Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Face of Love

Last year, I had the opportunity and privilege to get involved with Mission of Mercy with a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. In preparation for the trip, God sowed some seeds of love into my heart and led me to sponsor Eskarlin, a little 11 year old girl, with Mission of Mercy. She was my first "adopted" daughter and she lives in the Dominican. It was an incredible experience to actually meet her last summer. It was also different than I expected. Let's go back to that day...

I sat quietly to wait for Eskarlin’s arrival at the Mission of Mercy Child Care Center. I had so many questions that filled my mind. What did she really look like? What was her home like? What does she like to play? Does she get to play? What was her family really like? What was her favorite color? Will she like the gift I brought her? Will she like me?

My mind was full of questions; but my heart was full of love. We had never met, except through a short bio and small picture from Mission of Mercy. When I saw her on the Mission of Mercy website, I knew she was the one for our family. Yet when I was about to meet her face to face I felt inadequate. I wanted our meeting to be perfect. I had brought some gifts for her that I was secretly hoping that she would like. It was loaded with fun, excitement, entertainment and a small slice of the western world.

She was quiet. She smiled. I wanted to cry but I was already overwhelming her with my loud American self. I launched into my “radio-dj-mode” thinking I only had a little time so I must ask all my questions I could think of in 90 seconds or less. She liked school, she likes math. She lives with her family and one sister. She likes music and playing dolls. She lives far from Mission Valiente Joshua 1:9 Child Development Center but she doesn’t let that stop her from coming. She doesn’t ride the bus there, she prefers to walk. She likes seeing her friends and neighbors along the way. She really enjoys her time at the mission playing with the other kids and learning Jesus.

I wanted to pick her up and twirl her around and tell her how much I love her, but I didn’t want to confuse or overwhelm her. I wondered what her earthly father was like and I wanted to tell her about our Heavenly father who loves her more. I couldn’t speak about that, I didn’t know her language. Her culture is so different than mine. I wanted to learn as much as I could about her, and our time was so short.

In her eyes I found what I was looking for though. I saw wonder. Wonder about me and my world. I felt she loved me too. She may not understand everything about my life or hers but I know she is thankful for my sponsorship. I could see it. She wonders what my world is like, and I want to make hers better. She wonders what my life is like; I pray she gets the education she needs to make a better life for herself. She wonders why I would travel such a long distance to see her, I hope one day when we meet again and she will have a better understanding of why.

For now, through the Mission of Mercy sponsorship, we are connected with love. I love her, and show my love to her through sponsorship. She is growing in her education, her family, her community, and her faith. She loves back too, I can see in her eyes of wonder.

You can be a sponsor too. Here's a precious little girl.

Meet Olga. Olga is a mature and loving girl. She lives with her parents in a cinder block home roofed with sheets of corrugated iron. The abode is blessed with running water and electrical lighting, though cooking is performed over a wood fire. Olga helps her parents by running errands to the local market. Her father struggles to support his family as a subsistence farmer, so they are thankful for the consistent meals and doctor exams provided by the Mission Valiente Joshua 1:9 Child Development Center, Dominican Republic. Olga enjoys Spanish classes and wishes to become a doctor in the future. She studies often, but she also likes to ride her bike with her friends. Olga has accepted Jesus as her Savior and she participates in all Christian activities, including church.

You want to sponsor this face of love? Let me know..janelle@thehousefm.com!

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