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$1 a day

August 12, 2011

You know the TV commercials for charities helping children in poverty? “Just $1 a day” is all that’s needed to change a child’s life. You know what? They’re right. You can change a child’s life with $1 a day. But there’s more. Much more — at least with one organization called Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA).

For my family, it’s $1 a day to reach across the world. $1 a day to learn a new culture. $1 a day to feel love for and the love of someone you will  never meet or even talk to on the phone. $1 a day to remind us to stop complaining about what we don’t have. $1 a day to teach our kids about the rewards of charity.

We sponsor two children through CFCA, Flora from Tanzania and Christian from Honduras. We learned about the organization at church. We learn about a lot of worthy organizations at church, but this one spoke to us as a family.

Flora

We chose Flora because her birthday is one day ahead of our wedding anniversary. She was born in 1993. Her father died in 1994. Her mother earns money selling tomatoes. Flora carries sand to earn money for school. Her life goal: Once I complete my primary education, I would like to continue studying up until university and be a doctor. I will assist my family, friends and the whole community.

How could we not benefit from knowing such a person? We have been sponsoring her since 2005 and have received dozens of letters with beautiful drawings. She writes them in her native language, Kiswahili, which are then translated. I still tear up over the letter she wrote after we shared that V.’s mom had died. In the midst of her daily challenges, she was so concerned for us and was praying for us.

Christian

We were drawn to another child a year later because he reminded us of our own son. Christian was just a year old when we began sponsoring him. His mother is a housekeeper and they live on $15 a month. We also receive wonderful letters from him through a family friend. Christian adds drawings of rabbits and turtles and flowers. Here’s the note he sent this past Christmas:

At midnight close your eyes and make a wish for the new year. At the same time I will do the same. My wish will be that your wish can come true!! Merry Christmas!!

As another commercial says, priceless.

If you’re interested in learning about other children awaiting sponsorship, I would be glad to share information about Hassan from Kenya, Benjamin from Mexico, Eveling from Nicaragua, Naresh from India, and Angely from Colombia.

Or, if you want to research the group further, here’s the site, http://www.cfcausa.org/. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter, @CFCA. One statistic you should know: More than 94 percent of donations go to program support.

I’ll sign this as Christian and his mother, Glendi, signed a recent letter — Receive hugs and kisses from the ones who love you very much and remember you always.

Letters from Flora and Christian

Letter from Flora

Letter from Christian

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There were about 35 people in the Farm Bureau building on auction night — farmers, investors, brokers and others. Most were there out of curiosity about what the quarter section (160 acres) would bring.  At the end, only one person mattered, and he wasn’t even in the room. V. had the winning bidding for his uncle, who listened by phone from Virginia.

The price went higher than was expected, $1,950 an acre — and higher than Uncle wanted to pay. The next day I emailed him to see how he was doing. His response: “Shouldn’t I be OK? LOL.”

He was looking for a good investment and feels he found one. The ground is right across from our home quarter and near other land Uncle owns. (Here’s a glimpse on this frosty December morning:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD5OfAtvjJA.)

We’re very pleased for the opportunity to farm more land. It also feels good to look out over Woolf land. Maybe someday, our son can farm it for Uncle’s daughters and grandchildren.

That’s the other value of farmland — what the land means for farm families. This rang especially true when I talked to the sellers, the granddaughters of the original owner. Their reason for selling: To help care for their father in his remaining years. Comments from Dana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf8IFvXpx9s.

Season to season, family to family.

Farm kids in ripe Kansas hard red winter wheat

Land for sale

November 12, 2010

Land auction KansasA quarter section of land (160 acres), right across from our home quarter, is up for auction. Land sales brings lots of discussion in a farm family, especially when you look out over it every day.

Do we want it? Definitely. It’s a perfect fit for our farming operation. Can we afford it? No one-word answer there.

Kansas State University lists average land values in this area at $1,160 per acre. However, land nearby has sold for $1,400 to $1,700 per acre. Rumors say this quarter could go close to $2,000 per acre. The auction component — and high wheat prices — will surely affect the perceived value. Also, many traditional wheat fields are now being planted to corn and soybeans, crops also experiencing good prices and tremendous yields.

Any decision affects our farm family for decades to come. One thing’s for sure, a decision will be made by us or for us at auction time on Dec. 2.

Wordless Wednesday

November 3, 2010

Family portrait through E.’s eyes:

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