A Relationship that Transcends Borders

A Relationship that Transcends Borders

An image of a man and woman with Rosa It has been a little over four years since I first heard about the work Christian Horizons Global was doing. At that time, I was working for Christian Horizons as a Direct Support Professional and I was made aware of an opportunity to go on a mission trip to Guatemala with a team from Christian Horizons.

Two months later in Guatemala, our team leader—Dave—told us a story about his first trip there. After conveying many of the emotions I was already feeling toward the people of Guatemala and the work going on there, Dave shared how he had asked Rudy, the Christian Horizons Global Director of Guatemala, what he could do once he returns home to provide them with ongoing support. “Just don’t forget about us,” replied Rudy.

Those words stuck in my mind … and when I said goodbye and boarded the airplane, I made a promise not to forget about them either.

I returned home and immediately emailed Christian Horizons Global asking to sponsor a child from Guatemala. Their reply came with roughly six profiles of children to choose from; the most beautiful children you can imagine, with great big smiles across their faces. One in particular stood out from the rest to me: Rosa.

Rosa was older than the others (10 at the time). Over the next few years, Rosa and my family exchanged letters. I always loved getting her annual report which included an updated photo of her. I think most families who sponsor a child would agree that it’s not long before these kids feel like a part of your extended family. We keep her photo on our fridge, pray for her daily, and love shopping for her at Christmas time. We love this girl and I so badly wanted to meet her one day.

After coming home from Guatemala that year and enthusiastically sharing a testimony about my experiences, my church wanted to get involved as well. Since that time, a group of roughly 15 individuals from Maple City Baptist Church has traveled with Christian Horizons Global to Guatemala for a mission trip once every year. In December 2014, my husband and I made our third trip there to help with a building project and a Vacation Bible School Program in the village of El Morro—the same village where Rosa lives.

El Morro is a highly remote village tucked high away in the mountains of Guatemala. The Child Sponsorship Program supports over 100 children there and we were able to personally witness the difference that sponsorship makes in the life of a child and their family. On our third day of our stay, the Christian Horizons Global staff had all the children enrolled in the Sponsorship Program meet in the village’s school yard.

I was sitting on a cement block when I looked over and saw a teenage girl sitting with a baby on her lap. I recognized her shoes right away—the same pair she wore four years ago in photos. It was Rosa! Our eyes met and she shyly smiled at me. When I ran over to introduce myself, I quickly realized how incredibly shy she really was.

She tried to avoid eye contact and kept hiding her face from me, all while trying desperately not to smile. I teased her and with the little Spanish I knew, told her how beautiful she was, how much we loved her, and how often we prayed for her. It wasn’t long before she started to open up and tell me about herself. She ran to get her mom and I ran to get my husband. Together we exchanged gifts, hugs and laughter. It was perfect.

Later that day, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit her home: a one bedroom house made with sticks and mud. Her mother was busy making corn tortillas on the open stove and welcomed us inside with a sweet smile. Sitting in Rosa’s bedroom—the bedroom she shares with her entire family—is a moment I will never forget. These are people who have very few material possessions; yet they seem to have so much joy and gratitude for what they do have. It was both humbling and convicting. Meeting Rosa and her family was incredible and I cannot wait to see her again next year!

While there, we fell in love with another sweet girl: three-year-old Milvian. My husband’s family had decided that rather than exchanging gifts at Christmas time we would sponsor a child as a family; it was our job to pick that child out. With the cutest grin and tightest hugs, Milvian made our choice easy. We are all so excited to begin this life-long relationship with her and her family, while continuing to love sweet Rosa.

When first presented with the idea of child sponsorship, many of us find it difficult to imagine our money making any type of impact half way across the world. However, after meeting these children and hearing their stories for myself, I am amazed at what an impact child sponsorship does have. It meets physical needs in a huge way but, more importantly, it is a way of showing and teaching them about Christ’s amazing love. To me, that is worth any small sacrifice I have to make to be a part of their lives.