As I was preparing for my third child visit day on May 21st, I was browsing on the Compassion U.S. website the night before. With my sponsored teen Katerin at project HO206 graduating in 2015, I had been checking the website for months for any available unsponsored child at her project to replace her once she graduates. I had pretty much given up hope as months had passed by to no avail. But I was in for a pleasant surprise! When I punched in HO206 in the project box, up popped a 9 year old boy Yojan who was waiting for a sponsor – and he was suffering from a broken arm!
I instantly clicked on the Sponsor Me button and sent a quick message to my contact at the Compassion Honduras office to see if there was ANY possibility that I could meet him the next morning during my visit to his project to see my Katerin. I wasn’t holding out much hope due to the lateness of the hour, but received a reply back that they would try their best to locate him, but that there were no guarantees. I prepared him a little gift bag and stuck in a short letter in the event I was not able to see him. I figured nothing was lost by asking and if I didn’t at least try, I would miss out on a wonderful opportunity to meet him.
I woke up on May 21st eagerly anticipating another awesome visit day! I would be meeting my bubbly birthday twin Sherly! But first up was a visit to Katerin’s HO206 project in inner-city Tegucigalpa. I still had not received confirmation if they had been able to locate Yojan, but to my surprise, he was waiting there for me when we arrived at the project, along with his 2 year old sister Jennifer and mom Delia! What a wonderful answer to prayer!
I found out he had just been registered in the Compassion program on Feb 1, 2014, so not only did he not have to wait long for a sponsor, but she was there to meet him! He was a very personable kid, so I’m looking forward to getting to know him more through the letters we will be exchanging! And he’s an above-average student at school, so I will definitely be encouraging him to shoot for the stars! He told me he was so excited to receive the news of me sponsoring him, that he had already written me his first letter before I had arrived at his project!
Yojan could not wait to read the letter I had written to him!!
Yojan and me with his mom Delia and sister Jennifer.
I turned around, and there was my beautiful 17 year old daughter Katerin waiting for me! What a joy it was to finally meet her!
We spent a few precious moments chatting, then I was taken on a tour by project director Rony Paguada.
I reviewed Katerin's child file, which was very thick as she had been part of the Compassion program since she was 5 years old. I have only sponsored her for the past two years as she had lost a couple of previous sponsors. Her dream is to become a computer programmer, and she is also taking a hairstyling and beauty workshop, as well as studying English. She is determined to be a success!
We then left with Yojan and his family in tow to visit Katerin’s home where she lives with her grandparents Cecilia and Rudy Umberto. She proudly introduced me to all her cousins, aunts and siblings and we had a wonderful time of exchanging gifts (and hugs, of course)!
She showed me a framed picture of my mom and I that she proudly keeps on her bedside table – so touching!
We had a time of prayer with her family before leaving to go pick up Sherly at project HO290 which was WAY up in the hills to the north of Tegucigalpa. Katerin’s grandma Cecilia and HO206 sponsorship coordinator Cintia accompanied us on the trip.
It was quite the steep trek in the van up to Sherly’s project, where we were met by the HO290 project director Pina, who took us on a tour of the project and church.
But I was asking myself “where is my sweet Sherly hiding?” Pina then told us we’d have to walk a LONG way to get to Sherly’s home, but then realized she was just pulling my leg, as Sherly and her family lived right across the street from the project church! We knocked on her door and I was first greeted by her beautiful mom Melyen, who I found out was 6 months pregnant! Then the moment I had been waiting for – to see my precious Sherly come running into my arms, being the same vivacious and bubbly girl she portrays in her very frequent and chatty letters to me! What a happy child she was, so beautiful both inside and out, as the joy of the Lord radiated from her face!
I then met her younger brother Enrique and her pastor Anibal Flores. Her father Edis had so much wanted to be there, but he could not get the time off work. They are a united, loving family who faithfully attend the project church together every Sunday. I shared with Sherly and her family the gifts I had brought for her, then she excitedly gave me my gift, which was an incredibly beautiful trio of midnight blue ceramic vases with my and her names written in order across the base of the vases! Such a thoughtful expression of her gratitude for my sponsorship! She was so thrilled to finally meet her “birthday twin”! And she wasn’t the only excited one!
Before leaving their home, we all joined hands and I prayed for her family and for the health of her mom and unborn sibling. Her mom was overcome with emotion and tearful gratitude after the prayer – God is so good!!
We then rejoined Katerin and Yojan, who were patiently waiting for us at the van, and we were taken once again to City Mall, my third visit there in the past few days, but always accompanied by different kids! Sherly brought along her 7 year old brother Enrique, who hit it off instantly with my 9 year old Yojan. They were quite the happy trio, and I had loads of fun with them as well as with Katerin.
We were all famished, so began our afternoon with a delicious lunch at the food court followed by an awesome time at the games arcade. The bumper cars were a hit once again as we all had so much fun crashing into each other! I thought perhaps the age difference between Katerin and my other kids would create a problem, but my fears were unfounded, as she gladly took on the role of big sister to them, much to their enjoyment (and mine)! Katerin and I had so much fun in the sponge ball shooting range aiming ALL our balls at Yojan, who good-naturedly welcomed the bombardment coming his way! He was quite the artful dodger, so we were mostly unsuccessful. It was a great bonding moment full of laughter!!
Well, the time sped by and before we knew it, the afternoon was drawing to a close much to our regret, as we were having a blast together. But as we had to drop off everyone before it became dark, we had to unfortunately wrap things up. We dropped off Sherly first and we bid each other farewell. She gave me a few bear hugs before reluctantly pulling away. I decided right then and there that I was coming back in 6 years to celebrate her quinceañera (and our birthdays) together! That will be such a special day to look forward to!
Saying my goodbyes to HO290 project director Pina, thanking her for her dedication to the kids!!
I spent some priceless moments chatting with Katerin in the van on the way to dropping her (and Yojan) off at their project. She has so many wonderful dreams for her future, and I promised her I’d be praying every day that God would help her dreams come true, as she strives to follow in the path He has set out before her!
Yojan expressed his gratitude for me choosing him as my newest sponsored child and promised to write me a lot! Then his adorable 2 year old sister Jennifer gave me the sweetest goodbye hug ever! His mother Delia was also very grateful for my visit and said she’d be praying for me to return to visit them again very soon!
Jesus states in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”. Feeling so grateful right now for the honour and privilege of being able to be the hands and feet of Jesus in blessing these precious children with the overabundance of blessings that God has poured out upon my life! The unconditional love my sponsored kids have shown me through their letters (and this week, through their smiles, hugs and tears) will forever be etched in my memory and stored in a special part of my heart. God has truly fulfilled all the deep desires of my heart!
My time in Tegucigalpa was slowly drawing to a close, but the exciting times had not yet ended, as in three short days, I would be packing my suitcases and flying to northern Honduras for a week-long stay with a church group flying in from the U.S. We would be working alongside a group of local missionaries doing ministry work at a Compassion project in Villa Verde, Gracias, where my 16 year old son Rony attends! Keep an eye out for another exciting report to follow shortly!
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