On a gray, cold December afternoon, while my family and I drove home from church, I sponsored Favian.
His photo on the Compassion web site had caught my attention as I looked through children’s profiles earlier that week, so I saved the link to Favian’s information, and continued to consider sponsoring him.
When he was still on my mind that Sunday, I told my husband about Favian, and showed him his photo on my phone. “What do you think,” I asked him. “Should we sponsor him?”
My husband replied, “Yes.”
It was Favian’s birthday that day, and it was my husband’s birthday, too, so we already had a special bond with this special boy.
I could not have imagined on that day that I would be sitting in a hotel lobby in Guatemala five years later, waiting to meet Favian in person.
We had shared many letters throughout the sponsorship, which ended when Favian graduated the Compassion program. Several months after his graduation, he found me on Facebook, and I was overjoyed to hear from him again.
And now, after an exciting week spent traveling Favian’s country, visiting Compassion projects and playing with hundreds of children, I waited nervously with my son Logan and our translator Liz to meet one child, one young man, whom my family had grown to love over the years.
When he walked in with the project director from his former Compassion center, I hugged Favian tightly and kissed him on the cheek. He was dressed nicely for our meeting.
Our small group sat together in the lobby and visited for a while before walking to the dining room for dinner with the other sponsors and translators on the tour.
While we talked, I shared with Favian the story of when I first sponsored him.
He was soft-spoken, but our conversation flowed well. We knew a lot about each other, from letters and Facebook conversations, but we had never seen each other in person or heard each other’s voices.
We confirmed some facts we already knew, and asked questions about things we didn’t know. We shared a meal together, and dessert, more conversation and laughter. And all too soon, it was time to for him to leave.
So we posed for photos, and we prayed together, and we hugged and said goodbye, and my heart was filled by our meeting, but already hoping for the next one.