This was one of most wonderful experiences. Together our team was sponsoring about 25 kids so we threw a big party where we could meet them. They sat in a big line of chairs, and we picked them out one by one. I had spent the last 2 years simply writing out checks and not having much emotional connection with my ten year old girl, Chantel. I had been feeling guilty that I wasn't writing much to her or thinking of her and I prayed that God would change that in me. Of course He did!
During the party, we gave our sponsor children goats. That is the most practical and prized gift they could get. Her mother was so thankful as well.
There was also such a dramatic difference between the sponsored children and the un-sponsored ones. The sponsored kids looked healthy and had shoes and good clothing. We could see the damatic difference we were making in their lives. They also brought all the letters and photos that our team had sent them all over the year.
We couldn't really communicate. We had a translator help for a little while, and during that time she told me she wanted to be nurse, lost her father, and loved basketball. She also loved to sing and sang me an African worship song over and over and over. But mostly we hugged each other, played soccer, and she sat on my lap. It was amazing how love can transfer from one to another, with no common language. I want to go back and be long term in her life too.
I guess God had to bring me all the way across the world in order to do something in my heart. It ended up to be one of the most profound experiences. It was the same for everyone on my team. We were all in tears and I could especially feel the depth of God's heart, that He would call me all the way across the world for this little precious girl. That is the heart of God.