Tuesday, February 25, 2014

With Love From Sheila (My "Adopted" Daughter)

Last month, on January 28, we sponsored Sheila from Uganda. I wrote the first letter online that day, since Compassion added her to my account within hours. However, I didn't expect to hear from her for at least a couple months.

It turns out, mail is fast from Uganda! (Not so when we write to India, Burkina Faso, and El Salvador.) We received an introductory letter from Sheila on February 22, written in her hand, in English (which is the official language in Uganda). The letter was a joy for all of us!

Sheila lives with just her grandmother, who is 61. The life expectancy for people in Uganda is not long, so I will be definitely be praying that Sheila has her grandmother in her life for many more years.

Here is the text of Sheila's letter, which she wrote before receiving my letter.

Dear My Friend,

Praise God for the gift of Life. Thank God for you and for loving me and choosing me to be your friend. I will always pray for you to be blessed and may God's love and mercy be upon you. I am now in senior three and pray for me to succeed in my studies for in future would like to be a teacher.

I go to worship God at St. James church of Uganda. I have learnt that at church they tell us encouraging words, and the good news of Jesus Christ. Have you ever heard of Jesus Christ?

May the Almighty God keep loving and blessing you as you serve him.


She also filled in some pre-made boxes on the Compassion stationary, telling us a little more about her.

Her favorite things:

In school - English
Food - rice
Color - orange
Game - playing netball
Bible Story - Daniel
Song - Jesus Loves Me

"If I could visit anywhere...I would go to Kampala because it is a big city."

She also drew beautiful pictures under the heading: I know how to draw...book, house, hen, hut, cup, ball, an egg, tree

Sheila is the only Compassion child we have who doesn't have a mother. I read from her profile that her parents were married, until the death of her mother. Her father is still alive, but not in her life.

My heart soars in a different way for this child, for if my husband would allow it and if we were younger, I would definitely adopt a child. I have always loved children, from an early age asking to hold everyone's baby, later becoming a first-grade teacher, and working in the nursery as soon as I became a Christian. My own children delight me daily with their giggles, their clever ideas, the way they dance to Jesus songs with abandon, the way they fall in live with certain picture books, and the way they so often get inspired by their learning materials. Children are a delight...a joy...a blessing from the Lord. There's no other way to put it. Watching them grow and learn is a privilege.

My role in our other Compassion children's lives is encourager, teacher, and spiritual friend. However, with Sheila I can possibly be a mother figure and no one would be offended (or at least I hope not). I plan to pray that God gives me the words to gently enter her life as a surrogate mother, while not treading on her grandmother's heart. A young lady needs to know that she is loved, that she is beautiful, inside and out. That she is bright and capable and that God has a plan for her life, and that in following it, she will know joy and peace and pass them on to her own children. A young lady needs to know that her life will matter far after she's gone, for generations, if she allows God to fully lead.

It is my privilege to speak these things into her life in these, her vulnerable teen years (she'll be 15 in May).

Please, sponsor a child. Since the older children get chosen far less, I encourage you to consider sponsoring a tween or teen. To say it would brighten your days in an understatement! You don't have to love children exceedingly to do this. It is an act of obedience and God will give you the words, the prayers, the funds. I promise you that.

If you already sponsor, what ages are your children, and from what countries? How have the letters blessed you and your family?

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