Lindsey Saunder's Story
If I close my eyes and listen carefully enough I can almost hear the unison of the preschool children’s voices echoing in song through air on a beautiful Malawian morning. These vivid memories have been captivating my dreams more frequently lately. Perhaps it’s the cold front that has settled in over Eastern Canada that has fostered my most recent longings for the Grace Centre and African heat. I beg to differ. It could be the hottest Canadian summer day recorded, and I would still be longing for Malawi.
A wise lady once told me, “Once you travel places and meet people, you leave a part of your heart there… and then, you never really feel at home anywhere.” It would be dishonest for me to tell you that the entirety of my heart boarded the plane and travelled home with me this past July. Call me cliché, but I am here to confess that I left a piece of my heart in Africa. Better yet, I left that special piece in the hands of a very charming five-year-old boy named Joseph.
I can remember the day we met like it was only hours ago. Lord, can I relive it for just a moment? I was sitting on the cement steps of the clinic surrounded by children and their mothers everywhere when my friend Liz swiftly leaned over and placed a very cuddly but sturdy little boy onto my lap. I remember the moment he turned his face toward me and his big brown eyes almost swallowed me up whole. We exchanged very few words that day, yet, all the same, this boy spoke wonders to my heart. He taught me that it was safe to let my guard down and open my heart. From that moment on, we were inseparable.
As you can imagine, saying goodbye after five weeks was less than favorable. All I wanted to do was bring him home with me. The Grace Centre wouldn’t notice…. Would they? Probably. So, I did the next best thing. SPONSORSHIP. 14, 177 km’s later, and Joseph and I are still connected.
It brings me joy to know that I can still be involved in Joseph’s life even though we are continents apart. Each month, through sponsorship, I have the privilege of helping to making a difference in Joseph’s life by partnering with Circle of Hope to bring HOPE to his future.
As the cold front settles in over Eastern Canada, and as I nestle in for the long winter months ahead, I'll dream of Malawi, my home away from home, and hope that one day I can travel back to visit the five-year-old boy who holds a special piece of my heart.
-Lindsey Saunders Circle of Hope Intern Summer 2014