Like I said, my mailbox went from empty to running over in no time. I had been wondering for months what Happyness’s family had purchased with the gift money I sent during the drought and/or illness months (a time when food is scarce or illnesses are more common than others). Mostly, I just wanted to know what she thinks about our correspondence. Does she feel special? Does she feel loved? Does she think we are crazy?
I was pleased as punch to recieve a letter and a photo from Tanzania.
Chickens! She bought chickens! That makes me so happy. Chickens are a great source of eggs and meat. It’s the gift that keeps on giving (if there’s a rooster to oblige)! I grew up on a commercial chicken farm where we had approximately 24,000 chickens. I won’t tell her how many chickens we had (that’s seems to be in the category of American abundance), but I will certainly be sure to share that I have my fair share of experience with the feathered beasties!
How cute is her little brother, Oscar? I wonder if he is sponsored…
Some things we learned from Happyness’s letter:
- She told us that she received our singing birthday card, family photograph and stickers (I always include stickers with my letters). She said, “I have loved and enjoyed them so much.”
- Her favorite color is red (I asked), but she also said, “my colours are mine.” I’m assuming she means that she has her very own set of crayons?
- She loves her friends Omega, Jesca and Ija so much. I think these are different friends than the ones we have heard about in the past. I’ve been meaning to pull “a Jessica” and send her friends a letter, too.
- The letter was written in April and she was on holiday from school for Easter. She planned to attend church then visit her grandfather. I’m glad to know that she has a male figure in her life since her father passed away. She said they would spend the holiday doing chores like fetching firewood and washing dishes. Housework stops for no one!
- As for the family gift, she said: “I received $15….I bought a hen and my underwear clothes.” This is a little confusing to me because I sent $25. Maybe it has something to do with crappy exchange rates. It’s also clear that she bought more than just one hen and some undies. Maybe the Center bought the rest of the items (they usually assess what the family most needs), then allowed her to spend $15. If that’s the case, she made wise choices! In the photo, she also has sandals, a brush, two jars of something (maybe lotions or creams) and a package of Jamaa which I have had no luck finding on the internet. I t may be cookies or some kind of special treat; I often see families with a bottle of Coca-Cola and other luxury items in their family pictures.
You know, one of my reasons for getting involved in Compassion’s program in the first place was an ongoing conversation I had been having with God about the poor and our responsibility (as Christians) to care for them. Scripture is clear that we should take care of the orphan and the widow (the weakest members of society), but many Compassion kids come from a two-parent home. Truth be told, I wasn’t entirely sold on sponsoring a child from a two-parent home because, in my mind, they had an advantage over others. However, the Wise Sage and Soft Rocker, Shaun Groves, recently made a great observation: Compassion is in the business of orphan prevention. Many kids, like my Happyness, live in high-risk HIV communities. Even without AIDS to contend with, we all know that poverty prevents families from getting routine medical care–simple things like vaccinations and check-ups that can prevent the smallest problems from becoming a life-threatening situation. Compassion is providing something much more important than meeting physical needs: they are introducing families to The Great Physician.
Bottom line: the blessing is all yours if you sponsor a child through Compassion. Check them out….it does a
body heart good!