtney’s desire to raise the needed funds for The House of Ruth’s required renovations, it is her dream to return to Belize and walk through the doors of a completed and fully functioning home and meet the women and families being blessed by it. One can only imagine how glad those women will be to meet Courtney—the little American girl who never forgot about them.
The Apostle Paul wrote to his young apprentice pastor Timothy and said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young but be an example for the believers…” (1Timothy 4:12) Miss Courtney Grable is setting an inspiring and challenging example to those who are decades her senior. And during a season of the year when most children are focused on the delight of receiving there is a girl in our midst enveloped in the joy of giving. She deserves our help.
Author and therapist, Ramon Presson, PhD is the founder of LifeChange Counseling and the Marriage Center of Franklin, TN. www.LifeChangeCS.org firstname.lastname@example.org www.ramonpresson.com
Posted on: 12/21/2012