Monday, August 17, 2009

[ Matchmaker Monday ]

Time to see another adorable face. A face of another child of God, looking for someone to sponsor them so they can enjoy the simple privilege of school. :) But I get to share the awesome story of finding a match first. :) Meet Claudia and her sister Lynda. Through the Mission website they appear to be two very different and somewhat shy little girls. They are sisters. Sisters who I'm sure depend on one another for so much. Lynda being the younger sister might have even had to depend on her big sister Claudia to teach her all about school. You see, when you are the oldest child in the family (which is normally the one attending school) you get to come home and teach all your siblings about what you learn while you're in school. Imagine the excitement of one day a group of people showing up at your house to tell you the good news of getting a sponsor. Claudia was very shy, hiding her smile with her hands. Her sister Lynda was more than excited to see sponsors coming to share the good news.

Boy, don't they both look so thrilled to be holding a little white sign with their name? NOT!
I'm sure there are certain things about school that are very similar to what our kids experience. After all, who wants to stand in line to hold a sign up with your name like everyone else, when you could be playing at recess, eating lunch or playing with new books? I'm sure the school photos are not a popular activity. :) lol
Now, picture these same two girls in their home environment. Only theirs is not what we would consider typical. In Haiti, yes it's very typical. In America, we wonder how people can live in such poverty. The girls were more than happy to share their home and let us see where they live. Or should I say how they live. And it crossed my mind more than once wondering if the shame I feel over my house being a cluttered mess is such a silly thing. What if Claudia's mom was thinking the same thing, or perhaps thinking if these Americans can see how we live they will be anxious to give even more. Everyone has their pride, I just wonder how deeply it goes for some. Or how we may hold onto our pride senselessly when we realize how privileged we really are.

Would you be more apt to sponsor a child knowing this is how some of them live? This one little room is home to Claudia, Lynda and 7 other siblings. What's the first thing you notice when looking at this photo? The clothes in the corner, the dirt floor, or how dirty the girls seem to be? the first thing I noticed after walking in was that they have a table and dishes! Yep, you read that right. Some of the places and the homes we visited, they didn't even have table service to eat with. Some would look at the kids and their unkept condition and think these families need so much more than a sponsorship for school. But bear in mind, this is a lifestyle. A lifestyle the Haitian people have become accustomed to. It's no different than our children running around the house playing in diapers and getting dirty from a mud fight. Because look....

This is Lynda and Claudia and their mother the next day when they walked all the way to our house to visit. To show Kelsey how much they appreciated her sponsorship and how proud they were of the new things she had left for them. A new dress and new hair bands. They walked probably 5 miles to show their gratitude. They were cleaned and bathed and wearing their new and clean clothes. Just imagine how much their life changed in just one day. Because one family cared enough to share what they've been blessed with to help another family. Thank you to the Donohue family and Kelsey for sponsoring these girls. I know they will be anxious to send you updates and let you know what's going on in their lives at school. And here's the happy ending we see when they left our house at the mission that day. Claudia was skipping and Lynda was running alongside her mother hugging her. I can only imagine what was going through their minds. Or, as a mother myself, the relief and joy that was going through their mother's mind knowing she would be able to send two of her girls to school.
So, now we meet Jeff Henry. :) While we were out walking through the village one day meeting families and children we met Jeff Henry's uncle. He saw us speaking to other families and adults and wanted to know about finding sponsors for his boys. Our mission guide Roberto ask him to bring the boys by the house the next day to meet us and take some current photos. We go from seeing a picture of this young boy on the website to.....

this young boy (much like my own 13-yr-old son), who came to our home with his uncle to meet us. Giggling, joking with his friend, punching around and just being a happy-go-lucky teenager. of course, most boys don't like their picture taken so we have to put on the tough-guy, macho face for new photos. :) I can't tell you what a difference it makes to see these kids, meeting them brings out so much more than just their school photo tells.

And I'm sure, if Jeff Henry's uncle is anything like mine he got the speech about minding his manners and being polite to make a good impression in front of these strangers. ;) lol But he still couldn't help but laugh and joke, hiding his face with his hands. Typical teenager. :) Or is he? I don't know how many 13-yr-old boys are attending the 5th grade. My son is the same age as Jeff Henry and he'll be in 8th grade. Because it's the law here. Because we are required to educate our children and it's neglect if we don't. But for Jeff Henry it's a privilege. A privilege bestowed upon him by finding a sponsor. My son's dreams of growing up to become a chef and own his own restaurant can be a reality, because he will study and is given this right. I wonder what Jeff Henry aspires to be? Maybe even a doctor or a teacher, but those dreams can only become a reality with help of sponsorship and caring families. Will God place it on your heart to be Jeff Henry's sponsor? You can fill out the sponsorship form here and be sure and include Jeff Henry's student number 5400.

What will your heart be led to today? Even if it's not sponsorship of a child through Life Connection, or another country even, let it be to works that are pleasing to our Lord above. Find your own mission in life, your own way to be of service to Him by helping his people, wherever they are in need.

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." --Matthew 25:40

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