Last week I was able to attend what EY termed as "An Inspiring Morning Tea". This entailed hearing from a bubbly, young lady from India named Esther Azariah and eating cupcakes at 10:30 in the morning. In New Zealand, it seems morning tea is code for eating sweets meant for at least after lunch in the mid-morning. Esther Azariah was visiting New Zealand with the Tear Fund Compassion Tour. The tour was to promote awareness and hopefully recruit donors for the Sponsor a Child program through Tear Fund/Compassion International.
Esther is a former sponsor child from India who now works for Ernst & Young and supports her entire family (parents and sister) on her salary. She was sponsored by the same Kiwi family for 15 years which spanned her entire eduction from 5 years old through university. Tear Fund brought Esther to New Zealand to not only promote the impact sponsorship can have on the life of a child but also to meet her sponsor family for the first time.
I also had the pleasure of having lunch with Esther since many EY people were too busy with actual work but I seem to have nothing but available time. We went to Little India as Esther was craving food from home after a week in New Zealand. Esther was a breath of fresh air. She was full of life with ambition to spare! She spoke often of her faith in God and his many blessings in her life. It was clear that Esther attributed her sponsorship, success and current situation to a gift from God. It was definitely inspiring to hear how one family's small donation of $30 a month changed the life of an individual so dramatically. It was also interesting to hear Ernst & Young's part in her story.
This was Esther's first time out of India and she was eager to see as many things as she could. She wanted to meet everyone at EY she encountered and take a picture with them as well! On our way back from lunch, we took pictures in front of the office sign, in the bean bags, and in the lobby! It was eye-opening to hear her express differences in Bangalore and Auckland. When we approached a traffic light to cross the street and my colleague pushed the button to wait for the walk signal, Esther ask what the button was for. She thought it was strange that an individual on the street stopped to pick up a piece of litter that was not even their own trash instead of tossing trash into the street without a second thought. Esther found it odd that she was given her own hotel room with so much personal space. She told us of the procedure to take a cab home from the office after 8 pm which involves an armed guard in the mandatory cab with you.
My time with Esther served as a reminder to me of several things. I should have the kind of clear and transparent focus on God that she displays. I can make a difference in the world by helping even one individual whether abroad or in my own town. Most of the world does not live in the kind of spoiled, 1st world society that I am privileged to call home. Who would have thought a 30 minute morning tea would have such an effect on me!