I’ve always wanted to meet you. In case you live in the New York area and are free Sunday — and you like a spirited show — now’s our chance. My pal Seth Sikes so wowed the 54 Below supper club last month they asked him back for an encore. Buy tickets here. See you Sunday at 9.
Up another buck, to $15.24. If you bought it last Wednesday at $10.40, dinner’s on you.
CARRY THE LIGHT
Thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s appeal to transform a family’s life for $25. Already, you’ve provided the resources to improve hundreds of lives.
Mark Bent, who designed the lights that will be delivered, imagined the kind of thank-you note you might receive years from now:
12 December 2019
I wanted to write and let you know the solar light you sent us is still working well, same as the day it arrived five years ago. We dropped it a lot of times, left in out in the rain a few times, once it was left outside to charge and it somehow ended up in the goat pen, but it still works great and we so much appreciate the many changes it has made in our lives.
The most important and blessed events were the safe births of two of our children, Florence in 2015 and Joshua, named after my father, in 2018. My wife, Sarah, was much comforted as the mid-wives’ work was much easier being able to have light for the birthing of our children. The kerosene wick can we had before did not put out much light and the fumes were quite bad. We have loaned the light out many times for the births of other babies in our village – the first light the newborns see when they arrive in our world is from your light.
We have also benefited very much from being able to work longer at night. One big thing is Sarah can sell vegetables she grows in our garden now beside the main road after dark and this has increased our family’s income. But, my main work and source of income is from our goat herd and we have had only three losses during the night births of the goats – when I hear the doe having problems at night in the birthing process, I can rise and quickly go and ease and assist in the delivery. And, the light serves to scare off the wild dogs which before would steal the young goats. Overall, my herd has more than tripled in size over the past years.
All four of our oldest children attend school and the light helps them study at night and get up early in the morning and get ready for the walk to school. John, our eldest, has been accepted to college in the capital and I know he would not have scored as high on the tests without the light allowing him to study after the sun sets. We are going to miss him, but now, he has the chance for a future.
And last year, when rebels were close, the government sent in the army. One night Sarah was walking with our neighbor’s wife to the community toilet and she took the light to guide her path. We still do not know if it was the rebels or the army men, but Sarah was able to use the long beam part of the light and she saw a group of men hiding in the brush near the toilet, waiting for women. She was able to call out for help and we all came and nothing happened. I do not wish to think what could have happened if she had not spotted them.
My father Joshua died last year and it was a great comfort to be able to stay with him the night he died. We normally all wait in darkness. Having the light made his exit and our last times together much more bearable. Sarah also attends faith services in the morning before daybreak on some special days and it is so much better for her to walk to the church in light.
There is more – we saved so much money in not buying paraffin, the children and Sarah no longer cough up black after breathing in the fumes, we have had zero fires or injuries from candles and we have a much better and higher quality time after the sun sets. Before you sent us the light, we just went to sleep.
Sarah also appreciates the light when she cooks. We use wood when we can, or dried dung when it runs out. The smoke from the fire plus the fumes and soot from the kerosene burned her eyes. Now she can quickly check to see if the meal is ready, without the irritation.
I hope you and your family are well. I wanted you to know that we have thought about you, prayed for you and your family every time we turned on ‘our’ – yours and mine – light each night. May God always bless you and your family and again, my sincere thanks and appreciation.