I got to do the best part of my job as sponsorship director last Friday. I have been dreaming for the past year about a Christmas gift program for our sponsored kids in which we could give each sponsor an individualized Christmas list of things that the children and their families actually need, then the sponsor could choose an item, donate online or through the mail, then we purchase the gift here, give to the child/family, and send photos and thank yous to the sponsor. Because of my trans-continental move during the key planning month for this program, it was really rough this year, but we still had our sponsors come through in a big way, and the evidence showed on Friday.
Not all of the sponsors could/did give, but some other friends gave money for school kits for the kids, which helped make sure that every child received a gift. Also, God blessed us so much in giving us a great exchange rate on the money, and we were able to bargain so many amazing deals that we remained with some money to buy extra food for hungry families.
I also got to experience the best part of being a sponsor. I sponsor three kids here, Potina, Anjela, and Kibiro. I bought dresses for each of the girls (and they look stunning), but I saved up to buy Kibiro the thing that he had been praying for for months: a bicycle. Kibiro is totally my little brother here, we are quite close, and he is always running errands for me to pay my water bill or mail something, and he always goes on foot. Well, now he has a bicycle to carry him around! We had been teasing him for months now that he should pray for financial blessing for his sponsor (me) to buy him a bicycle, and he always replied very seriously that he was indeed praying for his sponsor (me) every day. His gift was the very last one presented, and he was so happy!
On a side note, now is also the most difficult time to be working here. The growing season has started, but many, many families are going without food. Every week a new family comes to our attention because they are sleeping hungry. Some very small children are suffering from hunger right now. Leah and I have already given more money from our own personal budgets than is probably wise to buy food for some families, and we've scrimped and saved from the program budget also, but every couple of days we add another family to the list of those with no food.
I'll write more about what I've been learning from this season in my next snail-mail support letter, which will come out in early March. If you are not on the mailing list for that letter and would like to be, please email me your address. ladams[at]lahash[dot]net
If you would like to help with the hunger problem here, please sponsor a child (there are about ten remaining) or just donate to Grace and Healing Ministry at www.lahash.net/donate.html. Thanks.