Often when we think of our family, we think of mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. For some the list is long, for others it is a small group of close knit relatives. But what really makes up a family? Only blood relatives? Do close family friends count? Perhaps you include your church family?
However you determine who makes the cut, the characteristics are always the same: love.....commitment.....forgiveness.....sacrifice.....and an unwavering loyalty no matter the circumstance. What's great about family is that it is always changing and growing. Whenever you feel your family is complete, a new addition comes along and suddenly you can't imagine life without them. But can you imagine having a family member that you have never met?
This is often the case with child sponsorship. You support a child, and by doing so, invite them into your family. You sacrifice financially for them, you give of your time to pray for them, and you may even communicate with them through letters or gifts. However, none of this compares to meeting them, hugging them, or seeing their personality first hand. Below is a testimony from the Webb Family and their experience meeting Jannel:
We recently returned from the One Vision/Sevier Heights Family Mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This was the third time our family has gone on this trip, and we think this was the best trip so far. We were able to spend more time with the kids in the community this year, build on relationships we had made last year, serve together again, and meet the child we sponsor in the Dominican Republic (Jannel – age 11). We could quickly see that Jannel is a very tough young boy, but when Claudia (one of the One Vision full time missionaries in the DR) introduced us to him and explained who we were, Jannel gave us all big hugs and tears welled up in his eyes. It was obvious how much he truly appreciates the sponsorship through One Vision. He would come give us hugs each day when we got to the community and when we left. He also introduced us to his friends as his Godparents. We would encourage anyone considering sponsoring a child in the DR to give One Vision a call – we saw firsthand how much it means to the children in the DR.
It was great to be back in the DR again serving with the One Vision team and the rest of the team from Sevier Heights.
Thank you One Vision and Edgard, Claudia, Alex, Junior, Maria, Angel and Jorge (the One Vision team in the DR) for the great work you are doing in the DR and for taking such good care of us! Thank you also Carl for all you did in leading our team!
The Webbs (Gary, Tiffany, Alex and Grant)
The Webb's may have only raised two children but they have made a lasting impact on a third. When they chose to support Jannel, they not only became child sponsors, they became Godparents and their family grew just a little bit more.