by Kayla Raymond
For a month now I have had a pile of gifts laying in the corner of the hallway. Gifts I brought from the States to give sponsored children from their sponsors. I passed that pile every morning thinking today will be the day that I deliver those gifts. Well, days turned into weeks and school started and I finally made the deliveries yesterday afternoon.
First was Alex. Alex is a troublemaker and rarely ever clean, but he has a goofy smile and such a warm heart. What I loved about giving Alex his gift is that he immediately told his pal, Kendzy, he will share his 6-pack of new toothbrushes with him. When I passed by an hour later, he was showing off his shiny new hot-wheel cars and sharing them with his two friends. It was fun to see how much fun they were having.
Next was little Katianna. While I was home in the US, I spent an evening with Katianna’s sponsor, a 5-year-old named Ella. Ella and I spent over twenty minutes searching through her stuffed animals trying to pick out just the right one for Katianna. She decided on an orange care bear and it was such a blessing giving Katianna her gift. Katianna says “thank-you very much Ella!”
By the time I got to the last delivery I was sweaty and in need of a cold glass of water. All I was really thinking as I walked to her house was how I wanted to just be home. Webert led me down a muddy path, through the garden of Simonette and into the yard of a house made of sticks. To the house of Wilineda. Wilineda, age 5, has lost both of her parents and is now being raised by her grandmother. Both her and her grandmother’s face lit up and they came around the corner to greet me.
I don’t know how to explain their excitement. It was like I had just told them they had won the lottery or given them the greatest present money can buy. Instead I told them how my own grandma was her sponsor and she prays for her everyday. I told Wilineda how my grandma always spoils me and now she wanted to spoil you. She was in awe of her new bright dresses and couldn’t wait to try on her new sandals.
As I walked away from her house I had that guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach. One for waiting so long to bring the presents and second for not being excited to deliver presents. As I walked away I had that feeling of “I’m so blessed” also. My job is to deliver presents from people in the United States who love the children of Haiti. I get to see faces light up and eyes sparkle with hope as they open their new found treasures. I get to tell children that someone is praying for them and someone loves them. That’s an amazing thing, if I don’t say so myself.
I could see it in grandma’s eyes that her grandchild’s present was a blessing to both of them. I’m sure grandma can’t spoil Wilineda like my grandma always could to me. I’m sure Wilineda’s grandma struggles to get by, but Wilineda’s new sparkly bracelets, shiny crown and colorful new clothes can remind grandma of the hope to come.
Want to be a blessing to a child like the ones in this blog? At $35 a month you can educate a child in Haiti and as far as gifts, it doesn’t take much to make a child smile here: a new toothbrush, an old stuffed animal or a crown from the dollar store. Start sponsoring a child through Touch of Hope today, visit the Touch of Hope link to get started.
There is so much joy in sharing simple gifts. I love that feeling of being able to bless those who don’t have what we take for granted. Thanks for your service and sharing your experiences and for sharing your honest feelings..
Kayla, thanks for bringing smiles and joy to these kids. Talked to your parents after church this morning and they told me about this site. Something to encourage you, 2 Corinthians 3:4-11 talks about competence. As Paul talks here 2 things he nor us can live with out: the call from Christ to serve and His empowerment through the Holy Spirit. Without that, we can do nothing.
Just … thanks. Really. Kayla, I love you. Thank you for what you’re doing.