Bernie and Connie Tadda have been Unbound sponsors for 16 years. They and their daughter, Mary Kim, recently participated in an Unbound Awareness Trip to Guatemala and shared their experience with us.
Meeting our two sponsored friends was like taking a two-dimensional relationship and turning it into 3-D. The love and graciousness we experienced were overwhelming.
We’ve sponsored Lusbin for more than 16 years and Dulce for more than 12, enjoying the photos and letters we send back and forth. In December 2013, my wife, Connie, and I, along with our daughter, Mary Kim, were excited to finally have the opportunity to go on an awareness trip to Guatemala to meet them.
The day of our visit, Connie and I were getting ready when Mary Kim rushed into our room and said, “I met Lusbin!”
She had seen a group of people coming to the center where we and the other travelers were meeting our sponsored friends. Mary Kim and Lusbin exchanged glances and recognized each other immediately from photos. Their hug was the start of one of the most memorable days of our lives.
With our limited ability to speak Spanish, and with the help of the interpreters, we sat and talked about everything we could think of over the next several hours.
We heard about Lusbin’s plans to go to college and met his parents. Dulce told us about her hope to become a nurse. We spoke with her mother, Natividad, fully realizing her challenges with chronic health problems and her struggles to care for her family without a husband for support.
There was also an opportunity for the sponsors and families to go up on a stage and share thoughts or testimonials with the group. Natividad, who had been very quiet during our earlier conversations, stood up and talked for several minutes about her gratitude for our support.
Later that day, there was a variety of entertainment. Lusbin surprised us by bringing a guitar on stage and singing a song dedicated to us. It was an overwhelming and heartwarming experience.
The awareness trip was wonderful. Our visit to Guatemala was more than just a chance to meet our sponsored friends. It was an opportunity to experience a small piece of their lives and bask in the love and caring that we had for each other, more than mere letters and photos could ever express.
While we have sent donations to them over the years, Lusbin and Dulce gave us gifts that are priceless and will last a lifetime.