Friday, September 10, 2010

Joy

Joy is stuffing toys, clothes and school supplies in a backpack for a four-year-old girl. Joy is filling a gift bag with household items, toiletries, a Spanish Bible, an Esther book, and a Texas A&M ball cap for her parents. Joy is going to visit my new Compassion sponsor child today.



Joy is being so nervous to meet little Stefanie, but being greeted with big hugs and smiles at the door.



Joy is finding a baby doll at Target that speaks Spanish.



Joy is seeing a little girl so eager to share her new things with her baby sister. Joy is being told that Stefanie is a girly girl who dreams of growing up and wearing beautiful dresses. Joy is telling her that I love beautiful dresses too, and one day we can twirl in them together for Jesus.



Joy is Stefanie's mother asking me to pray for her as she prepares to enter school next year. Joy is telling her that I've been praying the same thing for my son.



Joy is a having
abuelitas who care so much.





Joy is meeting Stefanie's big brother who is dressed up like a cowboy. Joy is telling him that I live in a place known for cowboys and teaching him to say "Howdy, partner!" Joy is showing the kids a picture of an armadillo.



Joy is Stefanie's mother telling me that in our family photo, my son looks just like my husband. Joy is spending the whole day with a little girl who will grow dearer and dearer to me through the years. Joy is seeing that she's a daddy's girl.



Joy is now having family in Guatemala.



Joy is eating Dum-Dums together in the bus. Joy is being given a Guatemalan headband and wearing it right away. Joy is Stefanie's father saying that we are two peas in a pod. Joy is him saying that I look happy.



Joy is Spanish coming back to me after a long time. Joy is feeling like I would take 7 more years of Spanish classes just to get another day like this.



Joy is visiting the student center where Stefanie and her brothers are nurtured by godly men and women.







Joy is drawing pictures of rainbows.



Joy is playing with balloons. Joy is missing my Jackson but having tons of little boys to play with.



Joy is meeting several college students in the
Leadership Development Program who have had the same sponsors since the age of six.



Joy fills my prayers for God to give Stefanie the grace to do well in school and enter the LDP program one day. The ultimate joy would be to continue sponsoring her and attend her college graduation.



Joy is the promise of writing letters. Joy is having to say goodbye to Stefanie, but knowing she will continue to be taken care of in Jesus' name.

75 comments:

debra said...

friend, reading this is pure joy! my face is wet with happy tears. my heart is with you.

Heather said...

When you told Stefanie that you and her would twirl in dresses together for Jesus one day I completely lost it. This post brought me much joy friend, what a sweet day for you and her family. Continuing to pray for you sweet friend!

3girlsmom said...

Joy is also reading this post and knowing that her sweet life will never be the same after meeting you. So thankful for Compassion and the work they are doing in all of their lives.

My oldest daughter asked for 1 thing for her birthday (which isn't till May) today - to go to Kenya to see our Compassion "son", Nevine. He's 16 and will graduate out of the program soon. My heart aches to see him face to face. So glad you got to meet your sweet girl!

Robyn

Kristen @ Moms Sharpening Moms said...

Your joy is beautiful and contagious. I'm moved again to write our compassion children another letter. If y'all keep going on like you are and inspiring me, our little ones will have a whole book of letters!

So thankful for this work you are doing! Much love from here in Colorado to you in Guatemala!

Big Mama said...

I love this so much. Pure joy. You can see it in every picture.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Love this joy. :-)

Dionna said...

She is precious. I am so happy for your joy-filled day. Maybe someday I'll get to meet my little girl in Haiti....

Alana said...

I can't stop crying. This si sjust so moving Amanda. What an experience

Beth said...

wow. how beautiful.
tears.
sweet, happy, gushingly thankful ones.
Our God.

Lindsey Nobles said...

Loved experiencing this joy with you today. Beautiful post!

Lindsee said...

What a joy this post is to read. And such joy radiating from both you and Stefanie. I'm so glad you got to meet her and have a sweet glimpse of what is yet to come!

Now hear me busting out in song...

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay! And I'm so happy, so very happy...I've got the love of Jesus in my heart!

(Of course, that's the modified version.)

Tabaitha Kaye said...

Sweet tears are flooding me. Joy was reading this post. Joy is knowing that their are people actively serving these families and this ministry and bringing glory to the name of the Lord. Praying for all of you.

The Johnsons said...

Joy is seeing someone you know live out your dream of meeting your own Compassion child. Happy tears for you and Stefanie and her family. I love that you got to do this, Amanda.

Wendy said...

LOVED reading about your day. JOY was written all over Stefanie's face. She is so precious! Thanks for sharing!

Tara G. said...

