If you would have told me back in 2006, that the little girl I picked out for my church to sponsor through Compassion International would have such an impact on my life that I would end up sponsoring 2 additional children and longing to travel thousands of miles from home to simply give them a hug, I might have thought you crazy.
If you had told me that my best friend since Middle School and I would have a heart-shattering parting of ways in 2010, and that afterwards, I would need the love of those 3 precious children to heal my spirit, I would have known you were crazy.
But that’s just what happened.
Over the past two years, three children from South America have healed my broken heart.
They loved unconditionally. They prayed unconditionally. They shared unconditionally. These three children who are living in poverty, who have nothing, gave me my happiness back; one cream-colored envelope at a time. And, through these relationships, God moved. He planted seeds of hope and dreams in me. Dreams that I thought were impossible to even dream are now becoming reality.
In February of 2012, after only a year of sponsoring a sweet little girl that shared my name, I found myself holding her third letter to me. It was the first letter she had written all by herself – a template letter with fill in the blank sections to help guide her writing. As I read about her dreams for the future, what she wants to be when she grows up, my eyes fell on a single sentence at the bottom. An addition to the template, written in six-year-old handwritting: I would like you to visit Montecristi, the town where I live.
My breath caught. This child, she wanted to see me, to meet me, to love me in person. I had read about sponsors visiting their children, but honestly didn’t give it much thought. Until I held that request in my hand. I knew that visiting her would be nearly impossible, but suddenly, it was something I longed to do.
Four months and four letters later, I was holding another dream from this sweet child. This time, it read, I hope to someday know you in person. By then, I knew that I wanted to visit each of my sponsored children, eventually, but I had no idea how to make it happen. So I wrote to her, and I explained that I wanted to meet her in person, too, but that it was something we’d have to both pray about because I’d need God’s help to get there.
Then, through a series of somewhat unexpected events, I found myself at a new, higher-paying job. A job that calculates vacation time in a way that allows me to save days from year to year. A job that offered some glimmer of hope.
In August, after doing the math and realizing that it would be tight, but my new paycheck was enough to save and afford a Sponsor Tour through Compassion International, I began to research what trips were available. I found two: one to Peru in May, and one to Ecuador in September; and, after wrestling with which trip to take, I officially registered to go to Ecuador this past Monday.
I am thrilled, and terrified.
But no matter what, I know that I am one step closer to realizing this God-sized dream.
This dream that has lead to so many other dreams.
It is my first blessing in 2013. And there’s no doubt in my mind that it will bless me again and again throughout this year and the future.
Each Monday, I’m linking up with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience and counting my blessings. Won’t you join us in this Joy Dare?
1. Finally Registering for Compassion’s Sponsor Tour to Ecuador
2. A hooting owl outside my window
4. BBC on Netflix
5. A warm bed to sleep in
6. A dependable car
7. A cat that purrs like an engine
8. Blogs that inspire
9. 7am Rainbow
11. 2am Texting with Jess
12. A strong relationship with my Dad
13. A church I look forward to going to
14. An unexpected New Year’s Card
15. Homemade Lotion from Libby
16. Chapstick. Amen.
17. Cat kisses
18. Renewed Creativity
19. Slow Cooker Recipes for Cold Days
21. God-Sized Dreams