Wow. What a day! It was the day that most of us met our Compassion child.
It began with great anticipation. We ate breakfast then hurried to a conference room to wait for our sponsored children to come in. One by one they arrived and it was wonderful! We had the opportunity to talk and interact with them for a while and then we all piled in to buses for a trip to the zoo.
The day was spent loving on the kiddos and getting to know them. It was a very happy environment at the zoo today, that’s for sure. We also had a short visit to the Valle de la Luna which is near the zoo and the area makes you feel like you’re walking around a moon crater.
As we debriefed the day, here are some of the things that were on our hearts as we each shared about what the experience of being with our sponsored child was like:
“If I was going to have a son, he definitely would have been like my sponsored child.”
“God put just the perfect sponsor child with each adult sponsor. They were definitely hand-picked to go with each other!”
“She hugged me back as hard as I hugged her. She was very quiet and reserved, just like me!”
“We communicated just by looking into each other’s eyes. Lots of love.”
“We were so alike! My sponsored child knows exactly what he wants in his life. He is so smart. He said he keeps all my letters in a very safe place.”
” He was very quiet. But he had to get up at 3 am just to come and meet me.”
“I thought she would be so shy, but, wow was I wrong! She talked non-stop from the beginning to the end. She reached up to wipe my tears away when I said good-bye.”
“I’m definitely coming back again! I prayed that we would bond because the last time I saw her, we didn’t seem to bond. This time we did! She held my hand the entire time and she had such a big smile on her face!”
If I could have recorded a video of each and every person’s experience I would have, it was so fun to see hearts melting and little children with joy on their faces to finally meet the person who has been sponsoring them and sending letters to them. What a wonderful opportunity we have to be interacting (with the help of Compassion International) with these beautiful children. Many of us will leave a part of hearts behind when this trip is over. Watch out, family and friends, get ready for lots of stories when we return!
Each person has their own special story to tell of the day, so I will let them do so as they are able to. You’re in for a treat, is all I will say.
When we returned to the hotel, we had about an hour to spend giving our sponsored children gifts and then the always hard moment arrived – saying goodbye. Let’s just say many tears floweth. It’s amazing how in just one day you can cement so much love into your relationship with your sponsored child. Here’s my little plug to all of you – if you have a sponsored child, you must find a way to visit them. At our church, Northern Hills, we plan for impacting this community for years to come and so every 12 to 18 months you will have the opportunity to come, just like we did, and meet your child. Start thinking about it now! If each team member could chime in right now, I know they would all tell you how much this trip has already been worth all the anxiety, planning, fundraising, packing, traveling, leaving family, busting out of their comfort zone – just look into the little faces of these children and it all makes sense.
Tomorrow’s sneak peek: Day 1 at our first Compassion center. Construction project. Spending the day with children. Evening Pastor’s Conference.
Also, check out Brian’s blog here: http://www.brianhowellimaging.com/blog