Never Forget Us

June 24, 2013 AT 4:49 pm 11 Comments

 

Morning came early for me on Sunday.  Like REAL early.

At 3:45 am, I crawled out of bed to get ready to go home.  My body ached, my eyes stung, and my head felt foggy.

I was a whole-bunch-of-something, but I don’t know what.  Excited to go home and see my family, yet sad to leave the beautiful children of Nicaragua.

My precious roomie, Edie, and I moved around slowly as we tried to apply a little bit of life to our faces and enjoy one last messy bun moment together.

Wanting to crawl back into bed and yet wanting to fly like superman home, we finally packed everything up and headed down to the hotel lobby.

My other Compassion buddies were there waiting for us, and we joined them in their quiet, half-asleep chatter.

K0rina, our Compassion Tours and Visits Specialist  from Nicaragua told us it was time to get on the van to head to the airport.  We moved toward the van like a slow moving herd of cattle and plopped our exhausted bodies into the seats.

Still in a sleepy daze, we began the long road home.

Right before we approached the airport, Korina turned around and said she had something to say.

She told us how much this trip of Compassion bloggers meant to the children of Nicaragua…how much she has enjoyed working with us…how the children will never be the same because of the work that Compassion does.

Then she began thanking us for coming to Nicaragua and for loving on the children.  She thanked us for sharing the children’s stories with all of our readers all over the world.

It was really hard for me to accept her thank you’s.  It is always hard to receive them when you know will all your heart that you received way more than you gave.

But I smiled at her and soaked it all in.  And then she said something that will echo in my head for years to come…

“Please never forget us, because we will never forget you.”

Forget them?!!

Are you kidding me?

How in the world could I ever forget them?

I left part of my heart in Nicaragua, and I will never be the same.

I will never forget the honor of meeting my sponsored child, Cesar.  This child is a rock star in my eyes.  I told him that I cannot wait to watch him grow up, and I am so excited to see all that God is going to do in his life.

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I will also never forget his bear hugs.  I swear I think that child may have fractured one of my ribs with one of his hugs.

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He just met me this week.  We had only spent a few hours together this past week, and yet this sweet child hug me like I was his favorite aunt.  It was through his hugs that I realized that my sponsorship is way more than just $38 a month to meet his physical, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive needs.  To Cesar, it was so much more than that.

Korina also said in the van on the way to the airport, “To these children, you are their heroes.”

Hero?  I sure don’t feel like a hero, but Cesar thinks I am.  He promised to write me often, and I promised the same.

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The tears in his eyes as he said goodbye to me made me realize that I was WAY MORE than $38 to him.  I was someone who believed in him and was committed to praying for him. He loved me, and I loved him.

Amazing how God does that!

 

I will never forget the amazing Compassion workers I met this week.  They work tirelessly without hardly ever a day off to take care of these precious children.  Air conditioning was almost nonexistent everywhere we visited this past week.

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But the classrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, offices, etc were not air conditioned.  And I was sweating like a man all week.

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We Americans we constantly talking to each other about how much we were sweating and how hot we were.  But not the Compassion teachers, preachers, or staff.  NOT ONCE did I ever hear them complain.  kmsd  506

They served selflessly with smiles on their faces.

Compassion Bloggers Nicaragua 2013 - Project 155 - Day 1

I was humbled.  I want to be more like them.  I want to think of others more than myself.  I want to serve like they did.

 

I will never forget the deep hopelessness that I saw in so many places this past week.  I saw poverty up close, not just through the tv screen.  It was sad, smelly, and almost too much for me to take.

Compassion Bloggers Nicaragua 2013 - Project 155 - Day 1

These memories will forever be etched in my mind.

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I will never forget all that I learned about how Compassion works.  Friends, I cannot say enough about this wonderful organization.  It is easy to be skeptical about all of the organizations that are always asking for our money to help others.  I had heard about Compassion, but I still wasn’t sure how legit it was.  Until I read posts by bloggers that I know and admire in real life like Nester and Jen and many more.

 

I knew that if they loved the work that Compassion did, that I would too.

