Elizabeth’s mother sponsored a girl in Peru named Veronica for the last 10 years. Elizabeth and Veronica were close in age. They enjoyed writing letters back and forth. They became like “sponsored sisters” over time. Elizabeth looked at photos of her mom’s sponsored child, but never thought she’d see Veronica face-to-face. Her world changed when she met Veronica over the summer. Here is her story.
This last June, my church group and I took a mission trip to South America. Even though it seemed to be an accident that the destination of our trip was switched from Bolivia to Peru just months before our departure, I believe that it was a part of God’s plan. After realizing that my mom’s sponsored child, Veronica, lived in the exact place we were visiting, we immediately started arranging plans with Food for the Hungry (FH) to meet Veronica and her family on the trip.
I remember traveling up the rocky mountain to Veronica’s village, feeling nervous and excited to meet my sponsored sister of 10 years. I knew her voice through letters, but not through my ears.
I was thinking, “I cant believe something like this is actually happening to me.” But it was, and before I knew it, we had arrived at the village.
I saw Veronica and her mother standing at the door of their home. I recognized her face, identical to the pictures in my home.
Veronica and her mother smiled big and embraced me lovingly. They spoke in a language that I didn’t understand, but I could feel their words communicated greeting and excitement.
Her mother invited me and my translator to come inside, where she had snacks and gifts prepared for me. Even though I said it was unnecessary, they told me I was a guest of honor in their home.
We spent the rest of the visit asking questions through our translator and discovering things about each other that we hadn’t learned before, like that we both loved the same books and television shows.
She introduced me to her two younger brothers, who were also sponsored through FH. I learned that Veronica wants to become a pharmacist after she is done with school, and how she loves to draw.
Before I left, she gave me a few of her drawings as gifts. I gave her a necklace my mother made for her and showed her the pictures I had taken throughout my mission trip.
It was like seeing an old friend after years of being apart.
I wish I could have stayed longer, but I had a plane to catch. We said our goodbyes and Veronica’s family stayed at the door to watch me leave. The experience was incredibly impacting to me, and still is today.
Veronica has always been a part of our home, but I can’t explain what it was like to meet my sister of another country in real life. It’s as if I truly know who she is now.
I would suggest that anyone sponsoring a child go visit them someday, at least once in their life. It happened by chance for me, but I believe God will provide for anyone that is willing. It was a memory I will always keep dear to me.
If you want to start building a relationship like that of Elizabeth and Veronica, start your sponsorship today!