Friday, 17 April 2015

...And Then There Were Six.

I spend a lot of time on Compassion International's website, looking at all the beautiful children available for sponsorship. Every so often, I’ll see one that particularly touches my heart, and then I will often post their picture and story on my Facebook page, to help them find a sponsor.

Several weeks ago, a young man from Indonesia really jumped out at me. A very intelligent-looking young man with dark, compelling eyes. I clicked on his profile and discovered that he was an above-average college student, and my heart went out to him. It’s not too often that I see college students on the site, and even more unusual to see one with above-average marks. My first thought was, “Now here’s a young man who is working hard to lift himself out of poverty and he’s not letting it hold him back!”

I immediately started posting his picture around, waiting for him to disappear off the site, which would mean he’d found a sponsor. After weeks of waiting, he finally did disappear, and I celebrated… he’d finally been chosen!

Unfortunately, (or fortunately for me!) that wasn’t the case. A couple weeks later, he reappeared on the site… somebody must have requested his packet and then changed their minds. I couldn’t believe it… I was so sure that he would be snatched up quickly!

So I started posting his picture around again… and grew heartbroken as time went by and he remained on the site. Finally, I started battling with myself. Is there any way possible that I can afford to add a sixth child? Followed by my common sense telling me, NO. This is NOT a smart move. I grew more and more frustrated, realized that even if he WAS chosen by a sponsor, I would still be heartbroken, because I wanted to choose him.

And then my parents stepped in and decided to make it possible. They have a wonderful child of their own, and constantly encourage me in my endeavors to encourage as many children as I can. So, they decided to make it possible for me to encourage, and be encouraged by, one more child.

So now I know why nobody was choosing this young man… because he was meant to join my family.

So without further ado, may I introduce Papi, my sixth child (and my second boy, and my first from outside Africa!) He is 19 years old and lives with his mother. His hobbies are art and singing! (Like me!)

Papi also got his picture updated the DAY after I sponsored him, which is pretty cool! Here’s his newest picture:

Welcome to the family Papi… my “Mr. Miracle”! You were most certainly destined to be here! 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Mbula Says Thank You

I received a very special (thick!) envelope in the mail today! I usually wait till the end of the month to share letters from my kids, but this was too special not to share today!

Last August, a Compassion sponsor traveled to Kenya to pay a visit to his children there. He offered to take some gifts from a few Compassion sponsors for their children, and I jumped at the opportunity to send something to Mbula!!

I was allowed to fill a gallon baggie, which was quite a treat as I’d only sent quart-sized baggies to children before. I immediately started hunting for something that I thought my then-19-year-old would enjoy! I started with a green polo shirt, thinking it would be something useful. I added a watch, since I’d heard reports of children really enjoying watches as gifts. Then I chose a red journal with Jeremiah 29:11 embossed on the front. I figured that since his parents are farmers and Mbula often mentions helping with the crops, a good pair of leather gardening gloves wouldn’t go amiss. Then, I slipped in a bookmark and a souvenir keychain with “Canada” written on it, as well as a pack of toothbrushes.

Then I put the package in the mail, bound for the U.S… and waited… and waited!

I did end up having to do an inquiry, since months passed with not a word about the package. How thrilled I was when I heard that Mbula had received his package, and there was a thank-you letter on the way!

I’ve never enjoyed waiting for anything, but I have to say, my long wait was SO worth it. Because when I tore open the Compassion envelope that I received today, this is the first thing that jumped out at me:

My handsome boy, who at one point I was referring to as “Mr. Serious” since he hasn’t smiled in any of the 8 official photos I have of him, is smiling!! What a sweet, happy smile.

He also wrote me a lovely letter and shared with me what he has done with his gifts. He said that he likes to wear his new polo shirt to church, and he also brings his “diary” to church so he can write down his favorite Scripture verses. He also wears his wrist watch (he calls it a “hand watch”) to school each day! And my favorite part; he shared the toothbrushes among his brothers and sister! I had to chuckle, though, when he thanked me for the “soccer gloves”… oh well, if he can use them during his games (he’s an attacking mid-fielder) he’s welcome to them haha! He also included Psalm 37:4 in his letter… “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!”

There were two photos included in the letter, and I love the second one as well. My boy looks so cool and “rad”!

God bless you my sweet brother! Happy tears here today!