The shortcomings of human language are exposed the moment one realizes that he or she is unable to express deep appreciation by saying, “Thank you.”
David, in Psalm 103, attempts to express his gratitude for the blessings he has received from God. David invited his soul and everything in his whole being. Then he pointed out some of the benefits.
When my first book, âEast African Folktales for All Ages,â was published in February 1996, I wanted the first copy to be for my mother. I wanted to sit down and write, âThank you mom for what she has done for me. It would take months, however, before I was emotionally stable enough to write to him.
I am who I am in large part because of my mother.
It’s been 11 years since I wanted to say “Thank you” to the people of the Treasure Valley and other areas. I have been unable to do this because I have become an emotional wreck or because I don’t have the right words. But most of the time, I experience both.
In January 2010, I returned to Kangundo, Kenya, after 24 uninterrupted years in the United States. This trip exposed me to the devastating interconnected realities of AIDS / HIV, corruption and poverty. Poor orphans and children from poor households were unable to attend secondary school.
A Kenyan newspaper told the story of a mother of six who committed suicide because she was unable to afford the annual $ 500 tuition fee for her daughter. I met two 15-year-old girls who had passed the eighth exams twice and were about to repeat – with no chance of ever making it to school. Their only hope was to grow up so they could be married, sometimes to older men who could provide dowry goats and / or cows.
To say that I was heartbroken is an understatement. In my youth, every girl and boy who passed grade 8 to enter high school did so.
I took my broken heart back to Idaho. This is where the people I cannot thank enough for come in. Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope (CHHH) was established to provide high school and college tuition for desperate children in Kenya.
How to say thank you to the woman who gave me her business card and said, âWhen you start helping these kids, please contact me,â when I shared my experience with her on a flight to Boise at leaving Los Angeles? Encouragement is the best gift anyone can give to a broken soul.
Six months later, two friends called me into their office and provided me with financial assistance for my personal needs so that I could focus on fundraising for these vulnerable children. Dave Evans Construction provided free office space while others provided pro bono legal expertise, accounting, bookkeeping, website development and maintenance, as well as courier and drafting services.
Is “thank you” enough?
I had become aware, through my participation in the Alliance of Women and Children, among other organizations, of the kindness and generosity of the people of Idaho. Their benevolence touches lives beyond state borders. It is not possible to describe the benevolent spirit of the people of Idaho in human language. Only eternity will reveal it.
In eleven short years we have two high schools in Kenya for boys and girls that were destined to have miserable lives. Over the years, more than 1,000 destitute children have been sponsored. Over 50 people sleep on a human-friendly bed in a modern home. Thousands of school children have pencils, books, uniforms and shoes. Thousands of girls have not missed a single day of school because of the lack of personal hygiene products.
Since the English language doesn’t give me stronger words, just let me say, âThank you and God bless you! “
Idaho Statesman’s weekly Faith Column features a rotation of writers of different faiths and perspectives.