Linda was my first sponsored child...at least my first on my own. When I was younger my parents sponsored a child from Ethiopia. I remember getting to pick the boy out but I don't remember much more. I don't have many childhood memories. My mom didn't keep the sponsorship of the boy long. She didn't think the money was actually going to the boy, thought it was a scam. Most likely it wasn't a scam. My mom likes to see the worst possibilities and deem them the most likely possibility for the situation. I remember when I was older, and out of my parents house, that I would see pictures of starving children on TV commercials. I remember wanting to help them out but I was worried it was a scam. So, I went online and did a lot of research. That is how I found Compassion.com. I remember it was really late at night when I decided to sponsor a child. It must have been around 1 or 2am when I finally clicked sponsor me on Linda's picture.
Linda was from Colombia and she was so small. She was 6 when I started sponsoring her. I fell in love when I saw her little picture. She had on overalls and her hair was in pig tails. I didn't know it at the time but she had something wrong with her eye and she needed surgery. I didn't know how important writing to my sponsored child was at this time. I feel guilty looking back on it now. I think I wrote to linda maybe 6-10 times in the nearly three years that I sponsored her. I didn't realize how much she would mean to me. I saved all her letters. They are so full of love. In the three years, I received a good amount of letters and, even better, a lot of pictures. I got pictures for her birthday every year and then 2 updated photos from compassion. She was such a smart and sweet child. She wrote such long letters that always told me things going on in her life. After three years of sponsorship her parents pulled her from the program. Compassion stated that her parents were no longer interested in the program. I still pray for Linda. I still miss Linda. I hope that she is doing well. I hope her eye is getting better as she grows and her studies are still going well. I still feel guilty. I wonder if I had written to her more if she would have stayed in the program. Maybe she was upset with the lack of letters and her parents didn't think it was a good idea to keep her in the program. Maybe there was nothing I could have done to keep her in the program but I will continue to pray for.
Thanks to Linda, all my newly sponsored kids get lots of letters. I'm hoping to grow a relationship with these new children as I had with Linda. I may have not noticed what I had with Linda while our relationship was growing but I will not make the same mistake with these children.
Now that it is Monday again, it is time to check mail. A new week brings the possibilities of new letters and a building of a relationship.