Hello dear friends and family. I (Mel) am writing from my hotel room in the beautiful city of Antigua, Guatemala. My time here has been full of so many emotions. I have so much I want to share but for tonight I’m sharing my new family with you. I have prayed and prayed (and I know so many of you have too, thank you!) over my meeting with Vanesa’s family. In case you don’t know, Vanesa was the little 2-yr-old girl I sponsored in preparation for this trip. She passed away about a month after I sponsored her due to a heart condition she was born with. The World Vision staff still arranged for me to meet her family. Leading up to the time of the meeting, I was so nervous. What do I say? What do I do? What will they think of me coming to meet them? As I walked up to the restaurant we were meeting at, I knew the moment I saw them that they were her family. When I saw their faces, all the nerves washed away. The Holy Spirit took over and created the most beautiful and intimate space in the midst of the brokenness. The staff introduced us and Marta, Vanesa’s mom, fell into my arms and sobbed for her baby. She held on to me so tight. We stood there crying together for so long. I just held her for as long as she needed. Then, Martin, Vanesa’s dad, came over and held me tight and cried on my shoulder too. I could feel all their deep pain as they grieved their baby girl gone so soon from them. In that moment, God grew my heart even more to embrace this family and love them fully.
Through the rest of our time together we shared stories of our families, I learned more about Vanesa and her three older siblings, we cried, we laughed, and we cried some more. My gift to them was the picture of Vanesa from her sponsorship folder. They don’t have any photos of themselves and I wanted them to always have a picture of her. When I presented it, they grieved more and yet they were thankful. When it was time to say goodbye, I knew I would see them again. I’m in process of being able to sponsor her oldest sister. I will be back with my family to visit them again some day. After all, they are my family now too. I’m so thankful for how the Lord orchestrated our time together.
Martin, Marta, and their children live in a community that WV is just starting out in. They live high in the mountains, in a place called Chiantla, where resources are extremely limited. Every time they needed to take Vanesa to the doctor or hospital it would take 3 hours to get there and they would stay for days. Now that WV is there, they will work with empowering and equipping the families with what they need to not only survive but to thrive. My heart breaks to think that if WV had only been there earlier that maybe Vanesa would still be with us because they could have had access to health care and do something about her condition at the start. But now, we can be a part of changing the story for the families and children of Chiantla. We can support this community and lift them up. We can empower them to overcome their challenges and make a better future for their children and their community.
Will you join me in sponsoring a child in Chiantla? It’s only $39 a month. There are so many children waiting for sponsorship because it is a new Area Development Project. These families have so much potential and they will overcome with our support.
I am including pictures of two children in Chiantla. If you would like to sponsor one of them, message me and I’ll send you the link for it.
Sponsoring is life changing and we get to be a part of it! Please join me!