The Flag is up on the Mailbox this Morning

Several years ago, when I started volunteering and finding sponsors for children in World Vision ADP’s (Area Development Projects),  I developed a sort of “ritual” each time I sent off a newly sponsored child’s paperwork to head office.  I would put the envelope in the mailbox at the end of our driveway, put the flag up, and stand back and look and smile.

To me, the flag up on the mailbox said more than the usual “Here’s some bills for you to pick up, Mr. Postman.”  It now said ” Here’s some very special cargo here.  It’s a child’s life who has been changed from this moment on.”

I think this morning, however, when I placed an envelope in the mailbox, containing the paperwork for 4 newly sponosored children, I felt a larger surge of happiness. 

The envelope contained the completed sponsorships for Fatema, Habiba and Jisanur, the three children I had met in Bangladesh who I wasn’t able to get sponsors for before I left on my trip.

Although I had not found sponsors for them I was still given the opportunity to meet them.  I spoke to each of them and learned a bit about them:  the games they liked to play, their families, the dreams they had for their futures.

 I played with them, I hugged them and I took their smiles home with me as the best gifts I had ever received.

In short, they became more than just pictures of children on a child sponosrship form.  They became real children with real needs and real hopes. 

It is hard to portray all of that in a child sponsor folder that gives a 2 dimensional picture and static facts like name, age and gender to a 3 dimensional child who is more than Fatema Rashmi Umme, girl, age 8 years.

But that is the joy of child sponsorship.  As the letters between the sponsor and the child are exchanged the child in the picture becomes that real child, with a unique personality, with unique needs and goals.

I have recieved many letters from the children our family has sponsored for the past years.  I remember Desta, our sponosored girl from Ethiopia, telling us that she kept the photo of us in her pocket so that she could look at us everyday.  I also remember Suzanne, our child from Chad, telling us that she asked God to bless us every day.  I remember Blandine sending us some rice kernals so that we could see what the rice in her family’s field looked like after a great harvest.

And each of these comments has made each of these children real to me – even though I have not been able to see them.

Cool, hey?

In closing for today I would like to show you some pictures of Fatema and Habiba .  Aren’t they beautiful?

A hug from Fatema

Habiba and her sister

Hope all is well with everyone – I’ll be sure to write another post in a couple days…

Donna

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Hi Donna,
    What an extrodinary blog you have written. I have smiled, I have cried and I have prayed. What a wonderful experience for you and me. Thank you for sharing all of this with all of us.
    hugs, Esther


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