This week's assignment for Compassion's Blog Month is to write from the perspective of a sponsored child. To do this, I'm going to use a dream I had last week. In my dream, I was in (I think) Africa, in a small village, visiting with Compassion (hasn't happened yet...but I'd love it to!) and I was visiting my sponsored child, a little girl with braids in her hair (At this time, I don't sponsor a girl, and have never sponsored a child in Africa....maybe I should?). This dream, this girl, will not leave my mind, so today's post is from her.
"I wake up on my pallet in the corner. It's too early to get up, but I'm too excited to sleep! The only sound in our little house is the flies buzzing around the netting over my bed, and my little brother snoring softly next to me. The sun is just starting to peek through the little window, but the day already promises to be very hot. There's a little breeze blowing the dust around outside. We haven't had much rain this year, and Daddy's worried because we won't have much food to harvest. Everything seems like another normal day, but it's not. Today's they day They come.
I lay in my bed thinking about Her. In the pictures in my Special Box, her skin is as light as the sand on the beach near Gramma's house. She wears big glasses on her eyes and has a big, happy smile. Her letters say she's a nurse, so I know she's smart and kind. The nurses that took care of Mama before she went to Heaven were smart and kind, too. In her letters, she always says I'm special and that she loves me. That makes me feel happy. For my birthday, she sent me new shoes, and a pretty doll. I've kept them nice and clean. Today I'll show her how good I take care of her gifts. And I'll tell her my alphabet, and my numbers, and my Bible verse. I'll show her how much I'm learning, and that I'm a good girl. While Daddy tried to get work yesterday, I cleaned the house so it is perfectly clean. She'll be so proud of me. And she'll know that I am glad she is my sponsor.
I've always lived in this house. Our village is little, but there's lots of people in it. And lots of kids to play with! No one has much money, but we help each other how we can. When Mama got sick, our neighbors helped me take care of her while Daddy worked to get her medicine. Daddy worked a lot, then, because medicine is expensive. He wasn't home much. I stayed home to take care of Mama and the house, and to look after my brother. But nothing I did helped. Mama got sicker and sicker. Then, Daddy took her to the hospital a far way away. Me and brother went with them, because it was too long for us to stay alone. The hospital smelled funny. And there were lots of sick people. The doctors and nurses put needles in Mama's arm, to give her special medicine, but she still got sicker. I heard the doctor tell Daddy that it was too late, but they could make her comfortable. I didn't know what that meant. The nurses were nice. They always smiled at us, and gave me and my brother little treats. I would sit with Mama and talk to her, and tell her stories, and say I would make sure the house was clean until she was all better. But she didn't get better. One day, I woke up and Mama wasn't in her bed. Daddy was crying and said Jesus took Mama to Heaven. I wanted to go with her, but Daddy said I couldn't. He said Jesus needed Mama in Heaven, and for us to stay here. I cried too. My brother cried for Mama, too, but he didn't understand about Heaven. He's too little.
After Mama went to Heaven, I was in charge of cleaning the house while Daddy looked for work. His boss fired him when Mama went to the hospital, since he couldn't go to work, so he had to find a new job. Sometimes he found work for a day, but sometime he couldn't find anything. We didn't have much food. Sometimes we could only have a little rice at lunchtime, and nothing else all day. Every morning I would walk to the water hole to get water for the day. The water was brown and dirty, but it was the only water for a long long walk. My tummy felt yucky all the time, and hungry. I wished Mama would come back. Sometimes I would see kids walking by our village in their school uniforms, and they looked so happy with their books. I wanted to go with them, but Daddy said we didn't have the money. But She changed that.
One day, some people came to our village. They said they wanted us to have clean water, and healthy food, and to go to school. I wanted that, too, so did Daddy. But he said we couldn't, because we didn't have the money. But They said they could help. They used a big word, "sponsorship". I didn't know what it meant, even Daddy didn't! But They explained that it meant every kid would have a person from America or somewhere send money to pay for all those things. A Sponsor would pay for me to go to school and be healthy! And they would write letters so it would be like a friend, not just charity. Daddy wasn't too sure about it at first, but when the people told him all about it, he said he would do it for us. They took our pictures, and we had to see a doctor.
Soon, I heard that I had a sponsor! A lady from America! I drew a picture to send her, and my Daddy wrote her a letter. I didn't learn to write yet. The other kids started getting letters and pictures from their sponsors, and I kept waiting for one of my own. Finally, it came! I saw her friendly smile and learned her name, and felt so special because of her letter. I told my teacher that I wanted to learn a lot so I could make my Daddy proud, and make Her proud, and be a teacher myself someday. Or maybe a nurse. Or something else. Her help has made me healthy. My tummy isn't sick anymore, because I have good food. They put a water pump in our village, so we have as much clean water as we want. And I'm learning to write for myself. I can almost write a whole letter by myself! Daddy is happy I have a sponsor, too.
And today, I would get to meet Her, for real. Not just in a letter. Finally, Daddy wakes up and we get ready. I dress in my best clothes, with my pretty shoes. Then, we hear the car. They're here!! I run outside and join the other kids waving to the people getting out of the car. And I see her. My Sponsor! I'm so excited I can barely move! She sees me and comes to give me a big hug. She gives hugs like my Mama did, like grown up ladies do. I hug her back and give her a big smile. She talks to me, but the translator is distracted with another kid, so I don't know what she's saying, but I know it's good because she's smiling. She goes in her bag and pulls out a little camera, like they use at school to take our picture sometimes. She pulls me close and we take a picture together. She shows me on the back and it's us! Me and Her, hugging and smiling next to each other. I wish I could keep in in my Special Box. The translator is back. He says She will send me a copy of the picture when she gets home. I am so happy I give Her another hug. Teacher is telling all of the kids to line up so we can show what we've learned. I line up and see Her standing in front of me with her camera. I smile extra big as we say our letters, and numbers, and Bible verses. After, she hugs me and tells me she is so proud.
I look and see something muddy and yucky got in her hair. I show her and she nods. The translator says She has an idea. She asks if I can get a towel, and I ask why. She pulls out a small bottle from her bag. She says it's shampoo, and it smells good, and that we're going to wash our hair under the water pump. I laugh, and I'm excited so I run to get a towel. Daddy is standing at the house, smiling. He laughs and is happy when I tell him about my sponsor and her idea. When I come out of the house, it's gotten windy and there are dark clouds in the sky. She grabs my hand and we start running towards the water pump as big raindrops start to fall from the sky. She tosses the towel and shampoo under a hut, and spins me around and around, dancing in the rain. Together we laugh and smile, and dance in the rain, as it washes away the dust and feeds the ground.
I am so happy today. Today is the best day ever, and all because She came to visit. "
To make a difference in a child's life, please visit Compassion. Our goal is to get sponsors for 3,108 children this month, and we are less that 1,000 away!
Edit: I should probably note that all the details about this girl, her life, and her village are completely made up and from my own mind. Don't shoot me if that's not how it really works :)