I traveled to Honduras this summer to visit my 7 sponsored children through Manna 4 Lempira and to work with the other children in the sponsorship program. I wasn't planning to sponsor any additional children during the trip, but also knew that was something I never really planned. The first full day of the trip found us in the community of El Tablon, doing profile updates and registering new children into the program. As children were coming through the line, the bright smile of one girl caught my eye. Something about her joy captivated me. I soon learned that the reason for this joy was that she was being registered into the program for the first time that day.
While I think it's great to sponsor a child just because you have the desire to do so, I already sponsor so many that at this point, I was pretty much only adding more if I had a specific leading from God. When this girl smiled at me, though, I didn't even think about it. I walked up to her (with my translator) and asked if I could be her sponsor. My friend caught a picture of this precious moment.
Her excited YES and jumping up and down was followed by many questions- What is your name? How many children do you sponsor? When are you coming back? I already started writing a letter for my future sponsor, but it's not finished! How do I get it to you? Pure joy.
I learned that her name was Wendy.
I had brought gifts for my other children who I'd planned on visiting, but didn't have anything for Wendy. My teammates and I all went through our stashes and were able to pull together a few gifts for her: A beautiful necklace with gems floating inside (so fitting for a girl who lights up an entire room when she enters), a shirt that says "Girls Can Do Anything" in Spanish, and a sweet floral sun dress.
Wendy squealed with excitement when I gave her these gifts- the gifts that fit her personality so well, despite being chosen out of desperation. I hadn't known she existed before that day, but God did. Later that night, she showed up at the church service wearing her new dress. And that's when God put all the pieces together. At the very top of her dress was one single purple flower.
singing in the children's choir
Those of you who know me, or have been reading this blog for any length of time, know that purple flowers are my personal reminder of God's promises. When I saw the flower on Wendy's dress, I realized that God had seen her all along. Maybe her sponsorship was an impulsive decision on my end, but God knew. This became even more evident when I visited her home. Wendy and her mother shared with me that Wendy's father is not in her life. Her step father doesn't provide things like school supplies for her, only for her sisters, because they are his biological children. Wendy is determined to continue is school and is currently completing 7th grade despite these challenges. I was honored to share with her about the love of her Heavenly Father who sent me the whole way from the United States to make sure she had what she needed. I also let her know about the backpack project, and that all of her school supplies would be provided this upcoming school year.
Our next few days together were so beautiful. I took her and one of my other girls, Angie, for a fun day at a local pool. I have never seen someone more excited or thankful to wear a swim suit or eat chicken for lunch.