The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

There’s this boy . . . . . .

on May 1, 2009

. . . . . .and his name is Joey. Really, it’s not. We could never figure out how to pronounce his name, so we call him Joey. And today my arms are longing to hold him. And I’m yearning to look into his big brown eyes. Just once, to tell him with my own mouth that I love him . . . . . that I pray for him.

I don’t know if this day will ever come because Joey lives on the other side of the world in Africa. He’s the child we’ve been sponsoring for four years through World Vision. He’s 13 – my son’s age. He likes soccer and wants to be a doctor one day. He sent us a letter once and thanked us for our sponsorship. He said it “solved his problem of nakedness.” How do you respond to that? Laugh? Cry? I think I did a little of both.

Joey undoubtedly has been heavy on my mind lately because of some blogs I’ve been reading. Compassion International, another phenomenal organization, has sent a group of bloggers to India and I’ve been following Melissa Fitzpatrick’s blog non-stop. They had had more people sign up to be sponsors yesterday than during any other blogger trip. It’s all I can do not to sign up to sponsor 50 children.

I heard a very articulate and educated African woman on a talk show recently. She has published a book and in it she asserts that the whole “sponsorship” mentality is actually hurting Africa and not helping it. That Africa would be better served if corporations came over and invested in building an economy. I don’t know if she’s right or wrong. What I do know is that I can’t build an economy. What I can do is sponsor a child in the name of Jesus. Knowing that the wonderful workers of World Vision not only educate my sponsored child so he has a better chance in the world, but also knowing that they’re sharing the love of Jesus . . . . . . so that no matter what, Joey’s life will be better.

I have no idea if I’ll ever cross earthly paths with Joey. But I do know that one day our paths will cross in eternity. And I will give that child the biggest and probably longest hug he’s ever had on either side of heaven!

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