It read: “Just a few words from you will make all the difference.” And if I didn’t know what to write, I had few options to choose from – ‘I love you’, ‘I believe in you’, ‘You are special’, ‘God has a plan for your life’, ‘I am praying for you’…
Tumuhimbise Neville Patrick lives in Uganda. I found him when I was going through the many profiles on Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com). Like me, he is a Gemini and his birthday was on June 5. But the warm and fuzzy feeling on being his sponsor lost its meaning as I failed to fulfill my commitment of writing to him and sending in money every month. And my lame excuse? The emails were going in the spam folder about which I just found out just yesterday. Oh yes! And there’s always this perennial excuse of “I have been so very very busy”… Now, I feel guilty and panicky. As I go through the mails dated March 15 and even older than that, I come across words that are literally dagger through the heart:
I want to share a moment with you that recently occurred in Tumuhimbise’s life. We had the joy of personally telling him that “someone has chosen to become your sponsor”. That’s when Tumuhimbise learned your name and that you believe he is very special.
For children who live in poverty, learning that their sponsor knows their name, knows their story, and cares for them is incredibly powerful. Children in need often feel that they have no value. But your love, through Christ, sends a message of hope.
But needless to day, I am also a little bit hopeful after all better late than ever. I am excited to start writing letters to him. I have never been to Uganda and if directed towards the world’s map, might not even pinpoint Uganda correctly (yes, I am dumb)… but letter writing is something I have been doing since a long time. I write to my friends in Canada, US, Spain and even in India, even when they have been sitting right next to me for the past one year.
There’s magic when pen meets paper. Ask anyone or ask even me – I have got dozens of letters that my friends wrote when I was in high school, and they for me represent a time that I hold most dear – how much more important a hand written letter is when compared to an email or text message.
The time one takes out to write/post it, I love the little drawings my friends usually make and whenever I open the letter there is this crazy excitement that it has traveled across seas and oceans to get to me. In fact, when I had moved to a new city, the handwritten letters by my friends was the only thing that kept me going. Moreover, they would always sneak in something tiny, a little gift, in the envelope.
In short, I felt special and loved. Exactly how I plan on making Tumuhimbise feel. Rather than being responsible, my attitude till now has been lackadaisical, but that is going to change. And I will keep you all posted on how it all turns out.