This is the time of year for the infamous Christmas letter. Now, before you get the wrong idea, I should let you know that I do generally enjoy these letters. It is useful for family and friends to write these, especially for those of us that do not live close. The problem is not that people take time to write them, it is that some of them are so long and rather impersonal. I am surprised at times by the letters we receive because some of the people that send them we never talk to. So, while they are sharing about the things their kids are up to, we are wondering if we have even met them.
While so many send their letters detailing all sorts of important events, one letter we received this year stood out because it was a simple, personal and handwritten letter. This letter came from Beatriz, a 13 year old girl from Brazil we sponsor through Compassion International. She lives with her mom who tries her best to provide for her daughter by working as a manicurist. Things are not easy for them, however, and the help they receive from our sponsorship provides money for school and other basic needs. For years, we have posted her picture on the refrigerator, sent letters and prayed for her as she has grown up. We have watched her learn and have enjoyed hearing about all that she is doing through letters she occasionally sends. The letters are sometimes hard to figure out because they are translated and things don’t always translate perfectly to English, but they are always a joy to receive.
The recent letter she sent was very short, but yet very powerful. It struck me because of the real love she was expressing for us, even though we have never met. She said, “Beloved sponsors, I pray for you everyday.” Then later on in the letter she said, “May you have a Merry Christmas. I am praying for you. A hug from your sponsored child, Beatriz.” To think that this little girl, living in poverty, would think to pray for our family is truly awesome. Thank you God for such a blessing!
I sometimes wonder if I will ever meet this girl. What would it be like to look at her and know that while we provided some physical help for her, she had provided so much for us in approaching God on our behalf. It is likely that as I would look at her, I would realize that even though we are different people in different places, we are connected by a united faith in Christ. While we celebrate this season of Christmas, when God came to rescue man from sin, let’s remember those that are in poor places of the world. True, they might not have the material packages under their tree, but they do have something far better in the person of Jesus Christ.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” – Matthew 25:40