For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27 (KJV)
Most of you know about my boy Bili. The tiny malnourished boy who changed my life on my first trip to Guatemala in February of 2011. You’ve read here the progress he has made, learning to walk, to talk, getting to finally go to school at the center. You read my dismay when he went home. A bittersweet discovery. Yes, he needs to go home, to be with his family, his mama and papa and adoring sisters. But, would that mean I would never see him again this side of heaven? And you read my excitement and humbling when his parents travelled two hours on the bus with him and his tiny newborn sister to see me last March. That was a moment that I still remember when I get too uppity about myself. Or when I get discouraged thinking I know what the future holds. The future is still full of surprises. Good ones, too. You know how much I believe in the sponsorship program through Orphans Heart. I’ve encouraged everyone I know to give that $35.00 a month to sponsor a child. Even if it means sacrifice, less Starbucks or trips to the mall. It is so worth it to know that a child and his family are getting enough food to eat each month. That the guardian angels at the Malnutrition Center get to lay eyes on that child each month, weighing him on more than a scale to make sure he has not lost weight. Loving on him enough to make sure he is developing as he should physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally. It is a bargain really when you think about it. A healthy child for only $35.00 a month! The main thing I worried about when he left the Center would be his education. Was he going to be able to go to school? Would his education end when he had just learned to write his name? I’d been hounding the staff of Orphans Heart until they finally convinced me that I needed to back off and let them do their job. They were working on it and had a lot of children to oversee. I finally decided to take them at their word, to trust that when they said they were doing what they could, they meant it. Today, at the market, after an already long day when my legs ached from walking and standing, when my brain buzzed from too much chocolate at the chocolate factory, when I had spent all the money I brought to spend and the only thing on my mind was getting back to the room and lying down, with a sly smile and a knowing look, Olivia, one of our dear interpreters said, “You know, Billi will be starting school this year.” This year. As in next month! He will go with his older sister who will look out for him. I was so happy that I burst into tears standing amongst the brightly colored fabrics and beads. My boy, who I once doubted would live, much less write his name, is going to school! Suddenly, my legs were no longer tired. I think I could have hiked to the top of the nearest volcano. No, floated is a better word. This is true happiness. It can’t be found in a market. Nothing can buy it, but $35 sent to a needy child and a worthy organization.