THANKFUL– Why is this word highlighted? Well, I could give you several reasons but I will just share the most obvious one. We need to be more thankful.Period.
It is amazing how something so simple to do gets forgotten so easily. When we receive, we get excited, share the good news, sometimes say a prayer and that’s it but let’s look around.The reasons to be thankful are endless,endless I tell ya!
My focus today is my huge family at 40-40. We rarely have plenty, in fact most times we have just enough to get by..but the zeal and dedication with which every member works and the goodness of friend’s hearts makes us seem like millionaires.
A few months ago I had a conversation with an acquaintance and it went something like this;
Him: Oh Esther, how is business?
Me: Huh? I have no business
Him: I mean 40 days over 40 smiles, you must be making a lot of money.
Me: No, everything that we receive is spent on the children. It isn’t for personal gain so I am not.
Him: That is what Gary Skinner used to say. Look at him now, he travels the world in a private jet.
I laughed, scratch that forced a grin is more like it..then I walked off and wept silently in my heart so I could return as good as new. He wouldn’t understand, it was easier to let it go and wear my favourite poker face.
Almost eight months into our work with God’s grace orphanage, I have received my share of ridicule,loud whispers and plain negativity. Sometimes it bothers me but most times it is countered with genuine hearts and love that pours beyond that which I deserve. This makes it all the more easier to deal with.
I acknowledge that people who offer help do it for the children but I can’t help but wonder what I did to deserve the honour, to be trusted with this responsibility, to have strangers hand me their savings, and friends offer to back every decision we make in support of these children. It gets so overwhelming some times.*loud sigh*
This month has been full of miracles. See, we have no funding from any organisations and depend solely on individuals who offer to help. Some make promises they don’t keep and others make none but give abundantly. I am ESPECIALLY excited because some people had started ‘falling out’, not because they care any less but because life happens..So, in our eighth month, getting first time visitors or old friends still donating is something HUGE for the entire project and I:-) *JOY!*
My mobile money account currently has enough to feed the children for a couple of weeks and also pay some teachers but most of it was unexpected..actually all of it!
A few scenarios of the goodness of human beings in relation to this project-this month;
*Yesterday a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while calls me and asks if I have a minute to spare off work. I agreed. We spoke for a couple of minutes at the Chillies restaurant close to my work place. He handed me an envelope that he said contained ‘porridge’ for the kids. I opened it as I went up the stairs. It contained 250,000 shillings worth of porridge! *Thankful!
*A gentleman offered to buy eggs once a week for the children.This is the second week and they are munching away at their nutritious eggs. He heard about us from a friend of a friend of a friend..I told you, reasons to be thankful!
*A girl I shared a class with whom I’d have called an acquaintance because of the few conversations we had called me up. She said she needed to send me money for the kids before wasting it on shoes or clothes. She sent me 150,000 shillings. I was elated.More food, I thought. Two days later she sent another 50,000.”I hope it will help.” I was too humbled.
*I sent money to the lead caretaker at the orphanage so she could buy drugs for a sick child over the weekend, or I thought I had. It turned out I’d sent it to a wrong number and did not even realise.
The gentleman called and asked why I had sent him money with the reason as ‘eyes.’ I explained. He sent it back, the entire amount.
* Lots of other friends have sent 5,10,20,40,000 and it isn’t the amount that counts. They are doing it out of their own free will because they want these children to have a chance at a better life.
I am extremely honoured to know such wonderful people and be part of a life changing experience but I still often sit and wonder, who am I?