During the month of May Two Rivers has taken a challenge to live as others in the world live. We are hoping that by denying ourselves some of the things that we have become so comfortable with in our culture we might know what it is like to live, for just a few days and in some small ways, in a 3rd world country. The weekly challenges are as follows:
week one - live without power
week two - eat rice & beans
week three - bike to work
week four - live on $2 per day
The great thing about these weekly challenges is that each family can choose their level of involvement. This is also an anti-fundraiser meaning that you can give to a cause (Haiti) without spending any money. Simply take the money that you would have spent on power, gas, food etc. and give it to the cause. We are hoping to raise at least $1,000 to be given to help with ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.
The first week our family decided to turn off all of our breakers except the one to our refrigerator. We thought that buying ice, or letting the food we had go bad wasn't in the spirit of the event so we made that concession. The one other concession we made (for the sake of our marriage) was each morning I would turn on one breaker so that Bonnie could dry her hair as she got ready for work. Other than that we lived off the grid.
The week was a great experience for our family. We were able to talk to our girls about how others live in the world and they seemed to really get it. I know the teachers at their school think we are crazy, but they have a whole life in front of them to get used to that! One thing we learned is that we don't have to have some of the things we have. For instance: 500 cable channels: 20 minute steaming hot showers: air conditioning set at 65: constant entertainment: just to name a few. We also learned that the 3rd world isn't as far away as we thought. I will tell that story in my next post.
For now we know that sometimes simple is good. Conversation with your wife and family tops 'Funniest Home Videos.' Cool showers can be invigorating. Candles are romantic. Mac & cheese cooked on the grill tastes good. Denial is good for the soul. And God is still there, even in the dark.
More of my thoughts on this month later.