A Grieving Family

Mary shared her sponsorship story weeks ago before we found out about Erik. We are asking for prayers for Erik's family and for Mary during this difficult time. Mary shared these sweet words on her Facebook page today.

Can you see how sweet this boy was? How friendly and loving? What a gift to have had any time at all knowing this precious child, and I almost missed it. I never meant to get involved in child sponsorship when I first went to Guatemala six years ago, but I am so glad I have. I can't tell you how much richer my heart is for the relationships I have made there and how much God has grown me through the experience of being part of a vulnerable child's life.

Learn to do good;
Seek justice;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless;
Plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)

I really had no intentions of sponsoring a child when I went on my first mission trip to Guatemala six years ago. I had a child I was sponsoring through another organization, so I felt I had that box checked off on my Christian resume. But when I arrived in Guatemala it was really not about getting any sort of project done as I had imagined, although there were things to help with. It was more about being relational. We spent a lot of time with the children who went to school at Casita Adonai. And before we left, we saw a photo album of children who needed sponsors, people to team with their families to help them be able to attend school at Casita, where they would hear the gospel and have better opportunities, including health care screenings and such things. I signed up to sponsor two boys. One of the boys has been with me the whole time. I have gotten to watch him grow for six years now. He is an artist, and he is now taller than I am. He is friendly and loving, and being a part of his life, praying for him and his family, has been an honor and a joy. The other boy I sponsored left the school after a year or so of me sponsoring him. I then sponsored another boy.

One year on a week-long summer mission trip, I will never forget the feeling of helplessness and anger I felt when we had driven to a woman’s home to meet her and pray with her. Her daughter had passed away recently, leaving this woman with a home full of children. She lived in poverty, and her need was overwhelming. I asked God through tears, How are You going to help her? I waited for an answer but didn’t get one. I boarded the plane to return to my home in America. Where are You, God? I went back to my life, buying overpriced coffees and complaining about traffic. I got a phone call from Lisa, letting me know my sponsor child was not going to attend anymore, but there was a child in Gerona who needed a sponsor. Did I want to reduce my giving, or did I want to partner with this child’s family? I told her that I would sponsor him. The next summer I wasn’t able to go to Guatemala. It was hard to see everyone enjoying being with the children and missing out. The following year I was able to go. 

When we went to Gerona, someone asked if I wanted to meet the child I sponsored. They introduced us, and it was friendly and polite. Then someone explained to the boy that I was his sponsor. Ella es tu patrocinadora. This boy was transformed. He hugged me and hugged me and wouldn’t let me go. He overwhelmed me with his gratitude and love. I couldn’t understand why he was so loving, so passionate. Then someone must have seen and understood. They explained to me: This is the boy whose mother died two years ago. And God spoke to me. He said, I will take care of this family, Mary. And I am going to let you help Me. I was undone. I had no idea what God was up to when He put it on my heart to travel to Guatemala six years ago. But He knew in advance what He was going to do, and He began preparing me to be on His team. When I returned this past summer, that sweet boy burst into tears when he saw me. He didn’t care whether I had brought him any toys or books from America. He didn’t care that I am single or old, or whether I’m fashionable or funny or not. All the things I work so hard at where I come from, trying to be some ideal I think I should be. He just loves me. Just for being in his life. Just for caring. For sharing what God has so richly and abundantly blessed me with with him and his family. I make things so hard, but it is really so easy. All I did was take the step God put in front of me, whether I understood it or not. And He has done the rest.

To find out more about sponsorship and to see children who need sponsored, click here

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