By Ruth Hubenthal, Sponsor Services Representative and CFCA sponsor
I had the opportunity to go on a mission awareness trip to Bogota, Colombia last week, and I met Juliana, the girl that I have sponsored for the past two and a half years, along with her family. I wonít say that the trip was life changing in an earth-shattering-kind-of way, but there was a more subtle change, soft, like the rose petals that surrounded us along the entire trip.
I spent a day with Juliana and her mother, Elizabeth, and we shared stories about our families and about challenges we had to overcome, about our likes and dislikes, about plans we have for the future. We felt that we were a part of the same family, and said as much to each other. What I told her is that I saw hope in her eyes and in her voice, and in turn, that gave me hope. Hope for a family. Hope for MY family.
Elizabeth is going to be a grandmother at 35. Her oldest daughter, Deisy, is going to have a baby in November. Deisyís only 15. But this family doesnít sit back and feel sorry for themselves: they are already talking about the baby, talking to the baby and planning on how to make his or her life better and brighter. Deisy and the babyís father are both planning on continuing school, Elizabeth intends to stay home with her grandchild, and give that opportunity of education to her children.
Itís a simple story, a reality that is not uncommon in these communities, but I think that Elizabethís sacrifice of her personal goals and dreams to give her family a better life, is, in a way, fulfilling her goal. As a mother, I understand that, and I understand that itís not always easy. Thatís what gives ME hope as I support this family. That the love of a mother can help make the world a better place, that sponsoring Juliana and giving the family an opportunity to overcome their poverty can encourage them to stay hopeful.
Mothers like Elizabeth plant seeds of hope in their children and cultivate that hope. And the end result is as beautiful as the roses that are planted and cultivated in that region of Colombia. Itís tangible, and itís just the most beautiful feeling.