Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Yolanda!

Today is the birthday of our beautiful Guatemalan flower, Yolanda!

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Not long after starting our first sponsorship, I found out about Compassion International’s correspondence program which allows people to volunteer to write to sponsored children whose sponsors do not wish to. Right away, I asked for two correspondence children and was assigned Yolanda in Guatemala and Rodrigo in Bolivia.

When we started our correspondence, Yolanda was just a tiny little thing.

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For over a year, we wrote back and forth to this beautiful girl. We received updated photos and saw how quickly she was growing.

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Then, at the very end of 2010, we received the news that every correspondent sponsor dreads.  Yolanda’s financial sponsor had ended the sponsorship.

As is the case when this happens, a correspondent sponsor has the opportunity to pick up the financial sponsorship, attempt to find a new sponsor or simply write a final letter and allow Compassion to find a new sponsor.

At that time, I did not think we could take on another financial sponsorship, so I posted an S.O.S. here on Blogging from the Boonies and someone took over the sponsorship and correspondence for Yolanda.

I was sad to say goodbye, but we kept Yolanda in our prayers and her picture up in our home.

Fast forward to September of last year. I received an email from a Blogging from the Boonies reader who said she saw someone familiar on Compassion’s website. When I clicked the link they shared, my jaw dropped to see beautiful Yolanda, available for sponsorship. It is still hard to fathom how, out of pages of children, someone happened to recognize our beloved girl nearly two years later.

Now, this was right after we had added a new sponsored child to our family, Magid from Ghana. My instinct was to click on that Sponsor This Child button but knowing that we weren’t in a place to add another child, I shared Yolanda’s profile on OurCompassion in the forum specifically for Prayer Children in need of sponsors.

She was sponsored incredibly fast, but I didn’t know who had added her to their family until I received another astonishing message.

A friend from OurCompassion had sponsored Yolanda and asked if we wanted to step in as correspondents.  I probably don’t have to tell you that I broke into tears the moment I read that message.

So, today as I think about our birthday girl in Guatemala, I am reflecting on the amazing story we have together. The generosity of others has allowed us to connect again which is an incredible blessing.

Feliz cumpleaƱos, lovely Yolanda!

May this coming year be a wonderful one!

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