By Nancy Hibma, ReachGlobal and GlobalFingerprints Staff in Congo
My husband Jerry and I are ReachGlobal/GlobalFingerprints staff that work with the Elikya (Hope) Center that provides training for older orphans and widows outside the city of Gemena, in The Democratic Republic of the Congo.
One of the great joys we have when we travel to Congo from our home in Minneapolis is the opportunity to meet with some of the GlobalFingerprints kids we have the joy of sponsoring. On our most recent trip in March of this year we had the joy of meeting for the first time a young woman Christine B., who is now 19 years old. We have been sponsoring her for 11 years and she has been attending The Elikya Center for this 2018-2019 school term.
When we arrived at the airport in Gemena, we were met by our Congolese translator, Bebe. She told us that over the last few days Christine had been telling everyone, “My parents are coming! My parents are coming!” Christine asked Bebe to fix her hair extra special and if she could help her make a sign in English to greet us with when we arrived. It was a short drive from the airport in Gemena to The Elikya Center property.
When we drove up the driveway to the Center property, along with all the others there to greet us there were three students; one had a bowl of eggs for us, another had flowers and next to those two was our beloved Christine. In her hands she held her hand-made sign, “Welcome Dear Beloved Parents.”
As you could imagine, tears started streaming down both of our faces. To have this amazing opportunity of meeting Christine for the first time after sponsoring her for 11 years overwhelmed us with joy and humbleness! We had many other opportunities over the next two weeks we were there to talk with, pray with and just have the blessing of showing our love for this precious daughter. Christine shared with us the many challenges she has being an orphan, but the great joy she feels knowing her American parents love and treasure her.
As we had the opportunity and blessing to talk with many other GlobalFingerprints’ sponsored students while we were at Elikya, every one of them said to us please thank my sponsor! They are so aware of the privilege they have in being a sponsored child and are filled with much gratitude for the difference being sponsored has meant for them.
From being able to go to school, have medical care, nutritional assistance and most of all hearing about the special love that Christ has for them as an orphan they are so thankful. They also told us many times how much receiving a letter from their sponsor means to them.
Most of you will never have the blessing of meeting your sponsored child in the country your child lives, but please know that they look at you as their beloved American parents. They know their lives are being forever changed with the fingerprint of Christ by your faithful sponsorship of them.