When My Girl was about 5 when I first saw the video. It was a heart wrenching real life blogger who was traveling to El Salvador with Compassion International to bring awareness to how many children needed sponsors. The video had me doing the ugly cry right there in my office. I came home and played it for David. And lo and behold, My Girl was standing behind us and we didn't know. She began her very own ugly cry. As she buried her head in my chest she squeaked out "PLEASE MOMMA! I WANT TO TAKE CARE OF ONE OF THEM!!!"
The saddest part? We were in a horrible financial situation at the time so $38/month was even just too much to commit to.
Fast forward to Christmas 2010. The kids big gift was to pick a Compassion child to sponsor. The gift that keeps on giving. My Girl was beside herself. So after breakfast and after all of the trash was picked up and My Boy was busy playing with all of his loot, she and I sat down and logged into the Compassion International site. I read thru what all our monthly contribution provided for whoever she chose. A Christ centered school environment, food, etc. She was pumped. Her preferred criteria was that it be a girl. Check. About her age. Check. Living in a dangerous environment. Check. Had been on the waiting list for more than 6 months. Check.
So there we sat on our couch. With a list of HUNDREDS of children who met her criteria. We went thru. Page by tearful page. Until we landed on this one girl. Nakatuude. 9 years old from Uganda. In a high risk for Aids area. She took my breath with her photo. But I didn't say anything. This was My Girl's choice. Not mine. She went a few pages forward and then back to the page with this girl with big piercing eyes. Then forward more pages until she got to the end. Then she went all the way back. Back to Nakatuude. She said, "This one Mama. I want this one." I do too, sweet girl.
Here are just a few pictures of her:
So we began a year and a half of falling in love with darling Nakatuude Aisha. Many letters back and forth. I would write one and My Girl would write one. Mine from a mother's perspective and My Girl's from a sisters perspective. We found out rather quickly that Nakatuude was a Christ follower. One ON FIRE Christ follower. But there was one that My Girl sent her about this time last year that slayed me. She ended her letter with "I just know that God brought our lives together for a reason." Wow. How prophetic her words would become. Here are a few of my favorite letters from Nakatuude:
Look at what she asked us to pray for. Fast forward to This Wednesday. I was at my mothership store (Hobby Lobby) when a strange number came across my phone. Normally, I don't answer strange numbers. But strangely, I answered. It only took about 3 seconds to drop the picture frames I was holding as the news sank in. Sweet Nakatuude had passed away. I stood there in the middle of Hobby Lobby sobbing like a baby. At the loss of a loved one, but then another harsh reality set in. How to tell My Girl. I quickly put out on FaceBook for prayers.We waited until My Boy was in bed and everything was calming down for the night. My Man snuggled up to her and I told her. She lost it! But I quickly realized that the prayers worked. I didn't cry. I just held My Girl and let her cry it out. She of course questioned why. I reminded her that we may never know this side of Heaven. BUT, I did want her to know that her story had inspired one of my FB friends and her family to sponsor a Compassion child. So we talked about how what if the child they sponsor comes to know the Lord because of them. Then Nakatuude's life would be worth it!So then...I did the only thing I COULD do...I prayed. We thanked God for blessing us with knowing Nakatuude. We prayed for comfort for her family. We prayed for ourselves to realize how fleeting life is. We prayed for forgiveness for when we took for granted the letters we received or put of responding. Most importantly we prayed for My Girl's life to be forever changed by this. Right now she is thinking about what she wants to say in the sympathy card for her parents. But also, she is processing writing a letter to Jesus. You see, she realized during all of her time of writing back and forth, she could never talk about all of the things she was blessed with here. Compassion rules. But now, My Girl says "I can write her anything I want to. Because right now she has the best and way more than I could ever dream of. She is has seen the face of God."Thanks for the lesson kid. Thanks for the lesson.