Monday, April 7, 2008

Building Bridges

When Belkis tripped and fell while she was playing, it should have been a case of getting up, brushing off the dirt and going on with the fun. But when she began to scream in agony, onlookers knew something was very wrong.

That was four years ago, when she was only four years old. A trip to the hospital revealed that she had broken her leg…but it also revealed the reason why. A benign cyst had weakened the bone so it snapped under pressure.

I met this brave little girl as she lay in the hospital awaiting surgery. Then, we didn’t know what the outlook was for her recovery. But when I visited Colombia a few weeks ago, I met a smiling young lady who now runs and plays like any other child.

It was gratitude for the help her daughter received from Children International and her sponsor in this crisis that inspired her mother, Ada María, to become a CI volunteer. Life isn’t easy for this single mom, who was abandoned by her husband shortly after Belkis had her surgery. In fact, her makeshift wooden home collapsed last winter, and they’ve been living in a single room while they wait to rebuild it.

Belkis is not finished with her ordeal. She’s already had surgery for another bone cyst, and she’s scheduled for yet another. Her condition is genetic.

But Ada María is not complaining. She is excited about the sponsorship program and about Belkis’ future. Because of all the help she received in the hospital, Belkis dreams of going to college and becoming a doctor…and Ada María dreams that her daughter will get her wish.

“Education is the bridge between our current reality and my daughter’s future,” asserts Ada María.

And here at Children International, with the help of our family of sponsors – we’re in the business of building bridges.

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