Angela B. recently served with us in Cruz Blanca, Guatemala. Below she shares about her experience.
Two years ago, I started sponsoring a little Mayan girl named Clara. She was 5 years old, and was sporting this adorable little smile in her sponsorship picture that I was sure had turned into a belly laugh right after the camera clicked. Best of all, my sponsorship card told me that she liked to sing and run. Now, I don’t run unless something is chasing me, but as an opera singer, I certainly like to sing, so I felt an immediate connection to my little Clara.
But last fall, I received a letter in the mail telling me that Clara was no longer part of the program. In that same letter, I had a picture of a 6-year-old boy named Victor who needed a sponsor. But when I saw that picture, I wept. I wept for Clara, but I also wept because I didn’t feel a connection to Victor. I could identify with a singing little girl, but I just couldn’t identify with a little boy who liked to play with marbles and kick around a soccer ball. As I looked at Victor’s picture, I considered contacting VisionTrust to see if they could pair me with a little girl instead, but something held me back. Victor had come into my hands, and I could not reject him.
This June, I had the privilege of traveling to Guatemala and meeting Victor. But not only did I get to meet Victor, I met his mother Veronica and his little brother Carlos. As I gave my bashful Victor the little trinkets I had brought him, his mother kept watching her son’s reactions. I pulled out a set of marbles, and Veronica’s face broke into the most beautiful, luminous smile. Clearly, those marbles meant something special to her son. After I coaxed Victor out of his shell, Veronica thanked me for sponsoring her little boy. She asked me to sing for her and her family and embraced me after my song. As I understand, women in the Mayan culture are a bit reserved, so this simple act of acceptance and warmth deeply affected me. It was then that I began to grasp the depth of sponsorship. Although I am sponsoring this little boy, I also get to be a part of Veronica’s story. The enormity of what that means immediately humbled me. This woman works hard to provide the best future possible for her children, and I have the privilege of being able to walk alongside this radiant woman and partner with her in the education and future of her eldest son.
As I look back, I am deeply grateful that God gently stopped me from requesting another sponsor child. I learned that while I didn’t feel a deep connection to Victor yet, God did, and he was inviting me to be part of Victor’s story. And now Victor and Veronica are a part of mine. By trusting God with my sponsorship, by bringing over marbles to a shy little boy, and by laughing with and embracing a fellow woman, I was able to catch a glimpse of the rich, deep connections that God intends for us to have with Him, with each other, and with the world.
(If you’re interested in sponsoring a child, click here.)