Next up in the Behind the Bag series is, Jamie. It's tough to put into words what an asset Jamie has been to the No.41 team. When I ran into Jamie at church in Kigali last spring, I had not idea how the Lord would bless us with her passion, skills, and projector screen. :) Alison and I 'vacation' most weekends in Kigali at Jamie's house. We eat good food, catch up on the latest episodes of The Voice, and we laugh. Alot. But more importantly, Jamie has loved these girls something fierce since the first time she came out to visit us for a business training she had arranged. She has continually given of her time, energy, and resources to see the girls succeed. And we could not be more thankful. Somehow, Jamie, we love you!
Behind my bag is a face, a sweet face with a smile and kind eyes. Deep in her eyes sits a life that I will never understand, those kind eyes have seen more than most. I own a few No. 41 bags, which represent several sweet faces resting on burlap and ikitenge (African fabric). I have sat in the room with the No. 41 faces and looked into their kind eyes, wondering who they were and what they were interested in.
A few No. 41 girls have been in my car, showing them around town, giving them an opportunity to see the potential careers they have only heard about on the radio. It is a joy to watch their kind eyes light up as a businesswoman takes time to share a piece of her life and business with them.
I thought No. 41 was a great cause helping some girls from a village, started by a girl from my hometown. I loved sharing the No. 41 story with my friends, but it was a story, someone else’s story.
Tara told me there would be three No. 41 girls who would be moving to Kigali to start university soon and asked would I be interested in hosting them while they get settled. At first, I think I said yes and then said no and then after they got here I looked into those kind eyes and told them to pack their bags they were moving to my house.
|left to right: Diane, Julie, Passy, Jamie, Amelie|
I wasn’t sure what I was thinking at first, I just knew that behind my bag was a face with a smile and kind eyes.
I think we were all a little nervous at first. We didn’t know each other and were suddenly thrown together by a bigger plan from a bigger God than I could ever fathom. We didn’t even have beds for them the first night; they were on couches and cushions pushed together.
The face behind my bag got a name, 3 names actually. Now, I introduce them to people as “my girls”. We share our likes and dislikes, eat pizza and drink Fantas. We watch movies, dance, jump rope and laugh. My goodness, we laugh. I have never had little sisters, but I try to do all the things for them that my big sister did for me.
One of my girls loves kids and loves on the hurting. She sees everyone as needing to be loved on and it’s her job to do the loving. Another one seeks Jesus with such passion and depth. She prays from a place deep within her like God specifically cut a hole in her for Him to rest. And then there is the other one, who I call sassy pants. She educates me on American pop culture and always has a witty quip ready to pass on. She loves to read and recently requested some notebooks to “write her thoughts down”.
No. 41 is now part of my story. I don’t know what amazing things God has in store for the amazing girls of No. 41, but I know that you can be apart of it by making a donation, buying a bag and saying a prayer. All three, please, there are a bunch of girls out there changing our lives and we need your help to return the favor to them.
If you have a story to tell we'd love to hear/share it. Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.