Nov 16 2010

Regina’s gift to her sponsoring family

Last week we posted a story about Regina and her gift of a hearing aid from her sponsors. Here’s a response from her sponsors, Sarah Deien and her family.

Years ago, when our twin girls were in pre-school, a priest came to our parish in Hannibal, Mo. He spoke of the CFCA program, and the dire need of children and elderly around the world.

Our girls looked up at us and asked, ìCan we adopt a sister, PLEASE?!!î We found it hard to say no. Actually, it was God saying yes to a blessing in our lives.

They sifted through the folders and immediately agreed on Regina. They couldnít wait to write to their new big sister.

That started a relationship that has brought much joy to our home.

The Deien family

The Deien family

You see, my husband and I thought we could make some small difference in a childís life; we didnít realize the difference Regina would make in ours.

Our family immediately connected with Regina. The very day we took home her picture, she became part of our daily prayers.

From the first time the girls ripped open an envelope from Regina, their world expanded from our small town to another place where people donít live as we do.

It was a lesson in geography, economics, philosophy, even English. Most importantly, it was a humbling lesson of humanitarianism.

As much as we enjoyed sharing Reginaís life, my husband and I wondered if there was more we could do.

When Regina explained her need for hearing aids, we researched it, prayed about it and decided this was something that could really make a difference in Reginaís life.

By American standards, weíre not well-to-do. By worldly standards, we have such an abundance.

We had to budget for the $900 expense. We involved the whole family. That Christmas, we agreed to cut back on the excess. Just like Jesus, our girls now get three presents under the tree … usually a book, toy and pajamas.

We stopped giving gifts to extended family, and started making treats together.

When we sent the money, Iím embarrassed to say we fretted over it. Did we spend too much? Would the money really go to Reginaís hearing aids?

When we got a picture with Regina and her hearing aids, along with a nice thank-you letter, we knew we had made the right choice.

Over the years, Regina has been with us as we added two new daughters to our family. The youngest girls have grown up knowing about their ìbig sisterî in the Philippines.

They all look forward to sharing news with her and hearing about her life in another land.

But aside from all that, Regina has taught us compassion.

We continue the tradition now of three gifts under the tree. We make do with less and appreciate what we have more. Each year, we buy toys for the needy and send other things we donít need to an orphanage in Mexico.

Our children donít have the newest and the latest in material things, but they do know the gift of giving.

My sweet Regina, thank you for the kind words. Iím so happy that our small sacrifice made a change in your life.

When you wrote to thank us, you asked how you could repay us. I asked you to go make a difference in other peopleís lives. Youíre doing that today, working with CFCA.

Iím so proud of you, and so grateful to you for the blessings youíve brought to our family. Youíll always be a treasure in our lives.

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Nov 11 2010

Gift of hearing aid “changes everything” for sponsored youth

By Regina, a sponsored youth in Legazpi, Philippines

I have always been a simple and quiet girl. I usually sat right in front of my teacher during class discussions, not because I am a ìstarî pupil but because I am different.

I conversed with others believing that it was a calm, low voice I hear but in reality they are shouting at me, for me to hear and understand them. … Itís because I have a hearing problem.

At the age of 7, it was not a question of finding a solution to my hearing problem. My family, friends and teachers showed enough sympathy and support, except for those who would choose to make my day miserable rather than study lessons.

Regina

Regina

They would play and laugh with me and then publicly show to me their whispering sessions, emphasizing that it was impossible for me to hear them.

I would usually go to one corner, where only very few pass by, sit with my knees drawn up close to my body and my face tucked between my drawn knees and chest, and cry my heart out at the cruelty of others.

I would usually give myself a minute or two to compose myself, a big pat on the back to boost my depleted morale and then go back to my assigned seat in class and forget as best as I could what had just happened.

In high school, I remained the ìdifferent one.î People conversed with me like normal but sometimes, I saw their silent laughs and pitying looks when they turned their backs from me. Well, I was used to it. It was like an ordinary thing for me.

I was in high school when I became a CFCA beneficiary. My sponsors are Mr. Rich and Sarah Deien. From the start this generous couple had never failed to support me. I have received so many beneficial things that I will be forever thankful.

They wrote letters to me and I wrote back. With this, they donít have to shout for me to hear. I easily understood what they wanted to tell me. It felt so normal.

Until I graduated from high school, Continue reading

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