Colombia Day Five: Meeting Lina

The night before our planned Fun Day with our sponsored children, we received quite a surprise! Becca, one of our awesome trip leaders was praying at the end of our evening together at the hotel. She was kind of taking her time too. Imagine our surprise when we opened our eyes and saw a big group of children in the front of the was all of our sponsored kids!!!!! I immediately jumped up from my chair, my chair fell backwards, so I turned around to pick it up. By the time I stood back up and looked around, there was a beautiful young lady standing next to me. And I knew exactly who it was!!

Meeting my sponsored child Lina in Colombia

There are no words to describe this moment...none at all! How do you put into words the moment of meeting someone you have loved from miles away, someone you have prayed for, someone you have exchanged letters with, someone you never thought it would be possible to meet in this life?

We didn't have long to spend with the kids at this initial meeting, but it sure helped to alleviate some of the nervousness that we had been experiencing about the next day.

Our fun day with our sponsored children was spent at a water park near the coast of Barranquilla, Colombia. I really didn't take a lot of pictures this day because we spent a lot of time in the water! Lina had never traveled outside of her community, so she had never been to the coast of her country. This was her very first time to the Caribbean Sea!!

Angelica (the center director from Lina's project), me, and Lina loving our day at the beach!

Angelica (the center director from Lina's project), me, and Lina loving our day at the beach!

Me, Lina, and Mauricio (our translator)

Me, Lina, and Mauricio (our translator)

Even though we spent a lot of time in the water, we still had time to talk quite a bit.

I learned that Lina almost left the program before we started sponsoring her. Her previous sponsor didn't send her any letters. Angelica told me that when the letters we sent to Lina when we started sponsoring her made a big difference in Lina's life.

Did you hear that?

Letters...a few words written on a page to encourage a young girl who lives thousands of miles away from us.


The thing is though...not only have those letters made a difference in Lina's life...they have made a difference in my life.

Almost every month, I set aside time to write letters to our Compassion sponsored kids. I don't write really long letters.

But in each letter I share a Bible verse and remind these kids that God loves them.

Doesn't it make you feel good when someone reminds you that God loves you?

Maybe if my words don't convince you that child sponsorship works, maybe this will:

Are you ready to make a difference in the life of a child living in extreme poverty in Jesus' name?

Please pass the kleenex!

So, last week, I shared with you about the invitation I received to visit my sponsored child, Eduardo, in Mexico. God has been moving mountains over the past week and I did make a deposit on the trip! I have shed so many happy tears over the past week! I still have quite a bit of money to earn, but so many people shared some wonderful ideas that I can put into place to earn the money to go. Here is what I have done so far:

1. I have sold a couple of furniture items (2 unused desks) and some tupperware. I figure this is a great time to go through my home and sell some items we are not using. No point of it sitting around collecting dust. Over the next few weeks, I will be going through the rooms in our home to see what else can be sold.

2. One sweet blogger sent me money to use for my trip! (insert happy tears!!)

gift tag with jam

3. I revised my ‘public’ Facebook page (Gifts from Our Little Corner) and have begun posting some homemade items to sell. Three batches of cranberry-strawberry jam sold to some of my friends in just a couple of days, so I made 2 batches of strawberry jam yesterday. You can also find some homemade flannel baby blanket and wash cloth sets. See something you like on the page? Be sure to ‘like’ the page and we can negotiate shipping/handling costs if you live out of my area.

4. To keep track of what I am earning toward the trip, I printed out a check register and at the top of the paper I wrote, “The Lord will provide” – Genesis 22:14. This will be a good reminder for me in case any moments of discouragement come up over the next few months as I continue earning money for this trip. If it is His will for me to go on this trip, I believe He will provide the funds in His timing and I need to trust in Him through this whole process.

Over the next few months, I hope to keep you posted on how things are coming along as I prepare for this Compassion trip to Mexico to visit Eduardo. I am so excited about this opportunity!

Just received ‘An invitation to meet Eduardo’

Compassion invitation

So yesterday in my inbox, I received an e-mail from Compassion with ‘An invitation to meet Eduardo’. Having the chance to visit one of your Compassion sponsored children has got to be the dream of a lot of Compassion sponsors.

About a year and a half ago, we started sponsoring Eduardo and we picked Mexico, hoping that it would be more affordable for me to have the ability to take a trip with Compassion. Do we have the money in the bank to pay for a trip right now? Of course not! But I have already started thinking of ways that I can earn the money necessary to pay for this trip. God knows if I will be going on this trip or not.

Given the chance though, I know this trip will be a life changing experience. I have read many blog posts about bloggers who have visited their sponsored kids (and shed many tears reading those posts!) You can read posts from some of the past trips at the Compassion Bloggers web site.

My pray and hope, that given the chance to go on this trip, or one in the future, that It would give me a better awareness of the effectiveness of Compassion programs so that I can be a better advocate for these kids. This trip wouldn’t be for me, it would be for the millions of children who are growing up, living in extreme poverty, that I could be a voice for them.

If you have any suggestions on ways you have been able to earn about $2500 in a five month period, I would love to hear them! Please leave your ideas in the comments section, and I would love your prayers too!

Update 5/1/13: I am beyond excited! This morning I made a deposit on this trip and picked up my first passport application! Praying for God to direct my efforts for earning the rest of the money over the next few months. Yay!!!