COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: A letter to our awesome Encinitas community

I write you this letter as a friend and neighbor from Leucadia, one who shares the equal stoke of living, supporting and serving in our community. My name is Richard Lawson, and I am a native San Diegan and completely blessed to have spent my life here.
As the seasons of life come and go, and bring with them the opportunities for growth, in which we are either bearing new fruit or being pruned, it is with joy that I share with you about the new season I am about to enter.
When we are pruned in areas of our lives, it gives us room to start over, to grow fresh and become fuller than before. Sure, it is not fun to be “pruned,” but we know that the outcome is usually good, be it, more development in our character, learning virtue or just learning not to put our hand on a hot stove again.
So now, I spring forward, hopefully into fruitfulness, ready to go back to where a piece of my heart has been for the last four years. Back in 2006 I had the privilege of staying and serving at an orphanage in Bali, Indonesia. The 30 children in the home, most of whom abandoned, orphaned or abused, were so filled with life and laughter that I could not stop my inner child from coming out. It was really easy to love their hearts, and though we did not speak in the same tongue, the language barrier was conquered when communicating with smiles and laughter.
Now, it is the start of a new year, and after wrestling with God for a long time on what my life purpose is, He spoke loud and I finally listened. I realized that what fulfills me the most is serving others with a cheerful and glad heart; freely giving my time, attentive ears and transparent love.
So, I have made a courageous decision to quit my career as an insurance broker, sell and give away most of my possessions and buy a one-way ticket to Bali. This is not for the vacation, not for the surf (although it is awesome), nor for the praise of my fellow peers, but just something I feel strongly called to do. I don’t know how long I will be there, and I am totally OK with that. I will be staying at the orphanage, helping and serving, supporting and raising the kids with genuine love. Along with this, it is my goal to help the house mother buy more property. She would like to rescue more kids but does not have the money for the property nor for the food and clothing … yet.
This is where I ask you, and our funky community to help. There are children in need all over the world and I encourage support to those causes as well, as for me, it’s the abandoned kids in Bali. I would love to help support the orphanage, and to buy more property to rescue more kids from hopelessness of the streets and from turning to a life of prostitution or thievery.
Will you help me in this cause? There is no organization paying me a salary, nor do I even need one. It’s just me, going because there is a need, and I can only stay and serve through the collective help of the community, friends and family.
If you care to donate medical supplies, toys, or stuff for the kids, please let me know as soon as possible via e-mail. I am leaving on Jan. 25 and can bring stuff with me. is the blog you can follow. This will be updated at least twice a month and will show where and how your donations are being used. On the blog you will find a donate button linked to PayPal for those who would like to support this cause.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I truly would not be able to do this without you.

Contact Richard E. Lawson at


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