By Rachel Sawyer and Sarah Holland
One of the most difficult things about being on the mission field is the steady coming and going of fellow servants. In early September, Makarios said "Adios, amiga! Vaya con Dios" to one of our staff members, Sarah Holland, a.k.a. Cita, a young lady who loves, teaches, serves and spreads genuine sweetness wherever she goes. There is a Cita sized hole in our lives now, but in losing her (it does feel like a loss even though friendships remain), a young lady that she loved gained a sponsor. This is Cita's sponsorship story.
Within my first few weeks in the Dominican Republic, I met sweet Nelissa. School hadn’t started yet, and I was watching a few of my new coworkers play basketball in Pancho Mateo. A young girl came up to me and sat next to me. My coworker Belizeur introduced me to her and told me that she was going to be in his class. I spent the rest of my time in Pancho that day playing with Nelissa and watched very little basketball. She and I bonded quickly and deeply. I couldn’t help but think, “I wish she was going to be in my class. Maybe next year she will.”
Sure enough, Nelissa was in my class my second year of teaching at Makarios. She and I had kept up our bond of the year and I was so excited to have her in my class. Nelissa is spunky, sassy, and a little bit defiant at times. But she captured my heart and I knew my bond with her was a special one. She was one my students that I could pull aside and give her a “You know I love you. You know Jesus loves you. I expect more out of you, pull it together” talk and it worked. It was an absolute joy to work with her.
About three quarters of the way through that second school year, I had to decide if I was going to renew my contract with Makarios or not. The Lord gave me peace about going home, but I still kept thinking about Nelissa. The Lord had placed a burden for her on my heart and I knew I wanted to stay involved in her life. A few weeks later, our sponsorship coordinator Becky sent out an email with an updated list of students needing sponsors. Nelissa’s name was on the list. I thought to myself, “Lord this is it. This is how I’m going to stay involved in her life. THANK YOU.”
I ran down to the office to tell Becky to take Nelissa’s name off the list. I wanted to be her sponsor.
The Lord was so sweet to open that door. I was so thankful that even though I was leaving and I was no longer going to be her teacher, I was going to be able to pour into her life. A few weeks before I left, I was able to go to her house to tell her that was I was going to be her sponsor. She just melted into my arms.
I am no longer “on the front lines” and teaching at Makarios, but I now have the honor and privilege of supporting one of my precious former student’s education. I know how the staff there is loving on her and sharing Jesus with her. I am able to show her that God loves her in a different way. Jesus is doing big things through Makarios and in the lives of all of the sweet students there. I am so thankful to have been a part of it in two different aspects.
Is the Lord opening a door for you to become a sponsor? Click here for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start sponsoring a student today! We currently have 15 students that still need sponsors.