A few days before our trip began, we were informed that it wasn't going to work out to visit the second project on our itinerary, so we would return to our first project (Heidy's project HO372) on the second day for church service. When our bus pulled up, I began to search for my Heidy, and it didn't take long to find her holding a sign with my name (misspelled, but who cares?). I got to spend the day dancing and playing with this beautiful young lady. She was quiet and wasn't overly excited about participating, but laughed when I took her hands and did some of the motions along with the group.
Our wonderful tour leaders arranged for the sponsors who had children at this center (there were 3 of us) to visit their child's home. It was an amazing experience to be able to visit Heidy's home and meet her mother. The next day we returned to the project for a special church service. We were able to enjoy the service and also participate in Communion with the congregation. Heidy stood by me and sat on my lap all during service. Afterward we took a photo with the pastor, her mother, and her friend.
Heidy was shy and quiet, yet very loving. Her mother kept telling me how excited Heidy was that I was there. She was huggy and clingy; it was VERY hot, but I didn't mind :)
Then came Monday-FUN DAY! I was able to see Heidy for the 3rd day in a row. And on that day, I got to see more of the "real" Heidy. With the other girls around she was able to open up a bit more and play. I got to see her face light up with a beautiful, genuine smile.
At the end of the day, Heidy held on to her doll tightly and got very quiet. As we walked to the buses, I was walking with Laura (as she was always the first to claim my hand) and Heidy began to lag a bit behind. She got the attention of our translator because she wanted me to know that she loved me with all of her heart. This, coming from a girl who just learned she had a sponsor a week before I showed up; coming from a girl who still knew me so little after only a few hours each day; from a quiet, shy little girl...THIS touched my heart to the core. The words and smiles from this beautiful little girl remind me what sponsorship is all about. I was there for HER and yet, in so many ways, she was there for ME.
My precious little Heidy is beautiful gift from God.