I have been meaning to tell you about Venti for a while now but it just hasn't happened. Tonight I have no choice. Tonight my heart is broken for my sweet, beautiful Venti who has almost nothing and yet has lost more than I can imagine.
I got a letter from Venti today. It was dated July 29, 2009. It's not unusual for our letters to take a few months to reach each other. That's one of the many hard things about loving, praying for, and believing in a child who lives a world away. But still we keep at it, wishing each other Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, or Happy Easter even when we know those special occasions will be three or four months in the past before our blessings reach the other's heart. Tonight, though, I would give almost anything to take back the four months that have passed since Venti wrote these words:
Dear Sister Courtney,
Thank you for the letter and picture. I keep the picture. I like the picture very much. I feel sad at the moment because my dearest mom has passed away. The picture from Sister has become my courage. Please pray for me, Sister, that God will give me strength. I believe she is now with Jesus and I will meet her someday. I can feel how Sister was feeling when you were left by your friend a few months ago. I will continue praying for Sister. Let us pray for each other that God will keep on encouraging us, Sister. I hope everything goes well with you. Please send my warm regards for your friends and family.
I will always miss you, Sister.
VentiNow more than ever, I long to wrap this little girl in my arms and tell her I love. To cry with her, pray with her, whisper hope and blessings in her ear. Instead, it will be three more months before she will even read the words "I am so sorry. I love you. Please don't lose hope."
I have to be honest. After reading Venti's letter three times to be sure something hadn't been lost in the translation, my first thought was this: "God, how could you? Hasn't she suffered enough?" Yes, she has.
But the truth is that Venti is only one in a million. Make that many millions. Millions who have been born into nothing and still end up losing everything.
Venti, though she has already suffered much, is one of the few children who have hope. Venti, through the incredible work of Compassion International, is being released from poverty in the name of Jesus. And Venti has already been set free from the penalty of sin by Jesus himself.
Yes, Venti has suffered. Yes, Venti has lost too much. Yes, Venti has an uphill battle in front of her. But Venti belongs to a Father who will never leave her. And that means Venti has hope.
Please join me in praying for this little girl who has lost her mom. Pray for her dad who has lost his wife. Pray for the Compassion staff that they would know how to minister to Venti and give her hope. Pray that my letter would reach her quickly. Pray that she would not lose heart. Pray that God would wrap her in His arms of comfort and protection. Please just pray.
And if you feel compelled to give a child hope, please visit the Compassion International website and sponsor a child. I don't know if it will change your life. But it absolutely will change the future for a child who is currently lost among the millions.