Again, another day that merits more than one post
First a little background….
A little over six years ago we choose this little 9 year old girl from Tanzania to be a part of our family.
We wrote to her, financially supported her, and prayed for her. I knew that I would love to meet her, but I really didn’t see that ever happening. Instead we committed her to God’s care and trusted that our prayers, support and encouragement would make a difference in her life. Yet through the years there was a small prayer in my heart, hardly ever verbalized….”God you know my heart on this matter, for this girl, for Africa….whatever your will is.”
I became a volunteer Child Advocate for Compassion a little over a year ago. Soon after I attended an advocate’s conference in Chicago. I spoke with sponsors that had traveled to meet their children. I saw the difference that it had made for them. I realized the benefit to their advocacy by that “closing of the gap” between sponsor and child. That small prayer grew stronger in my heart.
The next day after returning from Chicago I opened my e-mail to see a message from Compassion announcing the next round of sponsor tours. Then there was another message that came from God and it was this: “Last week during Compassion Sunday you stood before your entire church family and said that if I was calling them to do something then I would provide the necessary resources to accomplish it. I will provid what you need to go see your child.” After discussing it with my husband I moved forward and registered to go to Tanzania. God (who’s word can always be trusted) through generous friends and family, additional photography jobs, and extra provision through Dusty’s work, did provide the money needed for the trip. That’s how I found myself in Arusha on March 17th with almost 40 other sponsors eagerly awaiting our children’s arrival.
In addition to Mwajuma, I would also be meeting Fadhila. Fadhila is my correspondent child. She has a financial sponsor, but the letter writing and correspondence is my responsibility.
Introductions were to take place one at a time to avoid confusion. Our group wanted to be singing and clapping when the arrived. We ended up in two lines and when the kids all arrived, they all began working their way down the line shaking hands.
I was near the end and I began to worry that I wouldn’t recognize them. After all I received a photo from them about once a year and I really had no concept of how tall they were. Children began to see their sponsors and grab onto them. I was taking in the moment while shaking hands and scanning faces. I caught a woman looking at me. She held up a paper with Fadhila’s name. She was my translator for the day, but I still didn’t see Fadhila or Mwajuma. I waited as they made their way around the group. Suddenly there was Fadhila right in front of me. I joyfully embraced her! When I let go I looked to my right and there was Mwajuma. I couldn’t help but to exclaim her name and grab her tightly.
I remember earlier in the week that one of the staff members at a center we were visiting prayed this prayer, “God, you have made our prayer a reality!” There in that moment God had made a prayer over 6 years in the making a living, breathing reality.