Thursday, June 11, 2009

What a Difference The Years Make

"Can I come in?" my colleague Carol said, gently tapping on my cracked office door. "Of course," I replied, a firm believer that any interruption from Carol was worth stopping for. Thinking it was a work thing she needed some advice on, I turned my body away from the computer to give her my full attention, only to find her eyes filled with warm, thoughtful tears. "What's going on?" I said, concerned. "You'll never believe it, but my sister received the most amazing letter..." began Carol.

And so began the story of Carol and her family making the kind of impact on an man's life that many of us only wish for (or see Brangelina do on TV). Though it can never be retold with he softness and raw emotion that Carol so artistically shared, I can summarize it by saying that with just two dollars a month for somewhere around a decade, Carol and her family nearly single-handedly aided in the success of this young man. Read his letter below:

Hi Madam Cecilia Bachman,

I am happy to be communicating to you after all this period. Yesterday, I forgot to give all the necessary details about myself under the heavy ambitions to communicate to you and repeating to make sure that you at least get message from me. I am now 34 years of age and I married to a Lovely wife by the name Midina and hopefully I will send you the recent photograph of my family and same for your concerned sisters who happen to have contributed to my sponsorship. God bless you all.

I visited U.S.A (New york) twice being Oct 2007 and Feb 08 and not accompanied by spouse because I came for UN Security which was not very successful however I passed written exams, I was cleared for DPKO(department of peacekeeping operation) based on my previous experience since I happen to have served in UN Peace keeping Mission in Siera Leone) from 2000 to 2001. I have currently decided to give a chance to B.A Degree at Egerton University(Nairobi branch) after which I may seek for Job opportunities with UN. Wish the best of Luck to Genevieve, who is pursuing a similar course to me since I have also done Juvenile criminology as unit in my course.

As I have earlier mentioned, I traveled to Siera Leone for UN Peace Keeping missionwhen it was completely a war torn region under the rebel leader of Fode Sanko. I also visited Ethiopia which is our neighbor country. The rest I passed while on transit to USA including Uganda, Neitherland, Paris and Turkey. While in New york I visited Philadelphia to meet a friend from kenya who came for a seminar. I will now keep in touch. Pass my regards to family and your sisters.

Thanks and may God bless you.

Carol went on to tell me that late one night many years ago, her family was drawn in by the infomercial of the man featured with a darling African child, his eyes sadder than any artist could even draw due to the horror this child had been living through. With aching hearts, they called in to sponsor a child, only to receive his picture and several letters over the years. Bonaya, almost too young to communicate and still working toward learning English, was not in touch often from his war-torn country, and Carol's family began to wonder if their combined $10 a month was really going toward his care. After all, this is a child they had grown to love, sent food and clothing and even slipped in notes of sentiment so that he may find some comfort in his dreary days. Though small memories of this family tradition had begun to slip from her mind over the years, the wonder of Bonaya and what had become of his future always lay dear in Carol's heart.

And so here they are, lives now filled with grandchildren, a U.S. economy feeling like it's suffering, grown children, and more that make up the gifts of life, when this letter arrives (via Facebook none-the-less ..yay social media!) that Carol and her family are reminded of what a difference just one person can make. These are the things that miracles are made of - may you find ways in which you give that fills your heart with joy and gives peace, contentment and betterment to this world.

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