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Our First Hanukkah with the Muzungu-Mbonigaba family

January 2, 2019

On the last night of Hanukkah, Abe and our family welcomed special guests to our homes. Merthus, Suzana, Delice, Merci, Michele, and Esther joined us to celebrate their first Hanukkah-we ate latkes, the children played together, and then we lit the many Hanukiyot. Michele (6) and Esther (5) were eager to try for themselves. Singing the traditional Maoz Tzur with our new friends while we watched the many lights burn against the black sky is a moment I will remember for years to come.

By the end of the evening, Suzana, who is expecting a new baby any day now, was comfortably asleep on our couch covered by a hand knit blanket, Merthus was sharing stories of his cross-country travels for his agricultural training, Michele and Azzi were playing in Azzi’s room, and Delice and Merci were entertaining Yonah with videos on Delice’s phone (Yonah is addicted to screens. A likely rebellion for a kid from a nearly screen-free home).

On Monday morning I woke up to a touching message from Merthus. I want to share an excerpt with you: “That was an extraordinary joyful evening…It is left engraved in the memory of our kids. A song on their lips. You reminded us how we used to gather in family during Christmas and New Year festival.”

Thank you, Merthus for reminding me what Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is all about.


As you may know, the family we are supporting is expecting a new baby this month. Although the father has successfully transitioned to a new full-time job, money is still very tight as they support five children and save up to move into more adequate housing. We need your help!

Dollars for diapers:

The most immediate concern is the cost of diapers. It may not seem like much, but they are a major expense for this very frugal family. Donate starting today, and the money will go first to providing for this need.

Any additional funds we collect will be used toward the family’s long term goals, including better housing and education. Contribute here.


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