Heart reflections as a sponsor through Compassion International prepares to meet Raquel, her precious little girl in Bolivia, for the very first time… enjoy!
In a city 4,618 miles from my city, lives a soon-to-be 11 year old girl. I don’t know her as I knew my parents, or as I know my brothers, sons and truest friends; but I know her through the letters she writes. Raquel is my second “first” child, meaning that after sponsoring my very first Compassion child from age 5 through 22, I wasn’t sure I could invest my heart and finances in that way again. However my thoughts were not God’s thoughts and soon after the launching of the Our Compassion site for sponsors, I felt the unmistakable nudging of the Holy Spirit.
Raquel has the birth date of my dad and the birth month of my mom. She also has what appears to be a birthmark just as my mom had. I looked at many children and was attracted by many of the same details that other sponsors give consideration to before sponsoring. Yet, I always came back to Raquel! Yes, her sweet expression and clothing were somewhat influential. Even the careful use of the camera angle in capturing her first photograph drew my heart towards her. But it was the Holy Spirit Who gently reordered my thoughts, returning me to the country of Bolivia and specifically to Raquel. January 3, 2011 marks our sponsorship journey together.
But how can it be a journey together when the distance between the two is so great. A sponsor will gladly tell you: it’s listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit; it’s nurturing the love God placed in your heart; it’s creating an environment to share life’s experiences through writing letters; it’s attending to the words of your sponsored child; and at the forefront, it’s prayer!
It is prayer that brings peace when the journey becomes rough. As velvet dresses, earrings, and quirky grins give way to tailored clothes and a somber expression, it’s wondering if there isn’t a slight sting in passing through little girlhood into that next stage. Or is it that circumstances are too troublesome to feign even the slightest smile for the camera. I don’t know, and there is an ache in not knowing. But I know and continue to know my Jesus, and He is the One who guides my pen when writing Raquel. Who knows, picture day may have happened on a not-so-great day… we all have them!
A journey—traveling from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ and usually involving an extended period of time—through letters over these 5 plus years; and now, in physical distance. Raquel seems to be a playful little girl and yet one with a tender heart. I will be able to see for myself what is behind that quirky grin and I am prepared for tricks and jokes. The physical distance between Raquel and I will become non-existent… for one day at least.
Please thank Susan, our guest contributor today for sharing her heart reflections with us; and stay tuned for part 2 where she travels to Bolivia…
Love = Letters
Say no to sad mail days
To write or not to write
Sample Letter 1 – 2 – 3
Dinosaurs in Ghana
10 letters in one week
A life of fear – Eduar gets his bus
Haiti… 4 stories of hope… 5 years on
How do you inspire your child to serve others?
Glimpse behind scenes – Compassion translator
Kefa & Estefany – Out of a suitcase and into our hearts
Former Compassion Children – Where are they now?
I like going to church because there nobody hit me
Olive meets her sponsors and shares how Compassion changed her life
Glimpse behind scenes – Compassion International Global Ministry Center: Part 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7
Where is your sponsored child’s country on this persecution spiral?
Why write? Compassion pastors working directly with the children explain
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