Saturday, April 16, 2011

♥ Compassion ♥

I was introduced to Compassion International by a friend who had been sponsoring a child for years.  She shared with our church how Compassion works with kids and, after that service, a number of us began looking through pictures and descriptions of kids from around the world.  My own daughter was out of college and on her own, and grandkids are… well… not on the way yet, so looking at so many beautiful faces from all over the world tugged fiercely at my heart.  Like a kid in a candy store, I touched picture after picture, face after face, bio after bio.  Looking.  Gazing.  Holding them close and wondering – which one?  Which one to call – mine?  Columbia.  Ecuador.  Indonesia.  Ethiopia Girls, boys, very young to almost grown.  So many.  Each so beautiful.  Large sad eyes.  Some smiling; others who had no smile to give.

A little boy’s face caught my eye.  He wasn’t smiling; emotion came from within that I couldn’t put words on.  He was beautiful.  A little boy that I could picture with a soccer ball, crayons, snips and snails and puppy dog tails…  I gazed at his picture and smiled.   His hair was neat and brown, matching his dark eyes, which reflected a depth too deep for such a young life.  His face spoke to me:     I have potential.  His bright yellow shirt looked clean and neatly pressed.  Whoever got him ready for the picture did well!  His name: Felix.  Felix Bladdimir Escoto Morazon.  Wow, I thought, what a long name for a very little boy!  Country: Nicaragua.  I’ve read so many books and stories of people from that poor, yet beautiful country bordering Costa Rica, where my daughter stayed for 6 months while in college.  Such a beautiful child...

“Running errands is his household duty.”  Hmmm.  Six years old.  Industrious.  I like that.  I smiled.  The tugging was turning to gnawing...  The clincher that pulled my heart out from captivity: “In kindergarten his performance is above average and he regularly attends Bible class.”   Right then I knew: He’s mine.  The sponsorship package stayed in my hands, and his face stays with me at my desk, in my phone, in my planner – in my heart. ♥

I treasure the letters he’s written to me.  His birthday is ingrained in my brain: May 30th.  I have an icon for him on my Google Chrome dashboard: Felix.  From time to time I pop it open and type a quick e-mail to let him know I’m thinking of him and share what’s going on in my world.  Felix.  A child.  One child in the world that I want to make a difference in.

I recommend Compassion International to everyone I can.  I love writing to Felix, sending small gifts to him, and encouraging him along the difficult roads that he has to travel.  He writes to me and does likewise. 

♥Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay.
Love isn't love 'til you give it away.
Oscar Hammerstein

Please check out the Compassion International website.  It may be one of the best investments of love, time and money you will ever make. 

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