Unlike my husband and son, I am not usually given to writing posts about the things that are burdening my heart. However, this is a thought that I have struggled with almost daily since our trips into the Philippines and Vietnam.

I feel compassion deeply for people and came here to put that into action in some small way. Many times my compassion for the women can feel overwhelming and emotionally draining, especially when the needs I see are so basic and so desperate. I know that I need to find a balance because I can’t help everyone, in fact there is little I can do even for the immediate needs of food and shelter for most of the people I meet.

Laotian Lady


When I look past the poverty and dirt and hunger, I see in the faces of the women their beauty and dignity and their hopes for their lives. I realize that except for the place they were born and the circumstances of their lives, they could have all the opportunities that I have.

I don’t want to only meet their physical needs, as important as they are, I want to meet the needs of their heart, for them to know that they have great value and are loved and are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.



Compassion literally means to feel with, to suffer with. Everyone is capable of compassion, and yet everyone tends to avoid it because it’s uncomfortable. And the avoidance produces psychic numbing — resistance to experiencing our pain for the world and other beings” Joanna Macy

I never want to lose the blessing that my heart hurts for the women. I never want to just live here and do good things. I want to long to help more and I want to love these women in a greater depth than ever before. So what I am learning about, and praying about and hopefully growing in, is how to move beyond wanting to help the women and even feeling pity to genuine compassion and love that leads to action.