In preparation for my week-long departure from my 4-year-old son to Guatemala, I made sure to inform him why it was important for mommy to be gone. My son, curious as ever, asked me many questions. He wanted to know where I was going, who I was going to see, and what I was going to eat for breakfast. Of course, he didn’t miss the opportunity to ask if he could go with me, so I told him, Yes! Although not in traditional travel itinerary, my son did make the 2500 mile journey with me in the form of a life-size drawing.
Before I took flight we had an evening tracing his body on a piece of butcher paper. He had fun coloring his clothes, facial features, hair, and a big heart in the middle of his chest. Throughout the creative process, as we were laying on the floor coloring, we discussed how special this new relationship was going to be with the little girl Aura we choose to sponsor. We prayed for the trip and that God would bless the relationship to be mutually transformative. The prayer went something like this ” God make sure mommy gets to Gwal-a-mala safe and bring my friend this picture. Amen (loud clap).”
The Big Reveal
As you can imagine the drawing was quite large. I rolled it up and carried it around with me everywhere sticking out of the top of my backpack. Aura’s community was the last stop on our trip so my son figuratively was able to travel on my back the entire week. When I arrived at Aura’s home her family welcomed me in and immediately began to ask me about my family. After sipping a traditional Atol de Elote, I brought out the rolled up drawing and presented it to Aura. Her shy demeanor swiftly shifted and her eyes grew big and lite up with excitement! I had previously worked an expressive art therapist and I knew the positive neurological benefits both creating and looking at art has on a person’s psyche. I was thrilled to see the immediate joy this drawing brought to everyone in the room.
Art is a Universal Language
It didn’t take but a few minutes before she was hanging the drawing on the wall next to her bed. She was so excited to learn about my son and that they were about the same age. She too had many questions about his interests and when he could come back and visit. I knew at that moment that this drawing had an impact beyond what I could have anticipated. Art is a universal point of connection where language is no longer a barrier. I took a picture of her next to the drawing so I could bring it home. Then, I showed my son who he would be writing letters to and praying for.
Upon my return back home I had a lot more to share with my, oh so curious son. I showed him pictures of Aura, her family, their home, and the community where she lives. The photos elicited questions like, “ where are all of her toys, why doesn’t she have a bathroom in her house, where are the lights in her house, etc” This was a wonderful teaching moment about the ways Aura and her family were rich in ways we could learn from. I can’t begin to thank God enough for their curious minds. This sponsorship is a catalyst of hope an everlasting encouragement and development. Let’s see how your creative juices can make a difference! Click here to find a little artist to sponsor.