There are certain photos that capture my eye ... months later, I catch a glimpse of something that takes me back to Ethiopia with a vivid memory of that moment.
As our team of volunteers spent individual time with every child at the CarePoints, there are some specific sweet reunions that take place. For many of these kids, they only know their sponsor family through photos and letters. And they are thankful and so proud to call this family their own. They carry rumpled and creased photos in their pockets, and proudly show us, saying, "This is MY family!!"
For a few kids, they have had the rare opportunity to meet their sponsor family - and it's a moment they treasure. I see the kids on the first day we arrive - searching our faces and hoping they will recognize a face from the pictures they have studied for so long. And even though their sponsor family may not be there, we take the time to read each letter slowly, and go through each photo with them so they feel like they know their sponsor family a little bit more....
And for some kids, their sponsor family has travelled to Ethiopia year after year to see them - to hug them, and hold them, and tell them how much they are loved and treasured beyond measure...
This is Hana who attend Kind Hearts CarePoint. I snapped photos as she climbed into Becky's lap once again. She beamed with pride, but this time there was a confidence about her that wasn't there before. Little Hana nestled comfortably in Becky's lap this year, and I could read it in her body language ... she was happy, and comfortable and confident. She feels loved and she has hope and confidence in her future ....
Last year, I mentioned Hana in a blog post because she was the little girl that spotted underpants in her care-package. Before Becky could finish reading her letter, Hana slid off her lap and pulled on those underpants right then and there (because she did not have any underpants and this was a rare and exciting luxury!!)
This was Hana's profile photo from when she first started attending Kind Hearts CarePoint for nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship. When we work with the kids at the CarePoints, we can immediately recognize the kids that have just enrolled.
They are malnourished, and often sickly. They don't yet have confidence that their next meal will be reliable and consistent and they have little hope for the future. We can see it in their eyes and in their body language as they watch the food like little hawks, wondering if they will have food that day.
It's only after attending the CarePoint for a few months and being showered with love and attention, and reliable and consistent meals, that they start to smile regularly and play and laugh. They are finally able to step out of survival mode - and they start to thrive!
That's the beautiful thing about sponsorship at one of our Children's HopeChest CarePoints. Your $34 per month, changes the life of a child, and sets them on a path full of hope! There are still a few kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory CarePoints that are waiting for a sponsor family. If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.