Remember Afra?

Lindsey Minerva with Afra and her friends.

Afra, the Sri Lankan girl I sponsor through World Vision didn’t only affect me. She also touched the heart of Lindsey Minerva, the WV staffer who led our trip. She’s blogged about Afra’s birthday party on the WV blog, and what she’s written is beautiful and profound:

After candles were blown out and cake had been cut, most of our group left. Tony and I stayed behind to spend some more time with Afra and her family.

Afra’s parents opened up to Tony about the incident, and Afra and I played together. Soon, there was a crowd of neighborhood children around us. I tried to think of games that were easily translatable to entertain them. We limboed, did what Simon said, and played duck-duck-chicken, because in Sri Lanka, there are no geese.

On the outside, I laughed with Afra and the children. Internally, my heart was filled with a somber, silent prayer. It sat in my chest and grew stronger the more time I spent with Afra.

My heart was filled with so much joy and desperation, all at once. By the time I left, the desperation had all but overtaken me. Seeing Afra smile so genuinely and freely kept me glued together.

Everything in me wanted Afra’s heart to be etched with the truth that she is beautiful, valuable, and loved. I don’t think I have ever wanted something so much for another human being.

I was desperate to drown out the message sent by so many in her life: the man who maimed her, her schoolmates, and her community. The message that she wasn’t enough; that somehow her disability made her less than human; that she wasn’t worth it.

I pleaded with God.

I hoped that somehow our gifts of cake and presents wouldn’t be trivial and temporary, but would speak a lasting message: Afra, you are worthy of celebration.

There are 10 children that I would like to see sponsored in Mundalama, Sri Lanka. I’m hoping that you, dear blog readers, will join me and sponsor the children who live around Afra and go to school with her. Here they are:

If you decide to sponsor one of these children, please email me so that I can take him/her off the list.

Thanks for considering it. These children are worth it.


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