Monday, August 17, 2009
Every year when I return from Guatemala, I say that "this year was my favorite." This year was no different. I can say without a doubt that this year was the most special. Mark and I are now Padrinos (Godparents). I met Gabbi when she was 17 in 2005. She was tender-hearted, shy, and absolutely beautiful. She became pregnant that year and had a son in 2006 named Alan. She was at camp with Alan that next summer and was in my sister in law's group. I didn't go to Guatemala in 2007, due to Ryann, but thought of her often during the week Mark was there.In 2008, I was so happy to see her. She and her son were in my group and she was pregnant with her second child, a girl, due on my birthday. She called the father of this baby her husband and they seemed to be doing really well, attending the adult Bible study during the evenings of camp. They were a family, and it made my heart happy that this baby, Gabbi,and Alan were going to be taken care of. Gabbi had her baby Girl, Sharon, in October. Her "husband" left her 2 months later, for a 17 year old girl in the village. Gabbi and kids had to move in with her parents. Mark went and saw Gabbi, and reported to me how she looked like a different girl...tired, tiny, and broken. When I got to Guatemala, I found her and gave her a lot of Ryann's clothes. She immediately took off Sharon's dirty onesie and dressed her in Ryann's frilly red Christmas dress...in the middle of July...love it. Gabbi smiled, which was so nice to see. I had the opportunity to talk with her at length that evening with a translator and told her how sorry I was, etc. I was crying, she was crying, the translator was crying. The next night, Gabbi, her mother, and the same translator came over to me and told me they wanted to talk. They told me they would like me and Mark to be Sharon's godparents. The wise translator told me I probably would need to talk with Julio, the pastor, just to make sure we all understood what that title meant culturally. I grabbed Mark, and we all went to talk to Julio. Julio explained to them that being from the States wouldn't allow us to do some of the things godparents would do in Guatemala, etc. He then asked Gabbi what her expectations were for us as godparents. She answered, "I don't have any specific expectations, I just want them to love my child, and to think she is special" Of course, our answer was YES! We then told her that we already love both of her children and that we pray for them everday...lots of tears and hugs were exchanged. If you think about it, please lift up the Augustine family in prayer. Gabbi is a believer, please pray that she sees herself as a daughter of Christ, and that she would find her total self-worth and significance in HIM alone.