Last year, I sent a huge birthday gift to Anabell, my sponsored child in Honduras. She was celebrating her quinceanera. For those who don't know, a quinceanera (I hope I spelled it right) is the girl's fifteenth birthday in most Central and South America countries. It is a passing from childhood into adulthood. It's kind of like the 16th birthday in America, but on a much bigger scale.
I wanted to provide Anabell a birthday celebration. It was the only thing I could pray for, think of, and prepare for. For an entire year, I set aside a certain amount of money every time I got paid. At the end of the year, I was able to send the gift to her. So determined was I that she celebrate her birthday in the tradition of her culture that I specified the gift be used for her quinceanera. Compassion told me they would do their best to ensure the gift be used for it, but they couldn't promise me.
Once I sent the gift, I finally yielded it to the Lord. Even though I wanted Anabell to receive a birthday party, I contented myself with the fact that it might be used for something else.
A few months ago, I received a letter from Anabell. It also included a picture. I was thrilled when I saw the picture. It is the first one I have of her smile! I am still pretty excited about it. However, whenever I look at her picture, I laugh. Or, on an extremely bad day, I will at least smile. Why? It is what she wrote and what the picture told me.
I wish I had a scanner, for I would post the picture. Maybe one day, I will. For now, I will describe it to the best of my ability.
Her letter stated, "Thank you for the gift you sent me. I bought 3 pants, 4 shirts, 3 shoes, ETC." How like a teenage girl to list clothes!
Then I studied the picture and had to reread the letter again. Anabell had a bright pink shirt on and dark pants with black shoes (loafers or dress shoes, I can't tell). She is smiling softly while holding the rest of her clothes. Anabell is standing in front of huge dirt pile. My precious teenage girl is standing beside a brand new, white toilet. The toilet still has the white plastic over its lid. Beside the toilet is a cardboard box filled with a white trashcan and white toilet bowl brush and holder. Maybe she, her mother, and twin sister likes to color coordinate?
Have I mentioned that I would love to meet this girl? Her letters always make me laugh, and this is no different. In fact, everytime I hear ETC, I laugh and think about a toilet.