I had a wonderful lunch with my friend Rachael yesterday. Rich, rich conversation. One of the many things we talked about was World Vision. Surprised? Yeah, I know. But Rachael asked me to tell her about what we do and then graciously indulged me as I went into my schpeal. It was very helpful… I’ve been off the road for a couple of months now… and I leave tomorrow for San Antonio for the Women of Faith National Conference. So being a little out of practice… I eagerly took the opportunity.
We talked about the beauty of World Vision’s desire to raise and equip indigenous people to care for their own needs… to raise the quality of living, not just to a survival level but to the place of self-sustaining health and well-being. And the commitment to share the gospel in Deed always and in Word whenever possible. I have been with World Vision for 12 years now… and I am constantly in awe of what’s accomplished in the name of Christ. It is a rare thing to be able to say that – and I don’t take it lightly.
So, all that to say… I came home after lunch… to find that ever familiar red & blue striped overseas envelope…. the one that usually means I’m receiving news from my sponsor child Christopher. He’s in Malawi… in a small village outside the capitol. He’s 9 now and becoming such a big boy. Today’s letter brought tears to my heart. He and his family received the modest financial gift I gave them for Christmas – and they actually got it before Christmas (a miracle in Malawi)! Enclosed was a thank you letter and itemized list and two pictures of Christopher standing near all the goodies he and his family were able to get with my small gift.
On the list was an incredible amount of things that a mere $75 U.S. dollars purchased. Brand new clothes and shoes for Christopher (shown wearing them in his picture) and new shoes for his sister. I was excited about that because he has been barefoot in every picture I’ve received so far.
What fun to receive such news! I love reading the letters I receive from Malawi. Christopher is still too young to write them himself – plus, he wasn’t in school when I first started sponsoring him… his Mum couldn’t afford it. But my sponsorship pays for his schooling (no free public school in most of Africa)… so, he’s now enrolled. He’s practicing his letters and slowly learning to write. I get some of his school work now and then. It’s on my fridge. I’m a proud Aunt. :o)
But with the help of local volunteers who write and translate on Christopher’s behalf… I can communicate with Christopher, his Mum and his sister. My favorite line in this last letter was, “…furthermore, our whole family will be shining in their new clothes!”
I wish I could be there in person, to see them shining in their new clothes. And to pet their new pig. And to tuck Christopher into bed, wrapped in his new blanket. But for now… I’m grateful to the Lord for bringing overseas letters, and faithful World Vision staff and volunteers, and family, and groceries, and new shoes, and shining new clothes, and pigs, and blankets, and…