Tears....my 7 yr old got a map out to show my 4 yr old exactly where our Padmani lives and he promptly demanded to know when we'd go meet her. Love this program!!

Marc and Charity said...

Joy is reading this post and seeing how Jesus uses Compassion to change lives!

Ang Baylis said...

Joy was reading this first thing this morning...
Love,
Angie in Michigan
xoxo

mommyneedscoffee said...

That is total joy!! The pics are great and really reflect that.

Michelle

Angie said...

Amanda-
I dream of that day- the day I will meet my Nicaraguan girl- Maria. My heart loves her so much and I have never met her. Some day Lord some day!

Thank you for sharing your joy with us... (tears)

Your Siesta Sister
Angie
http://helpmeettosam.com

Tracey said...

She is a precious little jewel. Thank you for sharing your day!

Laurie said...

This just warms my heart this morning. I am so thankful for the work of Compassion!

Spence said...

Amanda... thats a great description on joy... and what a cute precious girl! i'm so glad you guys are having a great week!!!

Angela said...

Such a sweet post Amanda! I have a piece of Joy in Ethiopia. Praying each day for you trip, God Bless it!

jonesbones5.com said...

Beautiful post. Tears in my eyes. "One day we can twirl in them together for Jesus." Absolutely rocked me. I am so glad you were able to have this day in your life. What a blessing.

Rhonda said...

Great pictures! Even greater words:)

thegypsymama said...

Oh girl, the joy just RADIATED off both of you all day! What a beautiful blessing it was to be a fly on the wall and watch it all go down!

~Lisa-Jo

Beau, Melissa, and Brynne said...

Sister - what an experience! I'm so excited the Lord is doing this through you!

Kiki said...

As I blink back tears, my heart is full of joy!

I'm praying for you, friend.

Mary R Snyder said...

Joy is seeing the faces of the people Compassion touches and hearing the stories from servants willing to go.

Heather said...

This post brought me such JOY! Thank you so much for sharing it! So glad you were able to go on this trip! What a blessing!

Whittaker Woman said...

Can i just copy everyone else?!? Joy is reading this and joy is partnering with an organization like Compassion. So happy for your day with your sweet girl. H

Jill Foley said...

Beautifully written, Amanda!

Just Call Me Grammy said...

One of the most beautiful things I have ever read.

Angie Smith said...

I'm in love with your sweet Stefanie, and continuing to pray for you all as the Lord uses you. I hope you are blessed in return :)

and if the cowboy kid needs a sponsor, I want first dibs.

:)
Angie

Sarah White said...

This is why I love Compassion. Can't wait to meet my sponsored children one day - so thankful for what Compassion does. Thanks for sharing.

Love from Sarah Beth in Mississippi

theconfidentmom said...

Just lovely - you are gifted in more ways than one and we are all blessed!

Stephanie said...

Precious in a many ways! Beautifully written, but even more beautifully orchestrated by our gracious God and the faithful servants at Compassion. Makes me totally want to go to Ecuador and visit our little guy! And then sponsor a little girl too! From one Stephanie to another, what a sweet daughter of the King she is!!

Becky said...

This is beautiful, and it made me cry. Joy!!

Kelsey said...

I loved this post. I'm getting choked up reading how much of a blessing that these little children have on our lives. I'm very happy that you got to meet your Compassion child. God is good! I pray that you and the rest of the group have a safe time.

Kelsey said...

I'm getting choked up reading this post. I can just imagine the joy you have to meet your Compassion child. (Doesn't everyone want to twirl in dresses? I certainly do!) I hope you and the rest of the group have a safe time. God is so good!

Nesha said...

Tears of joy clouded by eyes as I read and took severals times to read each statement. Thank you for sharing your joy and Stefanie's joy with us. Love the comment that you two will twirl in dresses together for Jesus..oh man. Love the grandmother's pose in the picture of just pure thanksgiving- for all.

Marla Taviano said...

Joyful tears. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I will come back and look at these pictures again and again.

HisFireFly said...

Twirling for Jesus.. and He is twirling with joy and pride at how you and others are bringing His kingdom to earth!

Juli Jarvis said...

I just attended the graduation of the girl I've sponsored in Thailand since she was 8 -- it WAS thrilling to finally meet her!

Spicy Magnolia said...

Even though I wasn't there, I share in your joy, Amanda! I can't quite describe how the Lord has used your all's Guatemala trip in my life, but He has. It's been an honor to be a part of it in prayer and encouragement...and so yes, I share in your joy!

Sister Lynn said...

Stefanie is the most darling thing. The pic of her praying was the one that did me in.

So so happy for you, for her... for both your families.

