Friday, October 26, 2012

Peru, Part 3--A Very Special Day

When I woke up on Thursday in La Merced, I was excited again because we were visiting another child center and making another home visit. On this day, we split into two groups. One of us went to PE-354, and the other to PE-352.

When we arrived at 354, a man was outside recording is. Paparazzi?? I kept wondering where the children were and which door we would enter. When the last van finally arrived, the big wooden doors opened, the people inside yelled, "Surprise!" and people stepped outside with a banner to welcome us. Well, that was pretty cool. But then we stepped inside, and a child came to each of us, one at a time, pinned a pin on us, took our hand, led us to a chair, and then sat beside us. It was soooooo sweet!!

The boy who led me to my seat (or dragged me, as one person said) was named Alex. He asked me where I was from and then asked if I knew his sponsor. Aw. He was one of the boys who performed in the dance, so he put his necklace on me until he had to dance. When he needed his necklace back, he called me "Madrina."
I mentioned that to Janette, one of our translators, and she said that to each kid, we represent his or her sponsor. She said it's easy for them to grasp the concept of Jesus loving them even though they don't see Him because they have someone in another country who loves them even though they've never met them. I love that parallel.

Next we went on another home visit.  We visited the home of Bonnie (I know it's not spelled that way in Spanish), one of the teenagers from the project.  She has four siblings, and her father works on a farm during the week and is only home on the weekends.  Here are some pictures from her home.
Bonnie and her mom



Bonnie's bedroom with her sweet little sister in the foreground
The wall in Bonnie's bedroom

Bonnie is quite talented and intelligent.  She showed us her history notebook.  She had drawn the faces of important people in Peruvian history, and the drawings were amazing.  She also had very neat and colorful notes.  This is something that she learned to make at the project.

While we were talking to Bonnie, her cousin, who lives next door, tapped me on the arm and showed me a picture.  I asked if the family in the picture were his sponsors, and he said yes.  He was SO proud!  We really do mean a lot to our children, much more than I ever realized.

Our group with Bonnie and her family members
In the front with the glasses next to Bonnie's cousin is Rachel.  Her daughter is in the very back.  They had decided the night before to sponsor Judith, a girl in this project.  We discovered later that another group had made a home visit to Judith's house.  During that visit, Judith and both of her parents prayed to accept Jesus.  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.

We took Bonnie back to the project where a feast awaited us.  One table was full of local fruit (oh how I wish I could have brought some home, especially the pineapples), and another with the main course food.  I was overwhelmed by how much they had for us to eat.  One lady offered me a fried banana slice, and I told her I couldn't eat it because I'm allergic to bananas.  She said, "What will you eat?"  Oh my!  The tables were full.  No problem there!
We didn't eat the flower.  I just think it's cool.

Once again, I was amazed at how giving the people were.

We went upstairs where the children were eating, and of course, I took many pictures.
These boys kept saying my name.  :)

The cabinets in the background hold their toothbrushes in the brightly colored cups.
I love how the children always hug each other for pictures.
Learning a new song
So here's the really special part.  I have always wished I could see the reaction of the child and his or her parents when they find out they have a sponsor.  On this day, I saw that.  The leaders had packets for children at this project.  During lunch, I wanted to look at them.  I said, "Okay, Lord.  If one really grabs my heart, I'll know I should sponsor him or her.  If not, then I'm okay with what I'm doing now."  I asked to see the packets, and the very first one was a 4-year-old boy who had been waiting 8 months for a sponsor.  I took one look and said, "He's mine."

So here he is, my newest child.  His name is Jhuniors.

We went to his class so I could meet him.  First the children sang some songs for us, and then their teacher taught them a short lesson.  Janette introduced Randy, Cheryl, and me to the children, and then asked them each of our names.  They couldn't remember Randy and Cheryl, but the little boys were chanting, "Mindi!  Mindi!  Mindi!"  Hahahaha!!  I LOVED it!!
We did a craft with them, and then Janette told them that she had "good news" and then announced that I was Jhuniors' new sponsor.  Here he is when she told him:

His mother was at the project, so I was able to meet her.  It was an amazing experience.  She was SO happy.  Jhuniors didn't say anything, and she said that he's very shy.  I explained that when I was his age, I used to hide under the TV stand when someone came to visit my home because I was so shy.  Later, Sean asked, "Where is yours, Mindi?" meaning the child I had sponsored, and Janette said, "IT is running around here all over."  Sean said, "How surprising that you would pick the one with the energy who loves life."  Remember that for later.
This is Jhuniors' mother, Elizabeth
After I left the room, Jhuniors was asking for me, but when he found me, he hid behind his mother.  She gave him an ice cream bar to give to me.  He walked up to me, handed me the ice cream, and then ran away.
We were scheduled to go on a boat on the river, and the Compassion staff decided to take all the children (and their mothers) who had been sponsored that day with us.  What a treat for them and for us!  Of course, Jhuniors had never been on a boat before, so he kept looking all around in amazement, yet when I asked him if he liked the boat and the river, he said, "No."  Funny boy.
Janette, who became my dear friend in just a few days.
Jhuniors, his sister, and their mother

It rained while we were on the river, just to remind us that we were in the jungle.

What an amazing day!  I couldn't believe that I was actually with this sweet little boy and his mother and was able to see the joy that they each had when they learned about my sponsorship.  It was a very special gift from God.

I went to Peru planning to visit one of my sponsored kids and ended up visiting two.

Part 4


  1. Love it!Did anyone visit 436?I have a child there....

  2. I, too, sponsored a child while I was in India (in addition to the little girl I went to India to meet), and I was so excited to meet her mom. I know what a fun experience it was for you! And I'm so happy for you!