Look what a little pink backpack can do!
Whew! What a manic few weeks it’s been. Mike and I have been in the process of moving to our house….FINALLY! Can I get an amen? Seriously, we’ve been without a home for almost four months, we were MORE than ready to have our own space.
*On this note, we haven’t had connection to the Internet for the past few weeks either; bummer. You really realize what’s important and what’s not when you’re in Blantyre!
Anyway, our new home is beautiful, we are truly blessed, and we have absolutely no complaints. We have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a beautiful yard and garden, and wooden floors (I thought you were living in Africa?) We are! And it’s grrrrrreat! The new neighborhood we moved into is called Namiwawa; it’s a bit outside of the city, but Mike and I really enjoy the peace and quiet.
Now that that’s covered, I can talk about what’s really important. On Wednesday, Mike and I went along with the rest of the Mary’s Meals crew and helped distribute the 50,000th backpack!
In case you didn’t know, Mary’s Meals collects backpack donations from various countries. These bags are filled with items for boys or girls and are sorted by age group. In this way, students get items that are appropriate to their gender and age group. The bags are filled with whatever the donor decides to give-so every backpack is surprise! Sometimes you’ll find practical items like toothpaste, pens, pencils, and sometimes fun items like hand-crochteted teddy bears, markers, and bubbles.
The children go CrAzY over these backpacks. It doesn’t matter what the contents holds inside (say pink sandals for a male-oops!) they could care less; the children are SO thankful.
Mary’s Meals rotates the school that’s provided with the backpacks so that every school they’re feeding gets a turn. And, the backpack distribution is so popular with children and parents alike, that Mary’s Meals can’t announce the school they’re coming to (sometimes the parents get a little rowdy, or take a few off the top-yikes!). So in order to avoid a mob-like situation; the school is not made aware of the distribution until the trucks pull up with the packs.
As soon as the huge Mary’s Meals truck pulls up with the sacks full of packs, the children go bananas! They scream, and cry, and chant songs of thankfulness; it turns into a mad house…in the best way possible.
It was such a joyful experience to see children so absolutely happy over such a small item. To many of us a backpack may seem insignificant, but to many children in Malawi it’s the only chance they have of ever getting a backpack, or new school supplies, brand new shoes, etc.
In other words, we got to see over 1,000 primary aged children realize that-SURPRISE!- it was “Christmas.” What a beautiful blessing we were able to be a part of.