Last month I talked about my very personal reasons to sponsor a needy child—in Brazil.
About two weeks ago I received my first letter from Ana Vitoria, who lives in the northeast of South America’s largest country. Cool!
I’ve always loved getting letters in the mail. In high school, I wrote to my friends regularly—and they wrote back. I even wrote to strangers I met while traveling–and they wrote back. I remember very clearly how great it was to catalog my thoughts and the events in my life. Even more thrilling to receive a response.
So, I was smiling from ear to ear as I opened the white World Vision envelope postmarked “Recife, BR.” Ana’s funny, 7-year old thoughts were penciled in crooked letters on the organization’s stationary: she has a cat named Shena. Her favorite color is pink. She likes rice pudding.
I made my way through the Portuguese first (hard to read in crooked pencil marks) and then read the translation. Fun!
I imagined her sitting down with her project worker, maybe on some porch or outdoor bench near her school, maybe the fields are green around her, or maybe they are brown and parched.
I see her answering his questions about what she might want to say to me, this stranger so many thousands of miles away in this famous city of this famous country. I imagined how my life that must seem, in her imagination, to be overflowing with luxuries.
As we head into December—a time of unrelenting indulgences with presents to buy, trips to take, parties to go to, New Year’s hopes and dreams on the horizon—I’m gearing up to write Ana a letter of my own.
I’ll be thinking about how to put my life into simple words. I’ll be thinking about all the many, many blessings that I have, all the advantages I overlook everyday. I’ll look for the words that a 7-year-old would understand, one who struggles to have enough to eat. It makes me wonder if I couldn’t do more for Ana than just send her a Christmas card.
(In some countries that World Vision sponsors, you can buy a child’s family a goat!)
And in the meantime, I’m feeling pretty grateful to be sending her a little money every month. It’s a great feeling to contribute to her well-being. Maybe you’ll contribute at the office this year, or volunteer at a local food bank, or even sponsor a child of your own?
Happy holiday month and Hari Om!in Culture and World.