We started sponsoring our little girl, Sendu (pronounced Sen-a-doo) right after John David returned from Ethiopia 2 years ago.
After writing, praying, giving and talking about her with Paxton for 2 years, she had a special place in our hearts even though we had never met her.
When we first arrived at the Compassion Child Development Center (CDC), I was looking for her. Every time I saw a small little girl, I looked closely at her face, hoping to find our Sendu! I didn’t find her in the first few minutes of arriving but I knew I’d soon meet her.
Soon after we arrived, we were led to the records room where we were given an update on the project, told about how they keep records, met center leaders and watched as a young girl started working on coffee for the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
While waiting on our coffee to finish, we went outside and played with some of the older project children. There also were smaller children that do not attend the school at the center but still spend time there. One tiny boy and his brother caught my attention. I started talking with them and with the help of a translator, discovered that these boys were Sendu’s brothers!
Then the coffee was ready and we all went back inside for our coffee served with bread and popcorn. (The coffee in Ethiopia is delicious!)
After finishing our coffee, our group went back outside and there were children on the playground! We started heading their way and they started running ours. Oh, the excitement in that moment! There were small, excited children everywhere and we were all excited to finally be meeting the project children that we’d traveled 24+ hours to meet.
I was hugged by several children and one of them was Sendu! I tried to tell her who I was but there is a language barrier, so she was off hugging more of our group and I was looking for a translator.
I found a translator and found Sendu again. She was told that I was her sponsor. She hugged me and gave me a kiss on my cheek.
Words can’t explain the feelings of that moment. After 2 years of sponsoring, praying for and loving a little girl I’d never met, there she was. We had hugged, we were together!
Then John David came over and met her too. We also met her big sister. There are 4 children in her family and they were all right there! It was so exciting to be with Sendu and her siblings.
And, then our time at the center that morning was up.
We left Sendu with a ‘see you later’ since we had a home visit scheduled that afternoon at her home.
A home visit that would change my perspective forever.
*We sponsor Sendu through Compassion International. Sponsoring a child provides education, healthcare, food for the family and hope – it changes lives! *