In 2010 our youth group traveled to Ensenada, Mexico for a mission trip to the City of Children. The City of Children is a special orphanage in Baja California, Mexico supported by the church & home to over 100 children. We were blessed to love & serve these special kids. During our time there, our hearts were touched deeply & several in our youth group caught a vision for doing something special. The thought was this, what if we could do more? What if we could do more than just serve for one week? What if we could make a big difference in this world? What if we acted & decided to help in one small way to make a real difference in one life?
So a small representative group went to meet with the American Directors of the home at the City of Children, Jeff & Natasha Fincher. They went with the intention of sponsoring 1 child as a youth group. Jeff & Natasha cautioned them to carefully & prayerfully consider this important decision. This wasn't something to be decided lightly, & the commitment was both financial & relational in nature. And it wasn't something we could do for a few months & then change our minds or forget about.
So after 2 days of praying & talking about it to the rest of the youth group, we decided to raise the first $50 as a mission team to start her support fund. Immediately the money was gathered & several went running to Jeff & Natasha's office at about 10PM that night. Thankfully they were there. And after sharing the steps & forethought the group had put into it, they told us that we could sponsor Natalia Lara.
So the next day we got to meet with Natalia. We told her about our desire to become her new American family. We expressed our desire to provide for her financially so all her needs would be met at the home, but also that we wanted to be her new family. And that we wanted to love & support her in every way we could throughout the year with letters, pictures, & visits to see her as often as possible. And then we asked her the most important question we could think of... "Would it be ok with you if we became your family?" To which she looked up at us, smiled, & shook her head "YES" in her own way. To which we responded with excitement, jumping, cheers, & screaming! It was an awesome moment. Then we all gathered & prayed together. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. The next day, our entire youth group got to meet her & pray with her. We all felt like proud parents. And Natalia was excited too!
Natalia is 12 years old. She's been at the City of Children since 2007. She has 3 sisters & 1 brother. And she is our little girl. We're excited & eager to support her.
If you would like to help us in raising money for her financial support, you can click here to donate. No amount is too small & every donation is greatly appreciated. Each Sunday morning we pass around buckets to collect money from our youth group to help in her support. We will also be doing some other things throughout the year to help raise the money we need to fully support her.
Even bigger than the financial commitment is our commitment to be her family. It's our commitment to visit her every year, send her pictures & letters each month, & to pray for her often. If you would like to send Natalia a note, please email it to Corey & it will be translated into Spanish & delivered to Natalia ASAP.
You can follow updates on Natalia by following hope4natalia on twitter.
Thanks for taking time to learn about Hope 4 Natalia. We believe that because of our effort, one little girl in Mexico can rest easy tonight because she knows there is a God who loves her & an entire youth group that is praying for her!