For it was just one child who changed the world
Today I heard a homily about Advent.
Advent is about the waiting. Advent waiting is a hopeful waiting.
It is waiting in excitement!
I remember the first year I returned from India. Many of you know me and know that I am never without something to say. But that time following my return from India in 2014, I really could not put into words what the experience was like. It was overwhelming. I felt a deep gratitude for the chance to witness a world outside my own, where hope and generosity exist amid poverty. I could not have imagined a place like this. I was overcome. I was in awe.
Soon I will be returning, in January 2017, for my fourth visit to Tamil Nadu India. I feel excited to return to people I have come to know and love. I listened to my favorite song in church today, "Come to me." We sing "I love you and you are mine." That is what Eleanganny has come to be for me.
Advent makes me think of the children who we call our FOCI Children. Our FOCI children are waiting. They are hopeful and exited. They understand that the help they have recieved in the past will continue for them. They will be able to continue to go to school because of the generosity of someone (You!) on the other side of the world. Can you imagine being excited about going to school? Well, it is a very different world there, and surely they are excited about the opportunity to go to school. The families we help know very well that everyone in this place does not get that opportunity.
Advent means coming or arrival. It calls us to be alert and focused. We stay alert and watchful - waiting for what is to come. Our FOCI families feel this same happy anticipation. Each year when I meet them and share your help with them, they tell me that they will pray for this American Sponsor who has been so generous to them. I have shared pictures of the children with you. You have heard or read stories about some of the children who have been fortunate enough to become part of our program. You are coming to know them, a little bit at a time. This year, I will take pictures of YOU to them. Soon, the child and parents who pray for you, will know your face. They will hear a bit about you and they will begin to know you!
I am waiting too. I am waiting in excitement. I am waiting in humble gratitude for the experience of visiting Eleanganny. I have come to love this place and these children, who embody the words trust, appreciation and simplicity.
Many of the FOCI sponsors have already sent in their tuition support for this year, I am happy to say that a lot of them have included photographs of themselves or their family. I hope that if you have not yet sent in your donation, you will do so soon. And PLEASE
send a photo and a brief note about yourself. I look forward to "reading" them to the children- with the help of my dedicated translator...
What are YOU waiting for?
God Bless You!