Being Found

I was 20 when I became Katherinne’s sponsor. I was an idealist college student with a little spending money from my grandparents, a part-time job in the bowling alley, and really no sense of budgeting. But I had experienced poverty in Brazil and Chile, and I loved Compassion International. So when I got a note in the mail asking me if I would take on another child sponsorship, a little girl in Colombia, I said yes. Of course! I had money from Memaw!

I’ve never regretted it.

It was 1999 then and she was six years old. And I was just Micha Boyett. We wrote letters through plenty in our lives. Every year a new picture and every year she was taller, standing proud with shiny shoes pressed together, hands clasping in front of her pants that just grazed her ankles. She liked helping her mom wash the dishes and coloring. I told her I was getting married. (I sent a picture.) She asked me to pray for her mother. I asked her to pray for my grandfather.

I prayed that she would know how much Jesus loved her. She prayed that God would bless me. What was my favorite color? she wondered.  Do you like any sports? I asked.

I like to read, I told her. She liked math.

You can grow up and do something wonderful, I said. You could be a teacher or a scientist! You could be a mother!

When you sponsor a child, the years run together. The picture on the fridge changes. The little girl’s legs get longer. You wonder how long it’s been since you last wrote a letter and you add it to your to-do list. You send pictures when you think of it.

And then, she’s a woman. Right there, posing with her right knee just a little bent, her form-fitting t-shirt revealing the truth: you’ve got a teenager on your hands.

I should have written more. I wish I had. I love teenagers. I wish I’d told her what I tell the 15-year-old girls I’ve spent the past ten years working with. I should have written about her value, her beauty of spirit. I wish I’d reminded her that God has great plans for her life, that education is miraculous, that books are a secret that unlock mysteries. I wish I had told her that she was, will always be, deeply loved by her Creator.

Two years ago I got a letter. Katherinne left the program, Compassion International informed me. She had left early. That was all the information they had for me. No final picture, no letter of goodbyes. Because they had no control of her departure there was nothing they could share with me. Why had she left? Where was she going? I had no answers.

Of course, I feared the worst. Drug lords. Prostitution. Pregnancy. A life of destructive poverty.

But there was no way to know. She was gone.

And then this week: a friend request. Her name. A facebook page covered in Spanish, except for the place where she had posted my scanned-in picture, my face beside baby August, and the caption: “!!!!Friends!!!!”

She had found me.

And there was her face. I’d know it anywhere. And beside it her information: a student at the university, pictures of her on a trip to somewhere, laughing with friends on a bus. That beautiful, long black hair, that quiet spirit I can sense through the wires.

I wrote on her wall in English (Spanish is not my gift). She wrote back to me: “…I decided to look for you until I found you.”

Until I found you. Such words.

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50 Comments

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50 responses to “Being Found

  1. Linda Carleton

    Beautiful!

  2. Geez. My allergies are suddenly acting up.

    Thank you for this post and for being a friend to Katherinne.

  3. Oh, Micha. Gosh. Tears. So profound … words, hearts, connection. Love. I’m so glad you wrote this. May we all keep looking and keep being found.

  4. Lauren

    wow. i’m sniffling here at work. thank you so much for sharing!!

  5. Wow. Your prayers have been answered. God is indeed more faithful than we can imagine.

  6. lovely, just lovely. thanks for sharing.

  7. wow – so beautiful … thank you for sharing … off to write to Nancy in Kenya

  8. Thank you for the reminder. Off to write my two children in the Dominican Republic.

  9. This was wonderful and such an encouragement! We are going to sit down right now and write to our little boy. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. Micha! Way to make me cry at work!

  11. Jen Guarino

    Wow…Wow…Wow. God is good. Bless you for your sponsorship!

  12. crying. at work. thanks a lot. beautiful story though.

  13. This is absolutely beautiful… what an incredible story! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Pam

    Micha~ This is beautiful! I think we’ve all felt the regret of not writing more, doing more for our sponsored child. Thanks for sharing your experience! Need to write Juana this weekend. Y’all need to try out the new templates at compassion.com. They are sweet . . . and you can upload pictures too! Makes sending letters more frequently a lot more fun!

  15. So awesome! Lost. Found. What a testimony of God’s love and grace.

  16. What a beautiful story. Isn’t that what it comes down to, being found….. This was pure grace. Thank you for this! Blessings!

