Looking for someone

Me, Angelica(center) and Claudia

Angelica and her aunt Claudia

In four days of Spanish class, otherwise known as the Compassion blog trip, I’ve managed to learn a few key phrases. I can ask children their names and ages. I can say, “How are you?” and “Which sport do you like?” I can say hello, goodbye, beautiful, and smile. If someone asks if I know Spanish, I can say ‘a little’. Not a huge vocabulary, granted, but more than I’ve possessed up til this point in my life, a fact which pleases me ridiculously.

Today I learned another key question: “Do you have a sponsor?”

I used that question on dozens of kids at the Compassion project we visited today. The majority of the kids did have sponsors. (Compassion statistics show that in the average Compassion project 90% of the kids do.)

But a few children I met today did not have sponsors yet. And one of those children latched onto my arm and then hopped into my heart. Her name is Angelina and she is ten years old. She answered me shyly when I asked her questions, but soon grew confident enough to sit next to me, and ended up spending much of the project visit right by my side. She snuggled against me. She smiled every time I looked at her. She picked a flower and put it in my hair. She asked me when I was coming back. And she won my heart.

I asked her questions about her life. I hugged her a dozen times. I told her that I would pray that she would get a sponsor soon. I told her I hoped to visit her again someday. I resolved to send her pictures from my visit. And I left the project wanting to do everything in my power to make sure that she does get a sponsor.

Soon.

Because every kid deserves to have someone to cheer them on.

When I got back to my hotel, the first thing I did was sit my sweat-laden self down at the computer, open the sponsor page, and click on the Dominican Republic. I didn’t find Angelica, which may mean she has a sponsor and doesn’t know it yet, or that her packet is out at a concert (like the Bebo Norman concert this evening).

But as I clicked from page to page looking at child after beautiful child, I recognized familiar faces. I saw familiar names. I’ve been in and among these children this week and let me tell you, they are wonderful. They deserve every bit of goodness that there is in life. They deserve good food and good medicine and a good education and faith that there is goodness in their future. They deserve to have a connection with someone who cheers them on and makes it possible for them to walk this world with hope in their eyes.

You.

You can be that person, if only you are willing.

Wherever your heart stands at this moment, will you do me a favor? Go click on the pictures of all those precious children. Look at their faces.

Then pray about it. Think about it. If you aren’t sure about finances right now, ask God to point out some area of your life where you might be able to find a few extra dollars in your budget.

He can do it.

He can make it possible for you to do it.

You will be glad you took that step of faith.

And the child you sponsor will be forever grateful.

The other awesome bloggers on this trip

Melanie
Tim and his son Nick
Marlboro Man and his daughters
Jennifer
Brian Seay
Shaun Groves
Keely Scott, our photographer

{ 18 Comments }

  1. Cindy Chang says:

    Thanks so much for your posts during the trip. We sponsor 2 boys, and are blessed to know them through their letters. Thank you for bringing awareness through your journey! I’ve been following you as we wade our way through the adoption process, and the things you had to say about the Compassion trip have touched my heart! (We’re in the process of adopting anywhere from 1-3 kids – at least 1 boy – from Ethiopia to complete our family.)

  2. Amazing thoughts there.

    Sponsoring a child’s life will change a child’s life.

    Do it today.

  3. How can I become Angelica’s sponsor?

  4. There are enough people who can make it possible for no child to be without a sponsor. You just have to do it, and it’ll be one decision you will never regret.

  5. You are doing a wonderful job. The picture is just beautiful. It’s amazing how quickly they can wrap themselves around your heart. We sponsor a little boy in Albania. He is so precious to us.

  6. I have to say – I’ve been reading your, Melanie & Boo Mama’s blogs about your compassion trips. I have been on mission trips myself, and today – I sponsored a girl from Bolivia whose birthday is a week after my daughter’s (10 years old). She had been waiting for more than 6 months for a sponsor. Thank you for your words that compelled me to find her. Thanks for letting God use you.

