I was notified recently that today, while many of us in America are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, there is a whole other celebratory day going on in our daughter’s little corner of Uganda.
Today is parent visitation day at her school, an “open house” of sorts where parents come to see their children’s performance in school, speak with their teachers and I’m sure, do a lot of other things that I didn’t hear about. The kids get very excited about this day.
Of course, unless they’re one of the many orphans there who don’t have parents to come view their work and encourage them.
The pastor asked me to write a letter to our daughter, so that she would have something from her new family today, and we did that. I’m not going to share it here for personal reasons, but it felt both really good and really odd to do this bit of parenting from afar. We hope to try to Skype later, though we’ve not had much luck with that lately due to poor Internet service on their end. But we still keep trying.
As I sat down to write to her, though, I kept thinking about the other orphans, the ones without sponsors or potential adoptive parents, for whom this must feel like a truly lonely day. I composed another letter and asked the pastor to read it to all the kids. I thought I’d share it here because I know that if you’re reading this blog, you care about orphans, and I hope you’ll join us in praying for these precious kids who do so much with so very little.
I pray so hard that they feel the arms of their loving heavenly Father around them today, and are reminded that they truly are never alone.
Dear Children of —— Ministries,
On this day dedicated to parent visitation at your school, know that each of you are on my and Father Donnie’s mind today, and that you all are always close in our hearts. I wish it were possible to be there with all of you on this day, to see the work you do and encourage you in your educational pursuits. Know that we are indeed, with you there, in spirit, and eagerly look forward to the day that we can come and spend time with you all.
All of you have experienced difficult circumstances, but all of you have also been given gifts and talents by our Creator. He made each of you unique and special, and has a good plan for each of your lives, plans that will utilize all the good things within you to serve His kingdom and your community. God has also blessed you with an opportunity to go to school—something that you well know isn’t given to all Ugandan children. I trust that each of you will cherish this gift and work hard each day to be the best student you can be.
I have heard about your dreams, your plans to become doctors, engineers, architects, teachers, pastors. A good education is the foundation of all those dreams and plans. And though sometimes studying is hard, remember during the hard times that it is always worth it. What you invest in yourself, what you learn, and your faith in God—these things can never, ever be taken from you. They are true riches in life.
Our family prays for you daily and will always be here for you, working to find sponsors for your education and other needs. We are proud of the strength and courage we see exhibited in your lives and I hope that you will always remember and find comfort in Jeremiah 29:11, as this verse is for each of you: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” He does have good plans for you all!
May the Lord guide you and be with you as you work hard to achieve your best this year in school.
With much love,
Mama Kari and Father Donnie