Amish Principles for Today's Families
4/28/13 at 01:46 AM 1 Comments

Plain Talk about the Amish: Lily Lapp Goes to Uganda

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"A man cannot be robbed of his learning." Amish proverb

For many children in Africa, the gift of books is a gift of hope. Revell Books partnered with the authors to provide copies of Life with Lily, a children's chapter book of a young Amish girl, for Children of Grace (CoG), a ministry operating in Uganda.

Started in 2001, CoG offers hope to Ugandan AIDS orphans through education, nutrition, healthcare and empowerment programs to enable children to have a better future. Through child sponsorship, children are provided with the opportunity to attend local Ugandan schools. CoG supplements their education in many ways, including a “Read 2 Succeed” program.

“A headmaster told me,” CoG board member Karen Jones said, “that the Ugandan culture is not a reading culture. This is evident not only in children’s homes but also in the schools. Often, it’s difficult to find books that are appropriate for the Ugandan culture.”

The ‘Adventures of Lily Lapp’ series, based on the Old Order Amish childhood of Mary Ann Kinsinger, are easy for the Ugandan children to relate to. Like the Amish, the Ugandan children do not have electricity, cars, phones, television, computers, or other modern “luxuries.” The Amish culture of farming is very familiar to the Ugandans. “The children think it’s very funny when I tell them that neither I nor my friend have a chicken or a goat at our homes in California,” Jones said. “The values of the Amish that are promoted in the ‘Lily’ series reinforce the values that CoG is trying to teach and model for the children.”

CoG has built a library of reading materials for children. Through the ‘Read 2 Succeed’ program, the CoG staff, called Child Mentors, take books into schools and meet with sponsored children in an after school program. The children borrow the books for a week and come back prepared to share the books with each other. The questions at the end of the Life with Lily books provide easy prompts for discussion for the Child Mentors and the children. “Often our mentors can struggle with this as they grew up in the same educational system as the children," Jones said. She added that CoG was very grateful to Revell and to the authors for this wonderful gift.

Children of Grace is a Christian charitable organization dedicated to working with orphan children
 in Uganda in order that they might reach their God given potential.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. She hosts a  weekly radio show and has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, that delivers a daily Amish proverb. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Suzanne on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

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