An Open Letter to the Girls of JBFC

October 17, 2013 3:16 am Published by

 You know the best thing about my job?

It’s not the working from home (although working in my pajamas is awesome).

It’s not working with a group of dedicated individuals (although they’re energy, big ideas, and even bigger hearts are enviable.)

It’s not even getting to travel the globe (although my passport is VERY happy).

It’s on a cloudy day, when I’m slogging through a menial task like organizing files and paperwork, something like this pops up.

These are notes from my girls.

And I have to tell you stumbling upon them feels almost better than the moment I first received them on a beautiful Tanzanian Saturday. 
With their broken English, little-girl obsessions with hearts and flowers, and a sincerity that leaps off the loose leaf paper, these girls have taken the thank you note to a new art form.

Liku writes: “Thank you very much for coming again at here JBFC and you such a good person in this time I have enjoy with you at the restaurant and I was to say thank you for teaching me to play tennis…”

Jackie writes: “Thank you for everything that you done to me and other girls. Thank you for teach us in Grade 5. God bless you and your family. Your a good aunt and a kind person…” 
Siwema writes: “Thank you for everything that have done for us and for being in our family. God bless you in your works and your trip…welcome again at JBFC.”

The funny thing is… I’m the one who should be writing the thank you notes.

Even from 8,000 miles away these 43 smart, funny, shy, beautiful, and strong girls brighten my day. They remind me every day what it means to be grateful, to take nothing for granted. I am so thankful for that fateful day – the day that almost never was – when I showed up at Chris Gates’ home with a decade-worth-of-local-news-sized chip on my shoulder. It was their faces, their stories that captured my attention, mind and my heart. It’s been almost two years since I decided to trade my career for a mission, and I’ve never looked back.

So this is my thank you note to all of them:

Dear Girls,

You make my day! You are smart, beautiful and strong. And I work every day so that you have the opportunity to show the world just how amazing you are.


Aunt Ashli

Guest Blogger Ashli Sims is JBFC’s Director of Development. She is a former television news producer who left her career in broadcasting to work for JBFC in 2012.

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This post was written by Mainsprings