"I'm So Happy You're Here!"

08/02/13

Excited but very nervous, Taylor Breckenridge followed the interpreter down a well-worn path to Mgwayi village in Malawi, Africa. It was her first time in Africa, and she was about to meet the girl she had been writing letters to, praying for, and supporting through sponsorship for three years. As Taylor walked down the path to her home, questions flooded her mind. Would Florence recognize her? Had she gotten the letters, the pictures, or the friendship bracelet Taylor had sent her? Would they have anything to talk about?

The translator motioned Taylor into a small, thatched-roof home. Florence was the first to greet her. It only took Florence a moment to recognize Taylor from the photos she sent. Her face broke into a grin as she rushed to hug her sponsor. “I’m so happy you’re here,” said Florence, “I love you so much!” She told Taylor she received all her mail and asked about Taylor’s brother Brian, whom Taylor had mentioned in a letter.


         Florence shares a one bedroom home with all five of her family members.  She sleeps on this woven mat.

Florence introduced Taylor to her family and gave a tour of their one-bedroom house where all five family members sleep. There was a small nook for the kitchen and a pile of garbage behind the house.  Taylor was overwhelmed by how joyful and hospitable there were, even though they had so little. She saw that sponsorship had given hope to Florence and her family. “I realized how important my money is,” says Taylor. Now Florence has food every day. She goes to school and is working hard to become a nurse.

Taylor was in college when she first learned how children’s lives are transformed through Children of the Nations’ (COTN) child sponsorship program. At the time she was unable to afford it. “As soon as I got a job it was on my heart to sponsor a child,” she says. That’s when she chose Florence, a fourteen-year-old girl. “I wanted someone a little older that I could relate too,” she explains.

Once they met in person, Taylor and Florence found plenty of ways to have fun. For the rest of the trip, they spent as much time together as they could. They ate lunch, played cards, and Florence shared her favorite Bible verses. “She would just laugh so hard sometimes,” says Taylor. “I feel like I know her, what she does for fun, her personality. Now when I write her it will be more meaningful. We have this bond now as sisters.”


        Taylor was concerned that she wouldn’t know what to say to Florence, but they quickly became good friends.

Even though Taylor is back home now, she can’t forget Florence or the needs she saw in Malawi.  Taylor and all six Venture Team members—all of whom also met their sponsored children on this trip—are working hard to transform the lives of a new group of children. They’ve committed to finding sponsors for ten more children in Malawi. Many of these are siblings of the children the team members already sponsor. “[Thirty-two dollars a month] might seem like a daunting amount,” says Callie Megargle, a team member, “but it is really only a dollar a day and it greatly improves the lives of these children. It’s really a small sacrifice.”


        When Callie met her sponsored child Yusufu and his family, she realized what a huge impact her support was having on his life.  
 

This small sacrifice means Florence is no longer destined to a life of poverty. Taylor has seen this first hand. “[Sponsored children] have hope,” says Taylor, “and they know they can’t take this for granted because they have friends and family who don’t.”


   Taylor and her team went to Malawi to meet their sponsored children. Now that they are home, they are looking for people to sponsor ten more children in Malawi.
 
You can give a child in need hope and a future. 500 children need sponsors by September 1st. Will you join the movement and Be One? See photos of children waiting for sponsors today.