Last year, Eustacia found an envelope in the mail, a plea for funds to support a Catholic charity of some sort. Being a good-hearted soul, she put $5 in an envelope and mailed it off. The charity must have given her name to every other Catholic charity in the country because now she gets requests for money every week. And they don't just ask for money. They give her things, too.
So far, she's gotten three rosaries, a wooden crucifix about three inches tall, greeting cards, Christmas wrapping paper with ribbons, laminated prayer cards, and a key chain with a picture of Mary on it. For a Protestant, that's a pretty good haul but sort of useless.
This week, she got a booklet with prayers and African proverbs as part of a campaign to raise money for various needs in Africa. Here are some highlights from the booklet:
•Wait until you have crossed the river before telling the crocodile that he has an ugly face.
•If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.
•If you don't mend the cracks, you will soon be rebuilding the wall.
•He who dares finds a way; he who fears finds an excuse.
I suppose protestant organizations don't send trinkets with their pleas because they don't believe in them. They don't have rosaries or crucifixes, and a lot of them aren't keen on written prayers. There are some who send "blessed" prayer cloths in exchange for cash, but you can assume those people are full of crap.
I kind of like this growing collection of Catholic things and have set it all aside for Eustacia to do with as she pleases when she gets home from school. Mostly, though, I like that my daughter is sensitive enough to the needs of other people to send off $5. It isn't much, but I know she would have given much more had she had it.
A Burundi proverb: It is the light of God that shines in the eyes of every child.