My husband and I have been sponsoring children through Compassion International for 18 years. What a privilege! What a joy to think that a few dollars a month makes the difference between a child eating one good meal a day or not. Getting an education. Hearing about Jesus Christ.
Our most recent child, Ruth, was from Mexico, and we had sponsored her for six years. We exchanged several letters, but she was more faithful than I was about writing. In April she sent us a letter saying she was about to graduate. Her tone was controlled effervescence.
I called CI the other day to inquire about sponsoring a new child. The young lady on the other end of the phone was so sweet as she looked up our sponsor number and record.
"I'm looking at my screen here," she said slowly, deliberately. "I see that Ruth has departed."
I gulped. Departed? My eyes started to sting. There was silence between us. Grief swept over me from head to toe.
"Departed?" I asked. It couldn't be. We just got a letter from her three weeks ago and she was fine. Happy. Eager to graduate, and profoundly grateful for our support.
"Yes. The notes here say that Ruth came to Christ while taking Bible classes, and she successfully finished her schooling. She is currently working as a jewelry maker in her community."
"Oh! So she's alive?!!"
I wanted to say, " Girl!! You should not say 'departed.' It means dead. Please choose a better word. You have no idea what the words "she departed" just did to me!!"
But instead--once I found my voice--replied, "That's great!"
In the near future, I plan to call Compassion again and ask if "depart" was simply this particular employee's unfortunate
word choice, or if the script which all phone employees use to describe leaving the program, says "departed." Either way, it needs to
be edited out!
So now we are in the process of choosing a new child to sponsor. The main goal is to find someone for our boy to connect with, to exchange letters with, to feel part of his life through writing each other.
In narrowing the options, we have a few preferences:
10 years old
From Central or South America
This is what I'm praying about, and I'm confident that God will bring us to each other.