First of all, for anyone that might be worried, you did not forget my birthday. It is not for another six months, but I feel like I need some time to prepare before I turn 30. I am not surewhy that number looms so big in my head, maybe because of what I had hoped to do in my 20s.
Nevertheless, the reality is that the last decade has been a great blessing to me. I have had the chance to study at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Though most of the truly important lessons, and certainly the most important tests have taken place outside of a classroom. I have had truly amazing opportunities to live my life not just to wade through consecutive days on a calendar. That living has come with its own price and its own challenges, but also its own rewards. Learning a new language and having my life opened to a whole new world. Daring to love a family that was only able to become fully mine five years in. Starting and trying to maintain friendships on multiple continents. Having so many homes, and yet sometimes no home. Being led by faith into a life I never could have imagined all because I dared to think that I can play my small part in turning the world in some direction other than the one it is going in right now. Maybe someday I will manage to get it on its head.
I have been supported by so many amazing people though all of this. When I take the time to pause and consider the type of people I have come in contact with over the last 10 years I am sometimes amazed at how much the good ones outweigh the ones that your mother told you not to talk about. I really do know generous, thoughtful, action oriented, down to earth, stretch for the stars type of people. And best of all they continually reach out to support me, care for me, and remind me that I am God’s child. They really do a better job at it than I probably do for them. I am most importantly impressed with the love I constantly receive from my family, both the ones I see regularly and the ones that are an ocean away. I will never get tired of a child running to greet me and calling me baba, or hugging my wife after another time apart, or relaxing with family during those rare, but treasured visits. I am blessed with people that will support me through anything.
For my 30th birthday I really cannot think of much that I want, certainly nothing that I need other than one thing…to pass on the blessings that I have received. I have had opportunities to grow and test my potential, and I have had people behind me to catch me when I fell. I want to give that same blessing to others. I think I can do that in part, by providing an opportunity to study. Specifically I spent some of today figuring out how to be able to provide students with both a high school education and a college education at the same time so that those who missed their chance the first time around can have a second go.
So here are the numbers…
It just so happens that $1000 can provide a student with a year’s worth of education, including some help with room and board. So by the time I turn 30 at the end of this year I am hoping that I will be able to raise $30,000 and provide 30 years of education to students at Wesley College, a college we are working to open here in Mwanza. Since I don’t have that much money readily available to me this year, I want to invite anyone interested to send me a birthday present or two in the form of money to be designated to fund scholarship students at Wesley College. Being able to pass on the blessings I have received is what I really want this year for my birthday.
If you are interested please let me know and I can get you all the information you need. Love you all and thank you for the blessings that you have already given me.