A Birthday Celebration

Feb 15, 2018

Steph Duff

Jennifer looked around the room. Friends who had become family sang “Happy Birthday” to her and smiled as she went to make a wish and blow out her candles. The thirteen-year old girl felt emotion well in her throat, unsure how to convey gratitude outside of a small smile.

Everyone clapped and waited patiently for their piece of cake. Jennifer stood up and walked around the room in her new, beautiful dress, not quite believing everyone was there just to celebrate her birthday.

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Jennifer, a quiet and reserved teen at Kids with a Vision Foundation Children’s Home, took in every moment of her party, but found it difficult to express how special she felt. After singing, cake, and presents, Jennifer went over to Lilly Lar, Back2Back Nigeria staff member, and hugged her tightly before walking away. “In that moment, I knew it was all Jennifer could express of how she was feeling,” shared Lilly.

Lilly went to the home a few days later and sat down with Jennifer to ask how she liked her party. “I wanted to make sure she enjoyed it as much as we all hoped,” said Lilly. Jennifer smiled widely when Lilly asked if she had fun. “It was wonderful, Lilly,” she told her softly. “It was the first time I’ve ever celebrated my birthday.” Lilly wrapped her arm around Jennifer, grateful for this moment of vulnerable honesty.

Jennifer turned thirteen in 2017 and, thanks to faithful and generous sponsors like you, was able to experience her first ever birthday celebration. Thank you for partnering with Back2Back Nigeria in offering fresh and unique experiences for each child at Kids with a Vision Foundation Children’s Home. As Back2Back celebrates the life of each boy and girl, we are also giving thanks for the relationships that continue to flourish, both near and far, through sponsorship.

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dog, Telulah. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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