  7. Mary,
    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and am so inspired by all that you do raising your family. Now you’ve inspired me to sponsor a child. Because I amd the parent of Ethiopian children I thought I would want to sponsor a child from Ethiopia. Then I thought I should sponsor a child from Haiti because it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and I have two siblings from Haiti. However, I settled on the Dominican Republic because I already know some spanish and the conditions for visiting are safer than if I were to visit Haiti. Also I have visited Ethiopia and am already raising two of that country’s children. I chose an 8 year old boy named Antonio who’s face spoke volumes in his picture. I can’t wait to get my family’s first letter in the mail along with photos and a check to buy this little guy a Christmas present.
    Thank you for leading me to Compassion International and thank you for all that you have done to help this small corner of the world.
    Claudia

  8. I’m commenting here on Thursday’s post, because for some reason I can see Friday’s post on Google Reader, but not on your site. Thank you so much for being faithful to post about your experiences in the Dominican Republic. I know the feeling of inadequacy that you talk about. When I returned from Malawi, I desperately wanted to tell everyone the stories. But how do you tell someone about a whole experience, a whole country that changed your life? I can tell you about my dear Malawian roommate who escaped the grips of poverty to get a college education, but unless you see the hope and determination and intelligence in her eyes, you won’t really know.

    It has been wonderful to read your account. As a sponsor through World Vision (similar to Compassion International), I sometimes wonder if we’re actually DOING anything. But reports like yours set my mind at ease. Through a tiny but faithful contribution, the Lord is at work!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us… He is good!

  10. Dear Owlhaven,
    We love these entries and pictures. However, you must must must stop referring to the country as “The Dominican” or our brains are going to implode. It’s Dominican Republic, or the D.R., or the Dom. Rep., but nobody anywhere ever called it “The Dominican.” “The Dominican” would be a person FROM the Dominican Republic, like “The American” who is currently visiting there. Thank you, and we shall now return to looking at the pictures of all the beautiful kids you’ve posted.
    – Lisa (LDS mission, D.R. 1992-1993)
    – Trudi (CIA assignment, D.R. 1968-1969)

  11. Cassie J. says:

    Have LOVED reading all the entries from the trip! I’ll be sponsoring a child soon!

    Did you do the hula with everyone else?

    Thank you for your writing!

    God bless you and everyone else on the trip!

  12. Mary, your post for Friday? “You saw me when nobody saw me”.. made me cry. I hear your heart.
    Thank you, friend… thank you.
    How I send love…
    Ann

  13. Mary, your post for Friday? “You saw me when nobody saw me”.. made me cry. I hear your heart.
    Thank you, friend… thank you.
    How I send love…
    Ann

  14. Mary, your post for Friday? “You saw me when nobody saw me”.. made me cry. I hear your heart.
    Thank you, friend… thank you.
    How I send love…
    Ann

  15. Hi Mary. I sponsored a child after the Uganda bloggers trip last year. I was so inspired by their stories, and it just made it real for me. I had always wanted to do something like this, but I didn’t know which organization was really a good one to go with and where I knew they were actually helping real kids and making a difference….until that Uganda blogger trip. So, I was really excited to see that another group was going to the DR and couldn’t wait to read the posts again. I’ve read your blog for a while, but never really commented until now. I tried to leave this on the “you saw me…” post, but couldn’t for some reason, so I’m leaving it here. I just wanted to encourage you that your writing this week has been inspiring and touching! Thank you for being a willing vessel!

  16. Jackson and I chose a little boy from DR to sponsor today. We chose one his age and Jackson already drew him a picture and wrote to him in Spanish. (Thanks to Google Translate!)

    You have done a wonderful job. I have loved reading your posts. God Bless you girl!!!

  17. Awesome post! May God bless you for helping to spread the word about Compassion. Through my husband’s Sunday School class, we sponsor three beautiful children (1 in Peru, 2 in India) and my 6 year old in particular loves to write to the children.

    I have enjoyed reading your posts!

Trackbacks

  1. […] it’s an ongoing seesaw:  seeing need, wanting to help, taking a step to do something.  Then there is a slide back to complacency and comfort.  Almost a forgetting.  Granted, by many […]