It was a very special encounter dating back to a decision I made in 2002.
It touched me more than all of Ecuador’s beauty and diversity. My decision changed a life for a cute, shy little girl in Quito, then aged 6. Back in 2002 I was inspired when I visited a New Zealand family of 8. The parents had three of their own children, three foster children, and the family also sponsored 2 overseas children and all on a minimal income.
I went home after enjoying a lovely couple of hours with this family and looked into the Tear Fund sponsorship. I had the opportunity to choose a child to sponsor from the photographs on the site and I chose a little girl who now calls me “dear godmother”.
Having recently turned 16, and now a beautiful young woman, we arrange to meet her few days before her birthday to spend the day together. We both arrive before the arranged time hoping to be early.
We smile, laugh and hug each other in a very emotional greeting. Despite not speaking the language we connect in a very special way.
With a strong will and a beautiful nature, our young lady and her family steal our hearts. Accompanied by her Mum we set off on the chosen activities for the day which include Ten Pin Bowling.
We all try our skill which evokes much fanfare and excitement. The winners are our guests for sure, who with no experience, bowl a strike first up.
We follow this up with lunch in a food hall, which is our shout and not something that is common for our friends. We choose pizza and our friend saves some to share with her school friends later.
We are cordially invited to visit her school, meet her friends and visit the family at their home. Then we fill the afternoon with ice skating which is a blast – we have not skated for years!
We have corresponded for 10 years and that is a lot of mail that has travelled between us; all of which is carefully stored and all my letters and cards are some of her treasured possessions.
I too have the hundreds of letters she has written me; messages which go like this:
“I greet you with love and hugs from a distance”
“I’d like to pray for the countries in need because of the earthquakes”
“Joanne – beautiful … Des handsome, I love you both so much”.
I continue to communicate with her by modern technology such as Facebook and good old fashioned snail mail too and will continue to support her as she progresses through life.
We have a lot of fun with language I write in Spanish and she in English so we are helping each other to learn, she loves to be my teacher.
My sponsorship has provided her with Healthcare, Education and Meals on a regular basis and has made an amazing difference to her life. She has 2 more years at high school and then is planning to go to the public university and study chemistry.
It was a great choice to include her in my “Spending Plan” way back then. It has been an investment for life…. and Quito now holds a special place in our hearts.
Note: The photos on here are not our sponsored child. In order to respect her privacy, I cannot put up any of the lovely photos and videos we have of our experience together, nor mention her name.