Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
This is Harvery (2006).
I had lost my child from Peru. (She looked just like a china doll.)
I was sad and I wasn't sure if I wanted to pick another child. I had just been disappointed – after 6 months of supporting her, her mother decided it was too difficult to walk her to and from the child development center – and I had bills to pay and a busy life and lots of reasons not to sponsor a child. But I decided to anyways.
I had always had a heart for Haiti. I hoped one day I might be able to go there and see Haiti and visit her. I wrote her my first letter. I think it was a pretty lame one. I wasn't sure what to say or how to talk to a three year old.
She wrote me (actually her mom wrote for her) and told me that she was three years old and had three sisters. She drew me a picture. It was a red circle.
I prayed for her.
The letter writing thing got easier, more natural, it became more of a dialogue. I told her about my life and about how much I loved her and prayed for her. I responded to her questions and asked her questions of my own – what is your favorite game? What do you like to study at school? She answered my questions and told me about her life.
I have been rereading some of her letters - she thanked me for choosing her… repeatedly. I wonder – had no one ever chosen her before. Singled her out and said, "You are special, you are worthy." Perhaps this is one of the most valuable parts of sponsorship.
I got an updated picture. She did not look all that happy. She looked a little hardened. By a hard life? I wondered... Did she enjoy being in Compassion's program?
Then, when I was planning another trip to the Dominican Republic (my heart dies a little every time I am away for more than six months), I decided. It was time to go to Haiti too. I recruited a Dominican friend to go with me. I made plans. I was nervous, but excited. Then, right before we were supposed to depart, the plan started to go South – my friend had a death in the family and couldn't go. We tried to reschedule, no luck. I had to go. She had been told I was coming. I could not disappoint her. I went alone. Well, not really, the Lord went with me. He made a way and provided and kept me safe. And boy, was I in for a treat.
Harvery ran into my arms and I picked her up. She kept rubbing my arm, "Are you real?" Also, "You're white, and that is a bit strange."
In one of her letters, when talking about mother's day and how much she loves her mother and enjoyed celebrating, she asked me, "Do you love your mother? I love you like my mother." I think I was a little nervous to meet her mother, what will she think of that? Will she like me too?
She warmly embraced me. She smiled. She was so sweet and loving to me. Later, as we talked, it became clear that she, too, had read every letter and knew me intimately. "What about that friend, that you visited last year, how is she and how are her three children?" I had to strain to think of who she was referring to; she remembered everything though.
Havery's little sister spent the day with us.
And she captured my heart.
We visited the Compassion child development center (HA-804) and we visited Harvery's home. It was an amazing glimpse into her life. And I got to hold her in my arms. And my heart grew. And if there was any doubt about how real she was to me it had been washed away. She was amazing and I would always love her. She would always be in my heart. And I couldn't wait to see what she would grow into, what she would become.
I am going back.
Not now, because I'm not a trained relief worker and I don't speak Creole (although my rusty French almost allows me to get by a little) and I don't have any medical expertise (I have often wondered why God did not give me one ounce of interest or talent at science.) For now all I can do is give.
And hug this neck.
And just be with all of them.
And praise God together.
My heart is heavy. It's hard not to be overwhelmed by sadness. It's difficult to wait and wonder. It seems impossible to hold on to hope – it even seems unreasonable and uneducated. But then I realize, God is beyond reason. He is not limited by circumstance or hardship or devastation. He holds the universe in His hands and He sits sovereign on His throne. The Lord Jesus is hope Himself. And He is comfort and joy. And my heart rests in Him.
Oh, P.S., I got another updated picture of Havery shortly after my visit. Even when she is 18 and going to university, I will always remember her like this.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The other day at work a sweet lady who I am friendly and chatty with, but I don’t know super well, sent me an e-mail. She is about 7 months pregnant and this e-mail is about a deal a website is having – you just pay the shipping and they send you one free nursing cover and they are really cute!
I didn’t think much of it because there are like 15 girls pregnant at work (I should probably be afraid to drink the water!) and I had forwarded this woman a birth announcement (of another lady in the office) that I thought was terribly cute (her husband is a graphic designer and made them himself.) But just to be funny, I e-mailed her back and said “Oh no! Do I look pregnant?! :/ ;0)” And then she shoots me a response that says, “I heard that you were…I’m so sorry!!! Are you not?” So I reply, “I am not even married…” and she e-mails me back to apologize profusely and say that she was confused and so sorry and it was not that I looked pregnant but when I sent her that e-mail I must have said something like “I think will appreciate this since you are pregnant too,” she thought the too was me and her not the pregnant girl who’s announcement it was and her.
So I e-mail her back and say, don’t worry, we are having a lot of fun laughing about this… because by then we are rolling on the floor – myself and another girl in my department who has a great sense of humor and the new contractor who sits next to me. Seriously the fun we are having at the thought of… hello – single me , being pregnant, is too funny. I am on the phone with someone, at least trying to hold it together (mind you another employee, not a donor or anything) and my friend is back at her desk relentlessly instant messaging me – “Is it a boy or a girl?” “When are you do?” “Can I be the godmother?” I have to shout over the cubes and through my laughter for her to stop because I can’t even remember why I called this other person.
Um, I think this story does not have an end, but are you entertained yet? Okay, good, that was really the point.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Allow me to set the stage. I am chatting online with my dear friend from Australia (whom God has amazing placed in my life!) and I tell her that I had a snack earlier because I was at target and they have good popcorn in there. She knows what target is because, believe it or not, there are targets in Australia (funny as that is) but is confused that they have a café. And here is her response…
So after you try on cheaper jeans because you are not spending $150 on Saba until you've lost weight, you look in the mirror and go nup, I know I'll make myself feel better and grab popcorn
so they still get you to spend in their shop
I am speechless at their marketing prowess
Just thought I would share some perspective (and some random entertainment) with you.
Here’s to dreaming of pedicured toes in Australian sand…
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I have a packet for a sweet little girl from the same project as my sponsored child (that I just visited) in Haiti. Can you open you heart and your wallet to pay $38 a month to sponsor her?
Here is her info:
Tabarre Child Development Center
Roselor lives with her father and her mother. She is responsible for buying or selling in the market, helping in the kitchen and running errands. Her father is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother is sometimes employed as a seller in the market. There are 3 children in the family.
For fun, Roselor enjoys playing house and reading. She attends church activities regularly and is in primary school where her performance is average. Please remember Roselor in your prayers. Your love and support will help her to receive the assistance she needs to grow and develop.
I have photos from this project and hope to go back (read: I can deliver presents for you. :) Also, from what I learned in Haiti, Roselor would not have the opportunity to attend school if she were not enrolled in the Compassion program and sponsored by some wonderful person like you!
Please contact me directly or leave a comment if you are interested. Thanks!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
- Pedro Arrupe, S.J.