  17. Lori

    What a wonderful impact you both made on each other’s lives.

    We recently started to sponsor a 6 year old girl from the Philippines. It is a joy to get to know her.

  18. Wow…tears here. Thank you for sharing…

  19. Oh my heavens. I saw your post linked on Shaun’s blog & had to come read the rest. LOVE this story! Gotta go sign up to sponsor a “Katherine” of my own!

  20. Absolutely crying reading this. So beautiful. I’m glad she found you.

  21. Pingback: weekends are for the long, loving looking » A Holy Experience

  22. That is such a moving story! Thank you for sharing it!

  23. Sarah

    The story continues…..

  24. Thank you for sharing! wow. God is faithful!

    grace~
    Teena

  25. Oooh, this post gave me chills! The same type of thing happened to me when our family’s English student from our trip to Mongolia suddenly friend requested me.
    I couldn’t stop smiling for days.

    And the I realized that I was the 2nd person he had friended.
    Wow!
    had I thought about him recently? When WAS the last time I had thought about him? We loved him–that was certain–but wow, to be the second person to be requested must mean we matter to him!

  26. Thank God for Facebook! 😉

  27. Thank you for this beautiful story. SO inspirational!!

  28. Joan

    I’ve sponsored a girl in Ecuador for over 10 years now, and just never made time to write. You’ve given me appropriate conviction and inspiration – thank you and God bless you and Katherinne!
    By His grace/Joan

  29. Tom

    I found your blog after following many links….And there it was, a reminder to me of the inscrutable grace of God, who searched until He found me hiding in the Garden, shamed by my sin, and in need. Thanks for taking the time to share your story.

  30. oh, Micha………………(those dots mean i’m speechless)

  31. Amy

    …it really is possible to make a difference for one child. Thanks for sharing this.

  32. I need a button to click. A really big “I LOVE THIS” button.

    Thank you for telling this story. It’s just the best kind of story. We all need reminding that we’re connected and found and sometimes in the most surprising full-of-grace ways.

  33. In tears over here. What an amazing story.

  34. Cheryl

    I just adopted a Compassion child in July. I at first wanted a cute little(5 or 6yr old) girl, but I was determined to only adopt one with a heart (that means the child has been waiting more than 6 months for a sponsor). I wanted one from Thailand as my daughter was going there on a 3 month mission trip in the fall. God had other ideas. When I finally sat down to pick out my child, there were no little girls or big girls that had hearts. There were no little boys either. Only ONE boy had a heart. He is 15 yrs.old. He has written me twice in the first two months before I even sent him one letter! I have been amazed at the way God has put him on my heart to constantly pray for him. Someday I hope to meet him. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

  35. Erika

    Beautiful, amazing blessing to each other. Glad she found you. Glad God placed you for her.

  36. Lovely story of coming full circle, seeing the faithfulness of God Found you through Ann’s post yesterday.

  37. Oh my, this is stunning. Your heart, your words, this story- all stunning.

    Thank you for writing, I’m so glad I read.

  38. I love this story! A year ago I gave up lattes to support a little boy in Uganda named Steven. It has literally changed my life.
    http://godlysinglemom.blogspot.com/2010/10/morning-crack.html

    I am so thankful for Shaun Groves & Compassion International!

  39. I’ve officially lost track of how many times one of your posts has made me tear up now. LOVE this on so many many levels. Wow.

  40. journaldude

    Wow thanks Shaun!! That really touches me because I have a young lady about to graduate from the program at the end of the year. Thank God I got to meet her this past May. It is a love straight from the heart of God. He has entrusted us to care about and love and support our Compassion kids. Hopeful I too can correspond once Jeniffer is out of the program. Thanks again for sharing this awesome post!

  41. Facebook can be a beautiful thing.

  42. Amy

    Wow, your story grabbed my soul and reminded me how one person truly has the ability to change a life. Such beauty and depth to the words “until I found you”!

  43. Joy

    This is fantastic! Until I found you…and I’m glad I found your blog 🙂

  44. Amy

    One of our former sponsored girls recently found me on fb and I have found myself conflicted about it. I wish I could say I had as pure a response as you do. i really needed to read this. Thank you so much.

  45. elissa97211

    I just read this. Tears in my eyes. Oh, the far-reaching impact of Micha Boyett Hohorst.

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