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  • Writer's pictureDavid Oaks

You Were There For Peter

Guest post by David Oaks


Some of you sent money with me to visit St.Edward Junior School-Nalidi, in Uganda. A lot of students got blessed. But your gift caught one student in a really rough spot.


His name is Peter. He is of elementary age, handsome, and filled with potential. He caught my eye many times. When he did, I winked at him and he would smile. Some children, embarrassed by the wink of a stranger who looks so different from them, would quickly look away. Not Peter, he would maintain eye contact and smile really big. Then I would whip out my phone and get his picture. I did it several times that day. It was a routine we repeated throughout the day. I felt like we bonded a little.

Peter was so excited to get his school supplies. He sat close to me as he ate his bowl of nutritious rice and beef. And, your giving gave Peter and hundreds more like him a once-in-a-year treat: a soda! Once per year, at Christmas, many Nalidi children get a soda. Your giving made this day a Christmas-level event.


The next day in church, with a small group of children, Peter sang a special song and danced for me. I have it on video.


I just got word that Peter’s mother died after my visit. The people of Nalidi village buried her. His dad has been gone. Now he lives without a mother or father.


Some near kin or family in Nalidi will take Peter in. So many children drop out of school when they lose their caregivers, but not Peter. Because of you, he has what he needs to complete the year. Because of you, he will continue to learn and eat his meals at school every day.


I am thinking about Peter and your giving as I write this story. It fills my heart with conflicting emotions.


I am sad for Peter and Nalidi Village. I hurt for this boy and community.


But I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to you.


You may think your gift was small, but for Peter, it was epic.


And, at such a time as it was so needed.


God used you. How can I not love you forever?


Thank you.


David




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