When I got out my little purse-sized notebook to jot down some thoughts about my arrival in Chicago (more on that adventure later), I flipped through looking through a blank page and was stopped by a little drawing -- a primitive person. You know the type, all smiley face and arms and legs and no body (at closer inspection, this one also has ears and hair). It didn't look like something that Kyle had drawn, so I couldn't place it.
Then I truned the next page and saw the careful child-like scrawl:
Leni -- 11
My heart skipped a beat, and I was back in the Dominican Republic in a crowded meeting space listening to a long program that the children of that Compassion project had put together just for us. I sat on a bench along the side wall and was surrounded by children. They begged for my notebook and pen, my camera, and my attention.
When I'm home and my own children are climbing on me or hovering and peeking over my shoulder while I'm on the computer, I'm less than gracious. In fact, I am often downright annoyed. And yet, there I was literally engulfed with children. They grabbed my hand, my arm, and even attempted to fix my hair.
After I returned from the Dominican Republic on my trip with the Compassion Bloggers, my heart was full of love for the people of that nation. I felt like JFK when he gave a speech in West Berlin saying "Ich bin ein Berliner, only "Yo soy una Dominica."
I loved the people I met there: the Compassion employees with a heart to help the people of their country, the hotel staff who enjoyed practicing their English with us as they welcomed us to their country (and poured that delicious Dominican coffee with the hot milk), every one of those children who were so open to us as they invited us to share their day.
I'm thankful for the memory. I'm also chastened and shamed, because I had let myself forget. I know that I'm not doing as much as I should for my two sponsored children, but before I beat myself up too much, I remind myself how thankful for the children are for the support, and in the end I'm humbled that I have the opportunity to do anything at all.
You can read all of my posts from my November trip at my Compassion Trip page. But there's a new group in India right now. Please pray for them. Read their posts. Consider sponsoring a child of your own. Or another child. I can't overstate the privilege of being involved with this ministry as a whole and the life of a child as an individual.