Sunday, September 18, 2011

With Love, From Honduras: Memories




It was a year ago that we met.


Bessy, Honduras, 2010


Although my mom and I had been sponsoring her since 2005, I had no idea what to expect on July 2nd of 2010 as I waited anxiously for my turn to meet our Compassion child from Honduras.


When our names were called, I came forward to greet one of the most beautiful girls in the world, and quite possibly the most shy too (except maybe my friend Jordan from Kidzworld!). It was as though time stood still. Meeting Bessy was easily one of the most memorable experiences of my life, in fact, the entire journey to Honduras was life changing.

Since my return to Canada, Bessy's letters to us have been completely different. First of all, she is now 9 and writes her own letters, but there is a deeper sense of connection and relationship. I love to read her reflections on our time together.



When I met her that day, she shared that her father had not yet accepted Jesus and did not share their faith. It was a bonding experience for her mother and I, since we both lived this reality in our families.


Bessy had been praying for a doll since she was old enough to pray, and when I gave her a doll that day, she cried with joy, and in her excitement, she shared something in Spanish with her mom, something I couldn't follow or understand. I asked our translator what she had said, and he spoke to her mom, who explained that although Bessy had always believed in God, she felt as though now she had proof that He answered prayers... she was holding the doll she had prayed for since she was very little. There wasn't a dry eye at the table.



It was with joy that I read Bessy's most recent letter to us:



"Dear Friends Docile (my mom) & Jolaine

I greet you wishing that the Divine light of God lightens your lives, always. I want to thank you for the letters, for the books and the stickers, for the photos and the cards. At the same time, I want to answer your questions.

My family and I are in good health, thanks to God. I liked the Bible you gave me. I like to read it because I learn many verses. My favorite Biblical verses are Psalms 23:1 and Philippians 4:13. My favorite materials are markers, pencil colors, books, notebooks with drawings and the pencils. I love to paint.


My family already accepted Christ as their only Savior, the last one who accepted Him was my dad.
In this moment, I haven't been able to get baptised, but I will do it because it is a commandment of God and we have to obey Him.


I'm doing well in school. Right now I am in 4th grade.


My favorite part of the trip was to meet you personally because I was able to hug yo uand to kiss you and to tell you how much I love you. We got home very well, thanks to God. I was a little dizzy and with nausea (she gets carsick) but the experience was very nice. I didn't mind the distance (12 hour drive) or discomfort - it was worth it because not all the kids have that experience.




My doll is called Docile to remember you more and I care for her a lot. My sister and I have been using the markers a lot and we like to paint. I also want to thank you for the scholar benefit I received at the Child Development Center and I was able to buy school supplies.

I wish to ask you: Did you like Honduras? Did you enjoy my company?

I ask you to pray for my dad that he has faith.

Goodbye with strong hug and kisses...

Bessy.





I'm trying to imagine what Ato Sam's letters will be like after November, as well as Tahameena's and the twins'... but if Bessy's are any indication, I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing it through their eyes and words as well.

If you've visited your Compassion child, how has the visit impacted the correspondence and relationship since the visit?

6 Comments:

Rebecca said...

I still love the story of Bessy and her doll!

I met Dilsly when she was 18... our visit was a little different...we met seperate from the group (because of her school schedule), and we had sweet girl time together. We talked and shared stories and photos, and it has just made
our relationship so much more personal. Her mom passed away when she was young, so it was an honor to have some of those conversations with her that most have with their mom's at that age...and since then her letters have been more intimate. I hope to somehow keep in touch with her (she is graduating from the progam in a few months)...my prayer is to be able to be there at her wedding.

Jill Foley said...

I had goosebumps reading the part about her father accepting Christ - Praise God!

I met 3 kids in Peru....one I had just begun corresponding with, another I sponsored while I was there and an LDP correspondent. The LDP correspondent, David, writes GOOD letters - our relationship was quickly taken to a deeper level because of my visit. The other two...not so much. But I remind myself that basically our relationship began face to face, and that is a blessing in and of itself.

JD said...

Rebecca,

Me too! My mom struggled to hold back the tears as she read the letter to me over the phone... that Bessy had a doll meant so much to her, and knowing Bessy loves her so much that she named her doll after my mom, well, not a dry eye, for sure.

Oh girl, that sounds like a heaven-sent visit with Dilsly -- I can't begin to imagine how much that must have meant to her, and how much she cherished her time with you. I'm sure it is something neither of you will ever forget, much as it is when we meet our sponsored children. I try to imagine meeting Ato Sam, but my heart can barely contain the joy now, imagine then? I pray you will be there for her wedding -- God can make it happen! I'm sure there are ways you can continue to communicate with her after her sponsorship ends -- does she write in English?

JD said...

Jill,

Me too! It meant SO much to me to hear this, not only for his own salvation, for for what it meant for his family, and the hope that it gives me as well.

My relationship with Justin is different than that with Bessy, even though I met both -- Bessy, we had sponsored for more than 5 years at the time, Justin, we had just met... but meeting them both changed the depth of each of those relationships just the same, if that makes sense!

Rebecca said...

JD- Yes, Dilsly does write in English...I hear there is a release form you can sign to give them your personal mailing info when the sponsorship ends...haven't really officially inquired about it yet though.

I am so excited about you meeting Ato Sam, I can only imagine how you feel! I have loved being a small part of your guys' relationship through your blog...it is such a sweet connection you have!

Soy Celeste said...

¡Qué maravilloso todo ésto! ¡Qué importante que es! La vida de esta niña ya tiene un nuevo sentido. Y ella ya está experimentando la fidelidad, el amor, la misericordia de Dios, etc, en su vida. ¡Su papá aceptó a Jesús! ¡Glorias al Altísimo!!! Y a ti, que Dios te bendiga. (3 Juan 2). Un abrazo.

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