Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Forsyth School (St. Louis) and Lui’s students

I am told that when Bishop Bullen visited St. Louis last fall to explore entering into a companion relationship with the Diocese of Missouri, he visited the Forsyth School in St. Louis . I understand he got excited about the concept of establishing a “companion relationship” between the Forsyth School and the schools of Lui, similar to the companion relationship he was forging between the Diocese of Lui and the Diocese of Missouri.

God bless ‘em! The kids of the Forsyth School – having met Bishop Bullen and having heard some of his stories – took it to heart. They made a book for the children of Lui. The Forsyth students wrote about the things they treasure here, and drew illustrations to accompany their words. Also, they collected money and bought an American football, a soccer ball, and a kickball. They asked us to carry those items to Lui for them.

The plan was great. We would give the books and balls to the children of Lui. They would write their own stories and draw their own pictures, and we would bring them back to the U.S., and continue to send that book back and forth, so the kids could swap stories.

We carried the book and the balls to Lui. On Sunday afternoon, we presented these gifts to the Lui clery.

Here are Deborah, Sandy (holding the Forsyth students’ book), Vasco (holding the box full of balls), and Lisa.

The plan was great! But there was one problem. The drought in Lui has been so devastating that Lui had to close its schools back in the spring. The Lui children cannot remain in school because there is no water. Here in the U.S., we are accustomed to having the occasional “snow day.” But in Lui they have had to close the schools because the children would die without water. And whereas I remember welcoming “snow days” as a day out of school, the kids in Lui are desperate to be back in school. There’s something really wrong with that!

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