You seldom hear the word "longsuffering" in daily conversation, but it's one we are all feeling. This pandemic has caused us each pain in different ways, and for far too long. The word translates to "sustained trouble breathing or anger." I think it describes our current global situation as all of us have had to deal with a pandemic that can take our literal breath away. It has created huge angst and frustration as we each try to evolve and deal with the ever-changing advice, closures, and news briefs. Each of us has a story. March 13th, 2020, began as a normal day for me in 5th grade, even as I chuckled, thinking, ohhhh, Friday the 13th! I wonder if something bad might happen. Little did I realize that by noon I would be furiously packing up supplies for students, to send them home for the rest of the school year. A week, I thought ... maybe two. Fast forward 10 months and we all know that our longsuffering is not over. I began to realize the enormity of the pandemic when Ugandan schools also closed. A half a world away from me, teachers and students were suffering the same upheaval. Turn the Page Uganda took what we call in Santa Barbara, a siesta. A rest. There were far more pressing local needs to be handled, so we did no fund-raising, and didn't reach out to new schools. By summer it was evident that our own trials would endure. It was also evident that Ugandan schools still had great needs, in addition to the global pandemic. Then one day after reconnecting with a friend from high school days, a large check arrived in my mailbox. It was the perfect time to ease my guilt about not hounding my friends for donations, when they needed to fund local pressing needs like our food bank and homeless shelters. So, that high school angel helped us reach another group of seven rural schools in great need -- Teachers received hundreds of books, and thousands of kids would benefit. Isn't that a serendipitous moment? Some might call it a Godsend! When a need is fulfilled before you actually asked for it! I thank my friend and I thank God for knowing before I do, that the work we do will change lives. Let me thank all of you for believing in our mission, to help these amazing students and teachers realize their dreams through education. May your longsuffering help you grow in your ability to love others, to be patient through trials, and help others bear their burdens. Happy New Year, everyone! :-) Vicky


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