this past wednesday we packed up every toothbrush wal-mart and target had in stock and shipped them off to zimbabwe. it may not seem like much to us americans, but i believe it will have a tremendous impact on people in zimbabwe.

zimbabwe is currently struggling through one of the worst financial situations in the whole world. as i write this post the inflation rate is probably changing! as of my last update with our pastor friend, john, (which was this past wednesday) the inflation rate was 1200%! the worst part is that the rate often changes between the morning and the evening. most people can’t even afford eggs and milk. this is why these toothbrushes are such a blessing. most can’t afford them and the most expensive one in the pile was less than a dollar and yet it will mean a lot to the children john’s church will be giving them to.

the awesome thing about giving these toothbrushes is that we had actually wanted to just send john money. instead he gave us a tangible way we could help out – getting far more for them than they could have gotten with a hundred dollar bill in his hand. small things make a difference in this world and this is what the church is all about – small daily acts of redemption that actually do change lives. it feels good to be part of something global. want to know what john plans to do with all of these toothbrushes? here’s a snippet from a recent email:

I appreciated the interest you showed in what goes on here in Zimbabwe and the desire in some way to connect with the ministry. May I put a suggestion to you which is of immediate need. We have a Children at Risk ministry (amongst many others) which seeks to help…children at risk!!! Christmas is a time when we make a special effort to send out small gifts to various groups and every year target an organisation called the Jairos Jiri Association. They run a school for handicapped children (some mentally but most physically) who have not yet reached school going age. They take the children at a young age and try and get them prepared to enter normal school at about age 5 or 6. We put together Christmas parcels for the kids which we distribute in early December.

We are appealing to our church folk for most of the items int he parcels, but two items that are on the more expensive side for our folk here (believe it or not) is a tooth brush and tooth paste. We would like to give the kids each a toothbrush and that is where I was wondering if you and any of your folk might like to be involved. I am writing to another church who knows us to see if they would be willing to do the toothpaste, but would your folk like to send some toothbrushes?