15 days until I arrive in Honduras with Manna 4 Lempira! It’s exciting how close it is! I leave tomorrow for another trip, and then when I get back I get to start packing to go see these awesome kids. I hope everything fits!
Heidy, 12, was my first sponsored Manna child, so she’s very special to me. In the over 2 years that I’ve sponsored her, I’ve watched her grow and blossom into a more confident young lady. She still has the kindest heart. In both of these pictures, which were taken on separate days, she is wearing a dress I sent her.
Junior, 10, has never stopped smiling in the 2 years I’ve “known” him. He is such a joyful personality and I can’t wait to see it in person! He is looking so much more grown up in these latest photos.
Diego, 6, is the one out of all of my Manna children that I’ve seen the least photos of and gotten the least letters from. I’m hoping getting to meet him and his family in person will strengthen their attendance at church and the program. I didn’t receive a photo of him this time.
Jenny, 8, is my only Quelacasque child. I won’t be there for the church visit and fun day for Quelacasque, unfortunately, but thankfully she still will get to join along on one of the other fun days so that we still get to meet each other. I haven’t sponsored her for very long, yet, but sometimes she looks like she bears a burden. I’m so happy to see her big smile here!
I already posted the surprise video I got from Jenny, something I will always treasure! Now here are the photos of her receiving her backpack and a little intro from me. Jenny is my only child at the newest Manna 4 Lempira center, Quelacasque.
Based on her photos, this sweet 8 year old always seems on the shy side. I’d love to get to meet her and give her lots of hugs and encouragement in person. Jenny lives with her mom and 8 siblings, so I’m SO happy that she was able to receive new shoes and a backpack, even including a doll! Since this center opened well after the backpack submission date, I actually didn’t pack hers, but rather some generous sponsors donated everything for all of the children of Quelacasque!
The family that runs Manna 4 Lempira just spent a week in Honduras visiting the children and distributing the backpacks that we sent. Each day, photos were posted of the kids, and I’d eagerly go in to look in the hopes of getting a glimpse of my kids. But they were never in any of the pictures posted. I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed as others got to see multiple pictures of their sponsored kids. I know, though, that I will get official pictures once they are posted, and I still enjoyed seeing the pictures of the other happy kids, thinking that mine must be smiling too.
But then, at a moment where I really needed it, I got a message sent from Manna 4 Lempira, and it was a video from Jenny for me! Jenny is my most recently sponsored child through Manna 4 Lempira, and she is part of the new program that just opened: Quelacasque. During this visit, these children learned they had sponsored, got little bios on us with photos, and received their first backpacks and pair of shoes. Seeing Jenny’s smile and hearing her say my name means the world to me. I’m so grateful for this gift!!
Manna 4 Lempira just opened a new program this month in a community called Quelacasque. A church wanted to partner with the Manna program, and its members sponsored many of the children, but there were still quite a few available for sponsorship. When the photos and profiles of the kids were posted, I had to look. I love to learn about each kid and pray that they all find the right sponsor. I wasn’t necessarily looking to add another child. But of course, the children were so lovable. Then I thought, if there was one that moved me, and he/she was still available after a few days, I’d consider it.
A little over a year ago, I lost my grandmother that I was very close to. And a little more than a year before that, I lost my grandfather, her husband. In January, I sponsored Oxford through Compassion in honor of my grandmother. They share the same birthday and I knew she would have loved his huge smile. Since then, I’ve been looking for a child to sponsor in honor of my grandfather. Every so often I’d look through children available for sponsorship with the same birthday of him, but although the children were wonderful, I never felt that “click” moment with any of them to know that they were right child.
When looking through the Quelacasque children, I noticed that Jenny had a birthday one day after my grandfather’s. I loved her shy, sweet smile. I loved that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. But what really made the difference was when I saw she had 8 siblings and a single mother. I have a special place in my heart for children from large families, and four of my other Manna children also have many siblings. Imagine as a parent in the US living in financial stability and having 9 children. That seems hard enough, but now imagine it in poverty. I love to be able to make children from large families feel special and singled out. I love to send them things that are just for them and not hand-me-downs. And I can’t wait to do these things for Jenny.
So guess what? I didn’t end up waiting a couple days. I barely made it a couple hours after I got home from work on the first day that the children were available for sponsorship. I was happy to know that Jenny was still available and to hear the news that I was able to sponsor her gave me a feeling of peace, knowing that after many months, I finally had the child who was meant to be sponsored in honor of my grandfather. I can’t wait to share some of this story with her either.