There were two garage sales scheduled yesterday to raise money for the orphanage in Uganda that our family has adopted. There would be no sleeping in at our house for those who believe Saturday morning begins at nine o’clock. My boys were out the door at 6:30 to go to Miss Tina’s house and help her haul everything out of the garage and spread it out across the driveway. I woke little miss Kira up from a sound sleep so I could arrive by eight.
Whitney originally was going to have this sale to raise money for her plane ticket to join us in Uganda. She sent an email to everyone in her bible study class requesting unwanted items they could donate for the sale. For two weeks she and her mom were collecting mountains of things, furniture, a washer, bikes, baby items and more clothing than we could tag. I cleaned out my house and had three truck loads to deliver. (it was good moving preparation for me) One of the men in Whitney’s class approached us last week and told us that he was going to give her his frequent flyer miles to buy her ticket to Uganda! We were stunned. Whitney was so happy, not because she got a free ticket, but because now all the money they raised could go straight to the children in the orphanage. We felt we saw God provide in a big way.
So from eight to noon people flooded their street and haggled over items, some not willing to release their clenched extra dollar for anything! Others learned of the cause and made a flat out donation. One guy wrote a check for an education! One little girl, eleven years old, gave us all the money she had and was eager to sponsor one of the children. She explained she herself was once an orphan in China, and now has a good family who adopted her. Her heart was so moved by the cause, she wanted to help a child also. I just loved this and regretted Kira was napping and I didn’t get to meet her.
Jack and Kevin had tennis tournaments all day long so they were in and out of the helping process with the sale. Jordan was on hand through it all and had a few stories to tell. He had a tender spot for the little children who brought their wallets. They would play with the toys and wonder how much did it cost. Their eyes would grow big at all the VHS movie titles knowing their arms weren’t big enough to carry it all home. Jordan liked to give these little kids some things they really wanted for free. He said, “it killed me to see them open their wallets and see they didn’t have enough”. I had explained to Jordan earlier that morning how when I was a little girl my grandmother took me to garage sales and it was so much fun for me. I’d labor over my decisions on the table looking at jewelry and nail polish and want it all. I never forgot one nice lady who told me I could have ten things on the table for free. Her kindness just made me so happy. So I told Jordan the little boy who carried away a box of knex and three free movies will never forget the nice teenager who gave them to him. I wish you could have seen how widely his smile spread. Whitney and Tina’s garage sale raised enough to educate four children! Tina was up past midnight every day this week marking items and organizing things, all because she so wants to help these children in Uganda to have a better life. I can’t thank her enough for her time and energy spent for the cause.
On the other side of town my Spanish teacher Jackie, and her team were having another enormous sale. Jackie and her husband Christian, lead “ Alpha” for teens and adults. Alpha is a bible study program and they have gathered over eighty high school students to come to learn more about God’s word and plan for their lives. It was so popular with the kids, the parents wanted a program also, so on another night she leads the study for adults. All of them have adopted the cause that Kirabo Seeds stands for, helping the orphans and widows in Uganda. (Kirabo Seeds is the non-profit Craig and I have started.) When they learned about these children in Uganda long ago they set a goal to educate ten children. They got organized, and busy for the cause. Together with the car wash, and the garage sale they raised exactly what it costs to educate ten children. Isn’t that just incredible? It is just so unbelievably humbling to me to see people moved so far out of their comfort place to help these children in Uganda. It turns my insides to mush.
In four hours on a Saturday morning because many many people were willing to donate, organize, move, sort, tag and give their time, over three thousand dollars was raised for children in an orphanage far away in Uganda who once believed no one cared about them. I can’t wait to see the photos of them going to school on the first day. While the garage sales were swarmed with shoppers, these children were having their feet measured for their school shoes. They took a dried strip of banana fiber and marked the heel and toe and put their name on it. Clever. I marvel to see how God can connect two countries in this way with love.