This story takes place in September 2017 and the country is Ghana. My journey started with a group of World Vision Ambassadors from Canada. We were 15 strong with some supervisors and other NGOs. This is the story of Ancilla.
As a group of us entered an open field that had been set up with tables and chairs for the beautiful young guests that needed to be sponsored, they were there waiting and willing to join us. As we became more organized, my table had three boys and one girl. The little girl’s name was Ancilla and she was by far the smallest of the group. Not being an expert on age, I would say the boys and Ancilla were five years old. We all sat around the table and we were supplied with paper and pencils. I suggested drawing a picture of our houses. After this was done, I added how about mothers and dads and pets and siblings. As the children tried to do their best, which was becoming more like stick people, I felt that the drawing had come to an end.
As I turned around to some of the other tables, the children had left them and were playing ball. I felt that this was an excellent opportunity for my team to participate. With no persuasion required, we went started playing ball. I made sure that we were playing underhand, so all of us could catch the ball. After about three or four attempts, everything was going along well. It was then Ancilla tried an overhand and of course the young boy that was supposed to catch it missed it entirely. It was at this moment that I fell in love with her; she was so small and fragile and yet she was still so independent. After we finished the event, I went over to Rebecca, one of the supervisors for our World Vision group, and asked if I could sponsor Ancilla. She said yes!
Today, Ancilla is over seven years old and doing well both in school and in health. It was not that long ago I received a picture of my beautiful sponsored child. Wow, what a difference. I am not exaggerating she must have grown at least 4 or 5 inches and looks so healthy. I couldn’t help but feel that my involvement with World Vision by sponsoring her had helped her along a new path full of growth, health, and a bright future. It is always a privilege when I get to meet a sponsored child in person, as it brings into perspective the difference these programs make.
I am proud to say that I have over a dozen sponsored children that have all been a source of inspiration. Some of them have grown up, others have moved away from their hometown and some of the NGOs have completed their tour. Nevertheless, it has been these wonderful moments seeing my sponsored children grow up to be healthy with a future that is so rewarding to me.
Previous Trip to Africa
Going to Africa in 2017 was not my first time on the continent. I had previously made the trip decades before and was the reason I always wanted to make the trip back. A return for charity work made it all the more special.
My original trip was fueled by boyhood dreams of backpacking across Africa over 2 months that crossed oceans of sand and snowy mountaintops.
There is a quote I heard previous to my trip that I now know holds truth after my journey. It goes as follows:
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