Friday, October 1, 2010

Fridge Kids

Growing up I spent my share of time at a certain neighbor's house.  One of the things I always noticed was a certain photo on their fridge.  It was of a girl who was clearly not from around here.  I asked who she was and never remembered the answer.  Seriously, I think I asked three or four times before I finally resolved myself to believe it was one of Kaitlyn's friends, and in my head I called her "Fridge Girl."

When I was looking for an "in Kaitlyn's honor" project for her 16th birthday, I sat down and thought about Kaitlyn.  Lyme disease, dogs, Christ, and love all came to mind.  As I was getting lost in memories, Fridge Girl popped up.  I now realize Fridge Girl was a child they sponsored through Compassion.  You see, my apartment now has our own Fridge Girl.

On Tuesday afternoon Neal asked begged me to help with an event on campus.  My primary job was to sell merchandise but I also got to talk about Compassion.  Play with money and CDs while talking about child sponsorship.  Basically it was the perfect job for me.

I got to talk about my family's Fridge Girl.  Her name is Maria Jose and she lives in Columbia with her two sisters and parents.  Since she's in a Spanish-speaking country, I write letters to her directly in Spanish.  Of course, Compassion has translators, but it feels more personal to me to exchange words in her native language. 

My roommate Jennifer just recently got back from a trip through Compassion.  She got to go to the Philippines to visit her sponsored child, Jamsell.  Photos of Jamsell are all over our room and it makes me smile (and a little jealous) every time I see them.

Among us were volunteers from Compassion.  One man showed us letters from his sponsored child in Ecuador, a map of where Compassion works, and then he ran out to his car.  He came back with an arm full of computer-printed photographs of his grandchildren.  He told us the age and full name of each child.  It was actually quite sweet.

"And this is my new knee."

I was selling a CD at the time, so I was really hoping I misheard him.  A discrete glance in their direction told me I was in no such luck.  Right there on the table was a photograph of an x-ray.

"It has four parts..."

Let's just say I learned infinitely more than I ever wanted to know about knee replacements.  Honestly, it was more awkward than the awkward moment the Compassion coordinator warned us about: The Packet Pass.

Each of us took a pile of packets (each packet has information about a real child somewhere in the world) and went through the audience handing them out.  Our director told us to stay there among the audience until about halfway through the song.

"Two minutes," he said, "but it's going to feel like eight."

When I was standing up there with a smile and God's children in my hands, two minutes felt like eight seconds.  It was while I was standing there I realized that in my hands I held fifteen children all who happened to be from Africa and Asia.  That means that even though I can communicate in three languages, my communication with these kids would look like a game of charades.  Not God's.  He can talk to them directly in their language and vice versa.  How cool is that?  God speaks English, German, Chinese, all tribal languages, etc.  It's a simple realization but when you're looking at photographs of real children, it's mind boggling.

As a student body, we sponsored 53 children on Tuesday!  That is forty more than our previous record.  That is 53 children whose were just given an education, medicine, and hope thanks to "poor college students."  Fifty-three children and their families are being told about Christ!  Well done, y'all!  My apartment now has two of our own Fridge Girls and one Fridge Boy.  I can't wait to start sending them letters and photos.  Our Fridge Kids are going to think Americans are crazy.  :-)

As for me, well, I'm just in awe at how God works.  And I'm thankful for "Kaitlyn's friend," the first Fridge Girl in my life.

<>< Katie

1 comment:

Brit said...

God speaks German?

and in honor of your friend Kaitlyn's 16th birthday, I myself am getting a "fridge kid"

love you