By Suzanna Vermeul-Wilson, CFCA sponsor
I have traveled to many places in my life. I have met all kinds of people in many different circumstances. I have served the poor, and I have seen people living in poverty. In my job as a social worker, every day I see children in circumstances that they should not have to live in. I see suffering and sadness, I see human tragedy. The trip that I took to Nicaragua has had an effect on me that I cannot explain. Long after I returned home, I continue to be drawn to that place, to those people.
My husband did not want to go on this trip. I asked him several months prior to the mission awareness trip if he would want to go. He did not answer me for some time. After about a month passed, I asked again, and he said that he really didnít want to go. I asked that he consider it, that I really wanted to go ñ that I really wanted him to go. He capitulated, and I bought the tickets the same day! At the first meeting with our sponsored child, my husband cried tears of joy. When we returned home and filled out our evaluations, he stated that this trip was a ìlife-changing experience.î I told him that seeing him there, with those children, his tears of joy and his strong feelings about it made me love him more than ever.
I keep wondering if this intense feeling I have will fade. There is not a day that has passed since our return that I have not thought or prayed for the children and people of Nicaragua. I feel compelled to do something ñ Iím not sure what that is. I have been finding sponsors for children, but that does not quench the thirst that I have. I feel indescribably drawn to these people, to this country, to the simplicity which is their life. I find myself considering things in a new way ñ questioning the day-to-day decisions that our society makes: the waste, the excess, the rampant consumerism and materialism of our society.
I experienced such an intense feeling of relationship with all the people that I met on this trip, with the country, with their ways, it is a feeling that I canít really describe. It was wonderfully satisfying to meet our sponsored child and to see what our monthly assistance has done for him and his family. I felt a connection with him, yes, a happiness from him to meet us after all these 11 years of sponsorship. I felt the warmth from his family and their gratitude and a sense of connection that only our good God can give to people.
I feel that there is something I am called to do. There is a longing inside of me, a constant tug at my heart. I feel like Iím searching for something in a fog. I keep waking in the night with an anticipation in my mind. During the day my thoughts constantly drift to Nicaragua. At home, at work, even in my leisure time, I feel a strong pull that Iím supposed to do something with these feelings. Iím not sure what this is ñ what it means, or how I can be of further service. Every day I want to be back in Nicaragua. Is it the Lord somehow calling to me? I am listening, Lord ñ what are you trying to say to me?