jose daniel. that’s the name of our new compassion sponsor child in guatemala. when we decided max and i would add a couple days on the front end of our trip to guatemala for the ys spanish youth workers convention to visit some compassion work, we thought it would be great to sponsor a guatemalan child. jeannie, liesl and max all have sponsor children through compassion already; so it was about time that i officially sponsored a child. compassion did some quick research for us, and found that, at the four sites we were visiting, there was only one boy available for sponsorship (because all the other sponsor packets were out at other events). so it was god or fate or luck or something that brought us to jose daniel.
on our 2nd day visiting compassion work, we got to the program where jose daniel is involved. a few hundred kids were lined up, singing some songs. but i was able to spot him quickly, because he has such a distinctly shy and gentle little face. the interpreter explained that i was his new sponsor, he hesitated for a second, then gave me a big unexpected hug around the legs.
later that day, we got to visit jose daniel’s home and meet his family. max and i brought gifts — we’d read he liked to play with toy cars, and to play soccer. so among our other, more practical gifts, we brought a bunch of toy cars and a nice regulation soccer ball. as jose daniel carefully opened the plastic packaging on the set of hot wheels (saving every piece), his mom showed us the toy car he’d had — a completely worn-down blue plastic baby toy. she also shared with us, through the interpreter, that jose daniel and his father loved to play soccer together, but that the ball they use was a little toy ball, and it was worn out. one of my favorite moments of our visit was when the mom, thinking no one could see her (no one could except me, from where i was sitting) held the soccer ball up in front of her face, turned to her husband, grinned the biggest grin i have ever seen and pointed to the ball.
it was really a special visit, and i’m so glad i had max with me. it’s a special treat to get to meet a sponsor child, and this was so unique and wonderful to meet jose daniel on the very front-end of our sponsorship. now our letters and prayers will have so much more context.
here’s max and jose daniel
and here’s me with jose daniel’s father