So maybe that is the same for you?  Maybe you are thinking about sponsoring a child, but you are just not sure that Compassion is the real deal?

Oh friends, I am here to tell you, IT IS!  Many of you have been following me on my blog for many years, and you have gotten to know me and my family through my blog.  You also feel you can trust me.  So it is my prayer that you trust what I am telling you now as well: God is using Compassion to change the lives of children all around the world!

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We toured the main offices in Nicaragua and learned every step of the process of sponsoring a child.  IT WAS AMAZING!  It is so awesome to see the level of commitment that Compassion has to meeting the needs of children.

I saw the mounds of letters from sponsors to their children, and from the children to their sponsors.

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I thought, “If they skipped this letter writing step in Compassion, it would save a whole lotta time and money.”   But then it dawned on me that to the children who are sponsored, the letters of encouragement from their sponsors are more meaningful to them than the money we provide. It is about relationships to them.

If you don’t believe me, watch THIS VIDEO.  {Just be sure to have a box of Kleenexes with you when you do!}

 

Lastly, I will never forget these precious three other bloggers that I traveled with.  We shared an amazing experience together, and they are my forever sisters in Christ.  Be sure to visit Edie, Christy, and Kelly to read their stories about our trip as well.

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I am so thankful to Shaun, Bri, Keely, and Mike who also made this trip such a wonderful experience.

 

I have been blessed BEYOND measure, and I will never forget!

 

There are still children in Nicaragua that do not have a sponsor.  Will you be the one who makes an eternal difference in the life of a child?

They will never forget!

 


 






Comments

  1. i will never forget either, traci.
    you are so very precious and our time together nourished the grace that Christ placed in my heart. the night we cried like babies, the day you made 100 kids laugh their little hearts out, the gangsta rap and Beyonce impression—you are a wealth of love and entertainment and i am so blessed to be your to have shared this week with you. we are forever friends for what we’ve seen together. i thought of you so much today and miss you like crazy. i know your readers love you already but if they could have seen you in action, loving on those kids, making us laugh til we cried, they’d love you even more.
    you are mi amiga.
    and i love you.
    xoxo
    edie
    edie recently posted..Home

  2. “The tears in his eyes as he said goodbye to me made me realize that I was WAY MORE than $38 to him. I was someone who believed in him and was committed to praying for him.” – I believe you summed it up so well in these sentences. The children know that they money we pay each month helps them tremendously, but the love we show them is priceless. Thank you for all that you shared this past week!
    Yvonne Reynolds recently posted..Did you travel to Nicaragua last week?

  3. Mary Beth says:

    I read this post while sitting in the waiting room while my mom is having cataract surgery! I should have know better! I know everyone is wondering why I keep wiping my eyes!! Thank you so much for going and for sharing your story! It helps me to imagine what our supported child experiences at the Compassion Center and also reminds me how important it is to keep those letters going to him! Thank you!!

  4. That video – it kills me every time I see it. Thank you so much for giving a voice to the voiceless and sharing your experiences. I’ve loved reading along and you’ve made me that much more excited to visit my sponsored children this September.

  5. Your posts have blessed me beyond measure, Traci, and challenged me. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to sponsor a child with Compassion, but the world looks different to me now that I’ve decided to. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening my eyes.
    xo Heidi
    Heidi @ Decor & More recently posted..Sharing is Caring {Southern Hospitality}

  6. Your sponsored child and the tears he is wiping away speaks volumes of this program. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!
    Mindy recently posted..Sunday Reflection

  7. Thanks so much for blogging on this trip. I so enjoyed living vicariously through your experiences. And I’m praying that many kids are sponsored through this!
    Hannah H. recently posted..Correspondence Connections: June

  8. I just wrapped up my sponsor tour to El Salvador last Tuesday and oh my does this post wrap up my experience there perfectly! COmpassion is the real deal, the real deal! Glad you were able to see it all too.

  9. Traci, I found your blog today through the Compassion bloggers network, and I’m glad I did! If I thought I needed to go on a sponsor tour before, I KNOW I do now. Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart and your journey with us–I had tears in my eyes throughout.

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