At a recent African Dinner celebration and fund raiser at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Seattle, Washington's West Seattle neighborhood, Janet asked me to say a few words about the reasons I contribute to the Books and Bricks Project which pays school tuition, provides school books, and assists in constructing school and library buildings for young people in Mulundi Village, Kenya, Africa. As a part of this conversation, of course, I ask that you also contribute to this righteous cause.
One of my favorite Bible verses is the following, often used for weddings.
Faith provides the foundation for the many reasons I contribute to Books and Bricks. Beliefs are fairly cognitive and, sometimes, rational. In contrast, faith, for me, is composed of trust and emotional connection.
Wonderfully, the young woman I sponsor is named FAITH. She is the specific reason I contribute to Books and Bricks. I want to help women prosper and succeed in their lives. I have faith in Faith's ability to move forward in her life. Indeed, Faith is the first young woman from Mulundi Village to pursue post-secondary education, which is near and dear to my heart.
I have faith in education as one contributing factor in our overcoming social limitations. I teach at a local university, so my contributing to Books and Bricks is completely in line with values in which I have faith and hope.
I have firm faith that the effort of one individual makes a difference. I also have faith that grassroots community charities contribute to making the world a better place for all of us. I have faith that sharing my talents, time, and money will make a positive difference in individuals' lives and in the world at large.
Another important faith factor for me is that I have direct contact with this specific charitable effort. Organizational representatives approach me by mail, telephone, and on street corners asking for my help in helping others. I don't know these people or organizations; I don't know how much of my money actually would go toward helping specific individuals. I have faith that the organizers and current administrators of Books and Bricks are giving contributed money and resources directly to the children and young adults in Mulundi Village's school and library.
The most important fact of faith for me is the actual people in our congregation, Janet and Mike. Janet was born in Mulundi Village. She and Mike are the founders of the Books and Bricks Project as a way of giving back to Janet's home village. Janet's mother is currently visiting from Kenya to celebrate the birth of Janet and Mike's daughter, Mary. I have faith in this family's integrity, and I have faith in their devotion to helping and to lifting up.
Several of our parishioners have traveled to Mulundi Village to tutor students, support teachers, and lay bricks for school buildings. I hope you also have and will continue to have faith in this process of providing school tuition, curricular supplies, and, most importantly, our love and good will to the children and adults of Mulundi Village in Kenya.
Denise, another parishioner, mentioned that rather than giving holiday presents to each other, her friendship group combines their resources to give to charities. The group has given to the Heifer Project in the past. At present, members give to the Books and Bricks Project. I am inspired by Denise and her friends' generosity. I too will ask my friends to help send Faith Mutende Maingi to college. Please join all of us in contributing to the Books and Bricks Project for Mulundi Village in Kenya. http://www.booksandbricks.org/