Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Letter to Frank

When I met B five years ago he was sponsoring an Indonesian child through World Vision. I have also sponsored children over the years through WV and Foster Parents Plan. So it was an easy decision for us to sponsor a child together. That child is Frank . Frank, now age 10, is from the Gogo tribe in Tanzania. He lives in a desperately poor, drought stricken area of the country where subsistence farmers try to coax vulnerable crops of corn and peanuts out of the barren soil. We have exchanged letters for four years, with help from Frank’s father and a translator. Here is a letter to him I just wrote. In two weeks I will have the joy of delivering it to him myself.

Dear Frank,

Frank, I am so proud and happy to be your friend. From your letters I know you help your family by carrying wood and fetching water. That most of your meals are a thick porridge of corn meal, with some greens when your family can get them. You live in a mud hut you share with many brothers and sisters.

I know you like to draw. I love your gifts of drawings with each of your letters.
You like to draw cars the most, but you have also drawn chickens, a soccer ball, a self portrait and a house for me.

You share enchanting details in your letters. Like:

We have neither a dog nor a cat but there is a brown with white marks dog at the neighbourhood. He is named Poppy. He is a very friendly dog to all people except thieves and robbers. (I hope Poppy can tell the difference!)

I hope you are fine. I am fine and my family is all fine. I dropped out of a tree and my head got injured.

Thank you for the birthday card. You are such a pleasures friend to me.

Despite the hardships you face every day, your serious eyes in your photos are filled with hope. Like all children, you love to play. Football is your favourite game. You have dreams. You like story books, and dream of being a teacher.

You are always so thankful for the little things I send in my letters, like stickers, photos, and post cards. Frank, I should thank you, because you give me a much greater gift: gratitude. Your courage, happiness and dreams help me remember to be grateful for the abundant gifts in my life. And you are one.

All of your letters end with the Kiswahili words: Karibu sana Tanzania, which gets translated as: You are very welcome come to Tanzania. That is an irresistible invitation.

I can't wait to meet you and your family Frank. I will see you soon.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely and touching entry. We, too, have a little friend we sponsor -- she lives in Ethiopia and just turned 5 last birthday. Her name is Halfia and we affectionately refer to her as Halfiapint. I can't wait until she's old enough to scrawl a few words of her own, surely something I will treasure always. Hers is the only "family photo" we have in the living room, in its own special frame. To see her and hug her in person one day would be such an amazing thing.

How exciting that you'll be able to meet Frank for the first time! : )

Voyager said...

Leslie, I am so excited to meet Frank. Of all the things we are doing on our trip, this is the part I look forward to most.