The last time I was truly, blissfully happy was when I was writing a letter. It made me feel like Fay Wade, the dear elderly woman who mentored me in my faith when I was in middle school. She wrote me encouragements inside cards with old-fashioned florals on the front. Her penmanship complemented the cards. Mrs. Wade gently patted my arm at church. She believed in Jesus, and she believed in me. I have never forgotten her love.
I’m thanking God this week for allowing me to become a Mrs. Wade to someone . . . to Isaya. If I am not mistaken, we are in our fourth year of sponsoring him. Before I wrote the letter that made joy whoosh through my soul, I read a letter from him. “You have changed my life,” he wrote in English.
I wouldn’t ordinarily believe such words, but I had seen proof. Jesus had changed his life, through my husband and me and the people working at Compassion International. He now has a door on his house, a bed for him and his brothers to share, farmland, goats, a solar panel, and a savings account. (It amazes me how far U.S. dollars stretch in Uganda!) He is attending school and learning about the Lover and Savior of his soul.
Isaya’s gratitude is palpable in his words and in the photos he sends. I feel as though we are part of an ongoing miracle in Africa! Part of my heart resides there now, for I have come to love this boy.
So I wrote to him, telling him how happy I am to see a picture of him smiling. (In the beginning of our sponsorship, he was stoic.) How proud I am of how he is learning in school. (A year or two ago, he couldn’t write his own correspondence with me.) And, how much Jesus loves him!
My handwriting felt effortless and neat. My mood soared.
How all of our hearts long to help others! But, so often, we don’t know who or how we can really help. I cannot heal my friend’s daughter’s pain. I cannot take away a kindred’s grief. But, I can write a letter, enclose a belated Christmas card, and pray!
Sending that letter to Africa, a continent I have never set foot on, I felt a little like that man in the story of the millions of live starfish washed up on the beach. He throws one back into the ocean. “Made a difference to that one!”
Fay Wade scrawled love to me. I’m penning hope to Isaya. Who will Isaya mentor? The ripple the starfish makes when it hits the water is ever widening!
Thank you, Jesus, for leading me to this special little boy and allowing me to show him your love!
P.S. When I first signed up to sponsor Isaya, I did so because I thought I “should.” I had no idea how much joy was in store! If you are not already sponsoring a child, you can look at the sweet faces of children who are waiting for their lives to change here.