In the summer of 2013, I had the most wonderful encounters with the Nass Family as they prepared to take the two boys, Kizza David and Kagwa Francis, home with them. All of us at M-Lisada were so happy and hopeful for these boys. But there has been a tragedy. Here is a letter from Sandy and Steffan Nass, followed by a letter from Segawa Bosco, Chief Executive Officer, M-LISADA Organization.

On September 13, 2013, the Nass family welcomed brothers Kizza David and Kagwa Francis into our lives as they became the newest members of our family, adopted after living at M-Lisada for about a year.  David, 12 years, and Francis, 10 years, adjusted quickly to family life and the opportunities presented to them in our Iowa community. Francis especially thrived in this place.  He loved to read and socialize (sometimes too much!), and after surgery to repair a torn meniscus suffered five years earlier while living in his village in Uganda, to play soccer and basketball. And, although he didn't like running or to run road races, he always won, having never trained a single day.  He became an avid Green Bay Packers fan within moments of setting foot on American soil and his bedroom was decorated in the “'lovely”' Green Bay colors of green and gold. This was his desire, even after stating one of our favorite Francis quotes, "One thing I have never understood since coming to this country is decorating.".  Francis was a boy who chose joy every single day of his life and became fast friends with everyone he met.  He loved to laugh and joke around, and give everyone, kids and adults alike, a hard time.  He had a way about him that made people feel as if they belonged and had something special to offer, regardless of the situation.

On March 9, 2017, Francis entered the University of Iowa Children's Hospital after having an unexplained seizure.  Francis had never had a seizure that we're aware of, prior to this.  As the next eight days in PICU passed, the seizures continued and increased in frequency and duration, as doctors ran test after test to determine the cause of the seizures and find the treatment that would make them stop.  That was not to be, however, and the final seizure culminated in cardiac arrest and stroke and, eventually, in Francis’ death.  Francis passed away on March 21st, at the age of thirteen.

As we prepared for Francis' funeral a couple of days later, David told our pastor that Francis had been a quiet boy when they lived in Uganda.  That was not the Francis we knew.  When given love and security, Francis became who God intended him to be, gregarious, outgoing, and full of infectious joy.  And now, as he spends eternity in heaven, Francis is even more alive than he was while with us.

Over 1,000 people came to Francis' funeral visitation, to share stories and laughter, to share our grief, to offer comfort and support, and to say good-bye to our sweet, playful boy.  What a testimony to the short, impactful life he lived; may it be so for all of us.

May God bless M-Lisada and all who are involved in the work there, giving vulnerable children a chance to experience love and security and to become all God intends for them to be. We're so grateful to all of you.

Sandy and Steffan Nass

Dear Mr, & Mrs, Nass,

We here at M-LISADA Organization were truly sorry to hear of the loss of Francis Nass. Please allow me, on behalf of all of us at M-LISADA, to extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family as you struggle through this period of shock and grief. I know your son Francis was a vital, integral part of your family, and we at M-LISADA mourn the loss along with you.

While Francis was still here with us at M-LISADA, we do remember the time when he acted a skit about education entitled “I wish I knew” with the children. I pray the lifetime he spent with you can comfort and bring good memories to you and your family. No one can prepare you for a loss; it comes like a swift wind. But take comfort in knowing that he is now resting in the arms of our Lord.

May the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding guard your heart and mind, and give you strength that is more than what you have now, to sail you through this difficult moment. Let us know if there is anything you would like us to do to help you feel better. Our thoughts and prayers are with you this moment.

Yours sincerely,

Segawa Bosco
Chief Executive Officer, M-LISADA Organization