John and Rose Thorsky have sponsored James in Kenya since 2006. This April he graduated from the CFCA program and is now in university on a full scholarship. Rose sent us this beautiful letter reflecting on their friendship.
It was the photo on the CFCA folder that captured our attention. But isnít the photo what draws most sponsors to their sponsored friends?
There he stood in khaki shorts, a blue collared shirt, bright colored flip-flops, his school notebooks in hand and a slight grin on his face.
James, the Thorskys’ sponsored friend.
James, our sponsored friend in Kenya, entered our lives and high school in 2006 when he was 19. We learned his mother is deceased and he now lives with an uncle and grandmother.
Our CFCA sponsorship enabled him to attend a boarding school approximately 217 miles (350 kilometers) from his village.
We exchanged numerous letters and took much delight in his writing style, especially his use of idioms describing his study habits (e.g. busy as a bee; when the going gets tough, the tough get going).
He studied diligently, helped his family with weeding the fields during school breaks and celebrated holidays with family and friends.
In our letters we offered him a glimpse into our lives, but mostly we offered encouragement, our pleasure in his accomplishments and best wishes and prayers that he would continue to do well in achieving his goals.
We were jubilant when we received a letter from a CFCA staff member informing us James had scored one of the “best performances out of all the 2010 candidates” who took the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.
Because of his excellent scores, Macmillan Publishers in Kenya offered James a full scholarship for college.
Then the final letter from James came, and the tears began to flow. It has been difficult letting go of this relationship. However, we are optimistic our paths will cross again in the future.
The relationship with James has been a blessed and wonderful dimension to our faith journey, grounded in daily prayer, respect for his culture and the dignity of his personhood.
We hope a line in one of Henri Nouwenís prayers describes our presence in Jamesís life: “Be with us as a companion who walks with us, neither behind nor in front … ”
Thank you, CFCA, for bringing hope to so many children, youth and aging and their families and for bringing James into our lives.