As Gavin and I look at the close of 2009, we are marked by how our awesome God has provided for LUO and the 226 children we’ve had a chance to impact in South Africa and Nicaragua. I know we are forever changed and couldn’t have done it without the love and support of friends and family like you. Thank you doesn’t seem to cover it.
So, here I sit behind the computer screen searching for the right words to say this heartfelt “Thank You” and decided the best way to let you know how much you mean to me, Gavin & LUO was to invite you in to the life of a child that inspires me. It’s children like this one that remind me to hold steady, focused on the path God has for us. And it is my hope that in sharing this story, this child, will touch your heart and encourage you as much as he has mine.
This summer, we were introduced to one of the sweetest spirited children that I know. Attie is seven years old and from the outside, he doesn’t appear to have a lot going for him. Attie contracted HIV at birth and was left in the care of his great-grandmother. When he was three years old, he caught a very bad case of meningitis. He was lucky to survive, but in the process of battling the disease, he lost his hearing. So, at seven years old, he has HIV, has lost his parents, cannot hear, and does not speak. Although the odds seem stacked against him…I have never met a child so incredibly full of joy, full of life! Seemingly, un-phased by these obstacles, his eyes shine, his smile melts your heart and his gentle spirit warms you when you come in contact with him. He is special and God has something great planned in intersecting his life with ours. Needless to say, we completely fell head-over-heels in love with this child and his ability to speak to our hearts without saying a word.
Attie is now one of the first children to move in to our safe house. Because of friends like you who have given of their time, money, love, prayer, and wise counsel Attie has a healthy, warm environment, a loving house mother, and most of all…a place to call home. I know I can sleep better at night knowing he is taken care of, getting the medicine he needs to battle the disease attacking his immune system, as well as a balanced nutrition…and of course all the hugs he can stand! Now, with the proper care, Attie will also be able to learn sign language so that he can communicate for the first time.
And that story is just a glimpse at what keeps me going every day. We are dedicated to doing what we do at LUO because of children like Attie. So please accept my heart-felt thanks for believing in LUO and our mission to set children free from poverty. In 2010 we hope to continue to grow and expand our projects at Ithemba in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa and at Casa Havilah and Casa Roble in Managua, Nicaragua. And if you’d like we’ll keep you posted on how you can continue to impact the lives of children just like Attie.
Grateful for your partnership,