Day 19

Monday, December 19, 2011

As a child I used to watch the Sally Struthers commercials where they would encourage you to sponsor a child. I am sure you remember the ones I am talking about. She used to say that for less than a cup of coffee a day, you could change a life. I used to wish that I bought a cup of coffee a day, or that my parents did, so that we could quit doing that and sponsor a child.

Fast forward several years, to 2007. I went to a Todd Agnew concert with Bill. The concert was sponsored by World Vision. Todd talked about visiting a country in Africa and how much these children needed and how big a difference being a sponsor could make in the life of one of these children--I honestly don't remember the details. All I remember was thinking...I am an adult now. I can do this! I can make whatever sacrifice I need to in order for us to afford to sponsor one of those faces. For some reason I didn't tell Bill my plan. I didn't want anything to talk me out of it. At intermission, I told him I was going to use the washroom. Instead, I stopped at the World Vision booth. They had pictures upon pictures of children that needed sponsors. They were sorted by date of birth. You could choose. That's when it hit me. I wanted to choose a child born on January 15.  Unfortunately I couldn't find one with that date. A kind woman offered to help me find whatever date I was looking for. She found January 14 and 16. She asked if that was ok. I nodded, feeling a disappointed lump forming in my throat. I explained to her why I wanted the 15th. Her eyes filled with compassion and she told me that they could try and find a child with my chosen date and mail it to me. She took down my address and I walked away, wondering if I would ever hear from them. I told Bill about it on the way home, and of course he was supportive.

A few weeks later, Sytenise Dorvil appeared in our mail box. Her birthday was January 15, 2000 and she was from Haiti. We have been sponsoring her for about 3 or 4 years now. At Christmas, we always make a larger donation and are always super excited to see what our money was able to help provide for her family. It's usually a goat, a dress, some shoes, and some hair ribbons (we aren't able to give a lot extra, but the dollar goes pretty far). This year, along with our financial gift, I wanted the children to make something for her. So...after a really long introduction, that was our Advent activity for today.

Bill found a Christmas craft that was handmade ornaments that we can glue pictures of the kids to. The thing about sending things to sponsored children is that they need to fit into a flat 6x9 envelope, so it's kind of tricky to think of gifts. These work out perfectly. I realize that she won't get them in time for Christmas, partly because of the distance and the process of getting through the sponsorship offices--it can take a couple of months, and partly because I am not going to brave the Post Office until after Christmas :)
That's chocolate on his face from a granola bar--apparently nobody washes his face for him.
Rori loooooves crafts! She would do one everyday if she could

Liam without his shirt...again

Even Papa got into it--I got to tie the ribbons, again.

The kids were really excited to make them--Brendan even got to help this time! We talked about Sytenise and what life is like for her, and while my kids really can't grasp the difference in our lifestyles, they are beginning to appreciate that they are very blessed and we need to do what we can to love God's children that have so much less.


Jenna said...

She is veryblessed to have you guys support her & share Faith's birthday.

Baba HooHoo said...

Love the photo of our biggest little baby working so hard...What a nice thing to do...we still have to decide, sheep, goat, seeds...hard to decide but if we don't nothing will happen. So proud of you because you make things happen!

Anonymous said...

They were a lot of fun to make and I hope Sytenise enjoys them. I hope this helps the kids understand how blessed we are.---Bill

April said...

lovely thanks for sharing that story! i never knew....Love you my sweet & oh so funny friend!!