I had a hard day yesterday. Cindy heard that one of the people we really worked hard to help was most likely in Africa now. This woman apparently didn't tell anyone, but felt she had nothing left to lose, so she left a note saying she didn't care what happened to her things and not to try to reach her. The photo we received, from the apparent scammer's FB account, depicted them laying on a bed, with his arm pulling her toward him. There was a look of both pride and contempt written across his face. The other photos in the album make it clear that he is in Ghana, not Texas as he claims to be. She does not appear to be unhappy.
To say this affected my day would be putting it mildly. I've felt powerless before, and I have toyed with the idea of running away to a remote Mediterranean island, but can't relate to giving up and just moving to a third world country. I know that we did the best we could to get through to her, and made her aware of the dangers that a woman could experience traveling alone in Ghana, but can't help but wonder what we else we could have done?
Sometimes we say that recovery isn't for those who need it, but rather for those who want it. There will always be those who aren't ready to hear the message, for whatever reason, and that will leave us feeling powerless and ineffective. Perhaps this is a reminder that we don't actually give the assistance to people, but are merely a conduit for the higher power. I still don't know why some people "get it" and others don't, but I am grateful today for the reminder that I'm not in charge, and I'm just not that powerful. /mw