Fedna stood alone, before a plain industrial wall, in a blue uniform dress gingham check blouse and tennis shoes. She wore matching blue butterfly barrettes, and had piercing, dark chocolate brown eyes, just the color of my oldest son’s.
I stood, in a beautiful convention center. I was dressed in my classic suburbanista style. I wore uncomfortable (but cute)shoes, dress pants I couldn’t breathe in, and a blouse I had trouble keeping closed. (I HATE boob-gap-age, just sayin!) I stood a in a ballroom full of Mothers of Preschoolers. We’d gathered to encourage and support each other and make a difference in the world.
Sound like two different worlds? Wondering if this is an episode of Twilight Zone or a sci-fi movie involving parallel universes? No. It’s not, hang with me….this really is where we met.
MOPS International has partnered with Compassion International for years. We offer moms an opportunity to sponsor a child, asimple and tangible way for her to help make the world a better place. I was passing out Compassion International Child Sponsorship Profiles to moms who were interested in sponsoring. When I finished, Fedna’s profile, was left in my hand. I couldn’t just stick her in a pile to (hopefully) be sponsored at some later date. I took her home with me, on paper and in my heart.
Soon, I started receiving amazing letters written in her childish script and translated to english by a caring helper. She told me she was praying for my family, asked questions about what kinds of things we liked and told us how glad she was to be sponsored.
I could never reply.
I didn’t know what to say. What do you say to a child struggling to eat when you spend more on your hobbies or coffee in a month, than her family makes in a year?
I hate that I didn’t write. I wish I would have. I wonder if my letters would have meant as much to her as hers did to me? If nothing else, she would have known that someone cared.
We did. We still do. Click to read more
Over time, we changed banks, and to be honest? I forgot about that scheduled auto-pay on that closed account. We kept praying, but the sponsorship lapsed. (Again, something I hate to admit.) Fortunately for Fedna, Compassion keeps children in the program whenever possible, even if a sponsor (like me) flakes.
Eventually, we started sponsoring another child.
I felt guilty. I still do) but we did we continue to pray for Fedna and to care about her. It was one of those things, those things you wish you could get a “re-do” on, but can’t, so you move forward and learn from it.
Then, yesterday, a catastrophic earth quake hit Haiti, and my first thought was: Fedna.
My heart stopped.
I’ve been searching every picture for her face.
She’d be 13 now.
I hope she’s ok.
I have a message for her:
Fedna- we love you and are still praying for you. I’m sorry for not writing. You made a difference in OUR lives. You are still, in our hearts!
Dear Lord, you know where Fedna is, and I know you love her even more and much better than I ever have or ever could. I pray that you’d hold her now- whether on this earth or in your heaven. I pray that if she’s feeling alone, afraid or is hurt, that you’d remind her that she is loved and not forgotten. I pray that you’d send someone to find her. Lord- I pray for her 6 siblings and parents, that you’d be with them in this mess. I pray that you’d help them, to help others. Lord- please forgive me for my immaturity and general slackerness as a sponsor…you know my heart, I DO I want to make a difference- not just by writing a check to help, but by loving and truly caring. Give me words when I have none, give me peace when words aren’t needed. I love you lord, amen
If Fedna’s slacker sponsor (me) story has touched you- I ask you to click over to Compassion International and consider sponsoring a child, possibly one in Haiti, or to click over and make a one time donation to help with the crisis in Haiti. And please- join me in prayer for Fedna and her family.
I’m going to write a letter to our current sponsored child, Even if I can think of NOTHING else to say, I can say this: YOU MATTER. That’s all we really need anyway, isn’t it?
(If you came over today for the “Define SAHM contest”- scroll down to enter)