Teri~Facedown said...

Joy is reading this and seeing God's character woven into every word! Truly beautiful Amanda!

Kelli said...

This makes my heart so happy.

Bursting with a JOY that only Jesus can give for the JOY Jesus gave you and that precious family by connecting you for earthly and eternal life!

Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Wow! Reading all the posts from you and Ann and gypsymamam have been such a joy! And so moving...makes me think I need to get my rear in gear here!

Thank you so much for sharing! I wish you were coming to the Relevant blogging conference with us!!! I expect to hear these stories there! I can't wait!!! It's always good for perspective taking! Thank you!

Much Love,
Courtney

Corrie's Blog said...

Hey Amanda! Thanks for sharing! Ive been planning my wedding and its been so stressful. I was just praying to God for help when i read this and He brought me fresh perspective and reminded me of what really matters. I cried when i saw the pic of her gma. I will share in your joy!! :)

pathfromtheheadtotheheart said...

I have been reduced to a puddle and I have no words. Simply speechless.

Spicy Magnolia said...

Just noticed how you linked to individual children at the end!!! Wow!!

Emmy said...

Oh what a JOY to read this post!!!! : )

Susy said...

That's beautiful! I will consider it!

ernestparker said...

Joy is seeing people like you guys being Christ to those you meet. Joy is remembering there is so much more than just our own little world. Joy is being challenged to be more and do more. Joy is the thoughts of the young man we sponsor running through my head right now. Thank you guys for your stories and for being a voice to those who need it!

Melody said...

thanks so much for sharing your 'joy'. It definitely comes across in this post. What an awesome God we serve :)

Denice said...

Wow! Awesome post! It would be such joy to meet our boy from Columbia. Glad you got the chance to meet Stefanie. She is absolutely beautiful!

The Reardon's said...

Amanda, I cannot contain my tears after reading this. You are such a godly example of a woman pursuing Jesus with her whole being. Thanks for letting us be a part of your journey. Love ya girl. xoxo

Cara Greninger said...

I can't stop crying! Thanks for posting this. I miss Guatemala and the precious people there. I visited in 2000 and 2001 - would love to go back.

Kim said...

Thank you for sharing your 'joy' all the way to Hong Kong!
Love & Blessings,
Kim

Love Being a Nonny said...

Why do I feel like Stefanie will be yours? In Jesus name...thank you for this post. Joy unspeakable.

Kristen said...

Oh I love it! So much joy!

Courtney said...

Being the mother of a child from Guatemala.... I share your "joy", and THANK YOU ...........

twinkle said...

SHINE.
Lots of Glory here. God's Glory. For a little less than $10 a week, Stephanie SHINES hope. And she is beautiful. May the JOY of the LORD be her strength!
Praying for you as you come back home.

Jules said...

This post brought me such Joy! Thank you for sharing it!!

Dedra@dfw said...

Wow! your face was radiant in every picture. Did you ever stop smiling? you are beautiful from the inside out! Dedra @ DFW

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Wow! JOY is reading this post! My favorite of all the pictures is the one of you, Stefanie, and her mom praying....Stefanie with her little hands folded. Sooooo sweet!

Thanks so much for sharing your JOY with us today Amanda!

Marilyn...in Mississippi

Krista said...

Where are you, Amanda? I live in the land of armadillos and howdy, and I love finding neighbors!

Thanks for taking your eyes and heart to Guatemala, and sharing what you found there. I spent a few months in Guatemala City fifteen years ago, and the photos from your trip have brought back so many memories.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

oh, she is so beautiful!!

Lauren said...

God bless that abuelita. Praying grandmas are serious blessings.

Amy said...

Joy is finding this blog and hearing the beat of God's heart in what you share from this trip.

Your Stefanie is BEAUTIFUL!

Her aubelita has me in puddles.

Joy in your cup to overflowing as you carry the heartbeat of God back home with you.

cheryl said...

JOY personified! Thank you for allowing us to share in these tender moments...a blessing indeed.

Amy T said...

All I can think to say is "Wow!"

katiegfromtennessee said...

Wow Amanda, you have had a life-altering trip...I have been reading your posts. Meeting Stephanie, and seeing the garbage that those people lived in, I wouldn't want to go back to life as usual (at least my mindset) if I had been there, although the pictures were hard to look at as was your description of the little girl with the filthy doll. It's sad, and now, I'm tearing up! He does love them though, you are right, and He is using Compassion mightily.

Blessings to you Amanda,

katiegfromtennessee

BK said...

Thank you for sharing your experience in Guatemala. It's so beautiful to see the smiles you all brought to the faces of those children.Thank kind of love comes from seeing Jesus in all of you.