A Bucket List Day (Africa Series: 3)

It was a bucket list day…the kind of day that, at the end of my life, I’ll remember as a high point:  meeting Jenefer, our little girl from the African Children’s Choir.

A quick bit of background: two years ago, the African Children’s Choir came to our church.  After the performance, they stayed a few days. With my office across the hall from where they were having school, John and I were fortunate to be with them in their private morning worship times.  Their pure prayers brought tears to our eyes.

 “God, thank you for our food today.”  

This was no obligatory “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.”

No, these children had been well acquainted with hunger before being selected to be part of the Choir.

John and I had planned to sit quietly in the background while they worshiped, but before we knew it, a little girl grabbed John by the hand, smiling and laughing as she led him into the circle.  John exclaimed, “No, honey, I can’t dance.”  I called out to her, “He’s telling the truth.  He really can’t!”  No matter.  As we danced, sang, laughed and praised with these children, the Lord began to speak to us about enlarging our small, sanitized world.

Soon we found ourselves sponsoring 9 year old Jenefer, a member of the next year’s choir.  (By the way, we’re impressed that the ACC continues to provide loving care, material provisions and education through the 12th grade. Many of these children go from abject poverty to being doctors, teachers, ministers, lawyers, etc., investing back into the future of Africa.)

If you’ve sponsored a child in any organization, you know the thrill of exchanging letters and seeing them grow in the pictures that they send.  Definite refrigerator material.

While preparing for our trip to Uganda, Jenefer wrote to us explaining that she had completed her year of touring and was now at home in the Green Garden School in Kenya.  Our minds began to spin.  “What are the chances”, we thought aloud, “of meeting Jenefer in person?”

While John is no dancer, he IS the ultimate trip planner! In no time, he had arranged for us to arrive in Africa four days early to meet our friend.

Photographs and letters sprung to life as we looked into each others eyes, held hands and heard each other’s laughter for the first time.

We learned more about her in one afternoon than we had in a year and a half of letters.  After a delightful lunch with Jenefer and Mwai (one of the choir’s wonderful staff members), we enjoyed meeting her classmates.

  • Plane ticket: More than I wanna say.
  • Bug spray: $6.50.
  • Bottled water: $25.
  • Immodium: $4.75.
  • Meeting the child you sponsor: Priceless.

For more info, visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com.

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