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BLACK PATENT LEATHER SHOES
2 May 2013
From time to time, I get photos of my Compassion children. I routinely get an updated photo at least every two years (if not every year) and if something special comes up, like if I've given the child a monetary gift, they send a photo to show what they did with the money. Occasionally out of the blue, I get a photo like the one I got recently of Fred's family. Usually, though, I just get letters from the kids and I love it when I get a cream colored envelope from Compassion with "A Message from Your Sponsored Child" printed on it comes.
This week I have had THREE new photos of kids.
This is the regularly updated photo from Anjali, from India. Anjali was the first child that I decided to sponsor, back in 2009. I remember looking at the available children and chose her because she was wearing a sari, but you could see that she was kind of chunky and had a round face, and I wondered if she was teased by her fellow students for being fat. I identified with her.
Over the years, I have watched her grow into this lovely, lithe young woman. Her letters which used to be stilted are now more personal and conversational and I love hearing from her.
I read a book a couple of years ago. It was called "Sheba's Song" by J.A. Harbison and it was a fictional correspondence between a sponsor and a young girl in India. In the book, her voice told the things that she had been unable to tell her sponsor when she was younger and it gave an interesting view of life for Indian girls pre-puberty.
I also received an updated photo from Esther in Indonesia. Esther is not a child that I financially support but her sponsors don't write to her and I have been the correspondence sponsor for 2 years or so.
She will turn 18 in August and I don't know how much longer she will be in the program, but I am enjoying getting to know her. A year or so ago, she sent me snapshots she had taken of herself, her friends and her family. That was very special. She has grown a lot since the last official photo of her that I received. No longer a girl, but now a young lady.
She wants to be a nurse when she completes her education. She will make a wonderful one.
And then I received the usual form letter from Theresa in Ghana, who is only 6, and so works with one of the project coordinators to fill out a form about some aspect of her life. This one was about her medical checkup. But it came with this wonderful photo.
This is the fourth picture of Theresa that I have received and I have yet to see her smile. My goal is to get a smiling picture of this girl. I mentioned the "Charlie" toothpaste in the photo to her and said that I bet she has a wonderful smile and that I hope she shows it to me in her next photo!
But I zeroed in on the new shoes she bought with her Christmas money and I told her about my mother. It's one of my mother's favorite stories. She grew up on a farm during the depression. There were 10 children (about 7 of which were living at home when she was school age). Their father raised pigs and would go to the site of a dam that was being built and collect garbage so he could keep the pigs fed. There was not a lot of money in the family and she has said over and over again that she didn't know how her mother did it. But there was no shortage of love. The love bursts forth whenever she tells any story about her years on the farm.
But for all the love, even as a young child my mother was apparently enamored of pretty things, and beautiful homes and clothes that her family could not afford. A girl in her class lived in a beautiful house in town and was driven to school by her mother (my mother walked 3 miles each way from the farm...I questioned that and wondered if it was an exaggeration, until we went and visited the site of the old farm and I clocked the distance from there to the school house and by golly, she did walk 3 miles each way to school from the time she was in kindergarten!)
Anyway, this girl had a beautiful wardrobe, especially her patent leather shoes. How my mother wanted a pair of patent leather shoes! Miracle of miracles, she was going to be in a school play and my grandmother took her to the shoe store and bought her a pair of patent leather shoes. Every time my mother tells this story she glows. You can tell that this was one of the most special things that happened to her during her years on the farm. She wore the shoes until she outgrew them and her feet hurt from being crammed inside.
I'm wondering if Theresa feels as special about her black patent leather shoes.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I took this on the ride home from my mother's when we were stopped
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