The Child Beyond My Reach

Today started off poorly. I wanted to buy Jania a birthday gift and today was the deadline to get it to her on time. However, when I went into the Compassion International site to arrange for her gift, there was a message labeled “Departing Children,” asking me to call the Compassion International number.

What does “departing children” mean? Immediately, I’m filled with dread because my very first thought is that perhaps little Jania has died. She was considered a “priority” case when I sponsored her in June, 2013; that label indicates the child’s circumstances put her more at risk. Her status was one of the reasons I chose her packet from among all the others available that day.

When I call, the system asks me to enter my Sponsor Donor Number. I enter it twice, and both times, the number is rejected.

Please Father, don’t let her be dead.

I press # to say that I don’t have my number, even though I do, and the phone system tells me to hold. Finally, a live representative answers the phone and asks for the same number. She asks me to verify my address and phone number. How would I know to call and have a sponsor number if I’m not who I say I am? Oh well.

At this point, my mind is a fog of conjecture. But the lady sounds very calm, so that’s good.

“Your child has moved away to an area without a care center.”

Phew! That means “my child” is still alive. But what will become of her now? I remind myself that where there’s life, there’s hope. Right?

The lady tells me about the follow-up interview with the child’s mother, and I’m comforted that the center personnel cared enough to pursue the matter. However, Jania’s moved outside of their limited sphere of influence in Managua, and so she’s dropped from Compassion’s rolls. It’s not a perfect solution, but what else can they do?

The care center is a key part of the Compassion International model. It works so well because trained personnel can keep tabs on the condition of the children who are sponsored. They interact with them nearly every day. They know their parents or guardians.

I understand this completely. This up-close kind of stewardship is one of the reasons I support this organization.

“What happens now?”

“My child” has moved beyond my reach, but of course, Compassion has a waiting list of other children who need sponsors. Since I chose a little girl from Nicaragua the last time, the lady proposes that I sponsor another little girl from Mateare, Managua, Nicaragua. I’m happy to do this.

Don’t for one moment believe that I’ve forgotten Jania. Even though I was her sponsor for only nine months, she found a home in my heart. I’ll always wonder what’s become of her, and I’ll need to remind myself that where there’s life, there’s hope.

God, please take care of my Nicaraguan girls. 

If you are interested in sponsoring a child like Jania, please contact Compassion International.

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