Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Joseline and Compassion International

The shy little girl, whose picture we picked from about 100 others 10 years ago at a Christian Music Festial in New Hampshire. She was now driving down the road toward me. I wasn't sure what to expect as they pulled up and got out of the green truck. The shy little 8 year old stepped out, but now she was a shy 18 year old, as unsure as I, not knowing how this relationship was to be played out. We were connected only by letters and pictures until now, and only a few times per year at that. For the price of $28 (now $32) per month, we were able to pay for her education, some food, and occasionaly provide practical gifts. I suppose we are some sort of parental figures to her though only knowing her through letters. But here we were, face to face. We smiled, gave a hug, and went inside. For five hours we played with the kids, shared pictures with her, went out to lunch, took her to the women's ministry while I taught a first aid/CPR type class, gave her gifts, and sent her on her way back to the island of Gonaves. At the end of it, we were mutually happy to have physical proof that the other was a real person, and mutually confused at how we could be connected in tangible ways from so far without ever meeting. I have high respect for Compassion International and their mission to connect people that otherwise would never be connected, to make a difference in the lives of the sponsor and the sponsored. I'm sure I'll have more to reflect on this experience, but for now I need to enjoy our last day here.

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