This is Olphine. She’s eight years old. She lives in Haiti with her three sisters, a brother and mother. I have the pleasure of sponsoring her through Compassion. Each night before I go to sleep, I ask God to take care of this little girl, my friend and her family.Olphine can’t write in Creole yet, but her older sister, Milka writes the letters for her. Olphine draws me a sweet picture on the back of the letter. The translators at Compassion translate the letter into English for me. When I get a letter, I am so excited. I have read each of the letters at least ten times each. I was so excited to read that she got a solo at her church.
I send cards, letters, stickers, thin books, coloring pages and anything flat that I can find in an envelope to Compassion and they translate it and give it to Olphine. I hope to visit Olphine one day in the future. I don’t look forward to seeing the poor living conditions she may be living it, but I do look forward to hugging her and bringing her some things from the US.
I never though that sponsoring a child would make a difference to me. It’s $32 a month and it’s definately made in a difference in my life. No, I am not thinking about the $32 and how much coffee I would buy at Starbucks. I think I have more of an awareness about the world. Haiti is a hard place for a child to grow up. Many Haitians are struggling to eat and are making food out of flour, water, sugar and dirt. When I saw the video of Haitian woman making a flatbread “mud cookie” and using dirt as an ingredient, I winced. I know that the Martissant Child Development Center is making sure that Olphine is fed and looked after. Of course it is wonderful that Compassion teaches the children about Jesus, but it would be hard to learn about Jesus if they were hungry.
When I tell people about Olphine, they think I sponsor her through the Feed the Children Program, you know the commercials that Sally Struthers is in. I don’t know much about that program, except that the television show, South Park does a lot of spoofs on Sally which are mildly entertaining. I found out about Compassion online when some bloggers made a trip to Uganda to meet the children they sponsor.
Yet, Compassion is unique in many ways. When you sign up for the program, you choose the child you want to sponsor. They have many children on their website to choose from. You can choose the sex, age, country and even the birthday of the child you would like to sponsor. Olphine’s picture appeared on my computer and I stared at her red socks. Then I saw her name and noticed that the first four letters of her name were the same as the acronym for my church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. And I felt that was a good enough reason to sponsor her.
Olphine’s picture sits on my desk and I smile every time I glance at it. I’ve never gotten that much joy from a Starbucks coffee – not even one with caramel and whipped cream in it.