As we get older, birthdays can lose their zeal. My four year old asks me at least once a day if it is her birthday so she is my constant reminder that birthdays are very special.
A birthday is a gift from God. This is the day He specifically chose for us to enter into the world.
A dear friend of mine who is from Kampala told me that Ugandan children in her area celebrate birthdays with a big cake bought by the child’s parents. The child cuts the cake in class and serves all of their friends. Lucky’s birthday falls on a public holiday so she suggested he either make arrangements with his teachers beforehand or celebrate with his siblings at home. She recommended I buy him a cake and sodas for him to share with his neighbors and friends.
Compassion Birthday Gifts
During my first year of sponsorship, my family decided to send Lucky a birthday “gift”. Compassion recommends $20 for a birthday gift so that is what we did. I knew a CI counselor would assist Lucky in making his purchase and with Compassion gifts, the entire amount must be spent.
The one year anniversary of Lucky’s mother’s passing was near his birthday, and I so wanted him to have a very special day. After learning about the birthday tradition among children in Kampala, I wanted the same for Lucky. I wanted him to feel loved and celebrated. I wanted him to feel like other children and not “different” being an orphan.
Using the online letter system, I sent Lucky a letter to let him know a gift was on the way for him. While I knew he would have the final say in how to spend the money, I told him in the letter that I wanted him to celebrate. This was his day and while I could not be there with him, I would be there in spirit. I told him that I would like for him to buy a cake and sodas and share with his siblings, friends, and neighbors.
And that is what he did.
And my heart was happy.
Below are the items Lucky purchased in Ugandan shillings and my favorite quote from the letter he sent to me thanking me for the birthday gift.
2014 – Lucky’s Birthday
Birthday cake: 20000
“I know you love me so much. May God bless you for being my mother in Christ after losing my biological parents.”
My family decided to send him a $20 birthday gift again the following year. Below are the items Lucky purchased in Ugandan shillings and my favorite quote from the letter he sent to me thanking me for the birthday gift.
2015 – Lucky’s Birthday
“I thank God so much for giving me this chance to write to you. Let me first thank you for the gift you sent to me. After receiving 63800, I became so happy because of your support and love you have for me. I also thank you for the letters you sent to me, because you have really shown me love.”
The part that really impressed me was the offering he gave to his church. When I did the math, the offering Lucky gave was equivalent to one entire day’s pay for a farmer in his village. My heart was overjoyed. I so wish I could have seen him as he placed his offering in the basket.
I am so proud of this child and so blessed to be his sponsor.
For FAQ’s regarding gift giving with Compassion International, click HERE.
Need a quick birthday letter? Click HERE.