Glorious Gifts Given
More than 50 gifts, graciously prepared by generous donors, made their way to Africa – along with us – ready to be given to grateful recipients.
A few days after our arrival, we gathered a group of forty Bakhita children together for a grand day of fun. The day was started with prayer, meditation and lots of singing led by our dear colleagues, the Sacred Heart Sisters, who look after these children all year long. The principal of St. Brendan’s spoke to the kids about the opportunity of an education and the importance of studying hard and following rules. They truly appreciated that she was willing to give her time to them. The requisite snacks and drinks were served.
This year, Bakhita Charities is paying school and boarding fees for eighteen Bakhita kids to attend St. Brendan’s. Each of them left the gathering with a bag of beautiful gifts prepared by loving hands. The hoodies are always a hit, along with fun socks and a new book to read. But this year the real highlight was a bead bracelet with the girl’s name, made by a group from Christ the Redeemer St. Nicholas Day Project. A perfect gift.
Also invited to the gathering were many former Bakhita girls who are now working on some form of tertiary education. It was amazing that sixteen were able to attend, some from quite far away. They spent time reminiscing in the Bakhita Village Home, where they grew up – even finding their old beds and maybe a carved letter or two they left behind. And it gave us a chance to have one-on-one live conversations with each them that can help determine how much support each one needs and what they are planning for their futures. Each of the sixteen received a gift bag along with a box meal to take with them on their journey back to their places.
But the fun doesn’t stop yet. There are many workers on the grounds of St. Brendan’s and Bakhita Village as well as boarding aunties. They work hard day in and day out for low wages and in difficult conditions. We love to remember them with a small gift from the United States followed by the photo of themselves receiving it. We try to be kind and caring everyday that we are here, but the day of delivering gifts is special to all.
It was a glorious day. A huge thanks to all the gift gatherers!