I want to share about the Advocates Retreat first. It was a dream come true, really. I was going to meet a formerly sponsored child. I watch the videos of them sharing their stories on YouTube, and I read the posts of bloggers who have met them. But I hadn't met one, and I wanted to.
So, I got to the church, where the retreat would be. I saw Maria, and I hung up my kiddos photos (it was a wall of blessing with all of our sponsored kids photos). She asked me where my Haiti girls lived. Then we chatted about Haiti for a second and parted ways.
She sat behind me during the classes and worship. Then, Maria shared her story. She told about the poverty and then the hope. She shared how Compassion changed her life forever. Compassion changed her life in three main ways-
Through Compassion, Maria was able to get an education. Not only did she go to primary school, but also high school and university. She studied English.
After Maria finished up her English classes, Compassion hired her as a translator. She translated children and sponsor letters. She also translated for sponsor tours. Even before she finished her classes, her pastor had her translate for a group of missionaries.
Maria met her future husband on a sponsor tour for which she translated! They have now been married for two years.
After she shared her story, there wasn't a dry eye. Yes, this was a story I had heard many times- hopelessness turned into hope, fear turned into boldness, sadness turned into joy. Something about that story though touches my heart every time. It was different this time too. This time I got to meet the girl who used to be scared. I met the girl who found hope. I met Maria.
She is the sweetest person I have ever met. She's so happy and kind. She showed me that letters make a difference. She proved to me that sponsors make a difference- that Compassion makes a difference.
So here she is-
If you want to make a difference in the life of a child like Maria, please visit this page.