This weekend, Spousal Unit and I got a packet from Children International. We sponsor Roselle, a little girl who lives in the Philippines. The envelope was the same size and shape as our usual update packets from them, which usually include a new picture and info on her living situation. But for some reason, when I saw this one I freaked out a little.
Maybe the writing on the outside ("Open immediately!") was a different color than usual. Whatever it was, I was right to freak out: Roselle and her family have disappeared, and all CI can tell us is that they've "unexpectedly moved out of our sponsorship area and can't be located."
The letter said things like this happen fairly often to low-income families, that they have to pick up and move whenever the chance of better work comes up. I personally find it odd than no other families in the area knew where they went - maybe CI knows and, since the family is out of sponsorship range, just isn't telling us. Makes me feel oddly lucky, though. Most of us, we move to be closer to loved ones, or to go to school, or for a better job, but we don't have to just pick up and go overnight. We have too much stuff to do that. We are lucky people.
Whatever it is, we don't get to sponsor Roselle anymore. She was our sponsor child for two years - we got a new picture of her once a year, and she sent thank you letters with crayon drawings of her home and family. It makes me sad to lose another sponsored child. Before I met Spousal Unit, at the beginning of college, I started sponsoring Surya, a little boy in Nepal. CI ended up being kicked out of the country - they're a semi-Christian organization, and locals were starting to act violently (either toward them or toward other Christian groups, I'm not sure).
Our packet included a new child for us to sponsor - Ryza, also in the Philippines. She's nine years old, soon to be ten, and is the oldest of six children. Her only sister is one year old. Their home is only one room, and they have a single bed - I imagine someone has to sleep on the concrete floor. They live on $160 a month.
We'll be sponsoring her, of course. But we're going to miss Roselle. Funny how you can miss someone you've never met, who's on the other side of the world, and you've only corresponded with two or three times.
Her picture's been on our fridge for two years. I hate to take it down.