Apr 29 2013

Remembering Abigail

remembering a loved one In the last five and a half years, I’ve “lost” four sponsored children. Two left our program fairly early in my sponsorship before I really had a chance to build a relationship with them. One I sponsored for a while and even visited her. But, her child development center closed several months ago.

But it’s not these girls that continually come to my mind throughout the day. It’s Abigail. It’s Abigail whose letters I go back and reread. It’s Abigail who brings tears to my eyes every time I think of her.

Abigail lives in Ghana, is the youngest of six siblings, and her father died when she was three years old. She was born on the day my grandfather died.

At the time, Abigail was my youngest child and taught me how much I enjoy letters from preschool and early elementary children. We built a relationship and the letters flowed back and forth.

Suddenly, I wasn’t getting as many letters as I had before. I didn’t think much of it. After all, Abigail’s tutors had more to do than just help her write me letters.

Then, a letter came. Her tutor, seeing numerous letters waiting for Abigail, wrote me a letter to say that her uncle had come and taken her to Accra for a while and she would be back soon to answer my letters.

There was nothing in this letter to bring this on, but I resented her uncle for coming and taking her away from the child development center, and let’s be honest, from me.

So, I wasn’t surprised several months later when she departed from the program. What I wasn’t prepared for was the departure letter written by her tutor. Her uncle had come and taken her, trying to help her mother out after the loss of her husband.

After awhile, Abigail’s uncle put her in an orphanage without her mother’s permission. At the time of the letter, Abigail’s mom didn’t know where she was.

I held on hope in the next few months that everything would get straightened out and she would return to her mother and to the development center. But months passed, and now years, but still no word from Ghana.

I eventually sponsored another child, but no one can take Abigail’s place in my heart.

God often brings her to mind and through my tears, I pray. I pray for her and pray that her time with our ministry taught her enough about the God who would never lose her and would always love her as a caring Father. I dream that one day we will see each other and she will tell me how God worked everything out for her good.

So, Abigail, I want you to know that I still love you. I still think about you. And I still pray for you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brynn Paine works in our International Program Group as the Field Media Manager, mentoring ESL writers. She currently sponsors 15 children.

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  1. Susan Paine
    Apr 29, 2013
    at 6:32 am

    I remember Abigail! Her picture’s still on my file cabinet at work and I remember to pray. Sweet Abigail. God won’t forget her.

  2. Apr 29, 2013
    at 11:46 am

    Oh! My heart is breaking as I hold back the tears threatening to flow.
    I could write a post very similar to your beautifully written one here.
    We began sponsoring through Compassion in 2004, and we sponsored our first child for 2 years before her family removed her from the program. We then chose our precious Ana from Mexico. We sponsored her for 5 years before we received a letter from her tutor telling us that Ana and her family had traveled to visit family and had not yet returned. Ana’s tutor further detailed how Ana’s father had went to find work (which Ana had previously told us). We were concerned and contacted Compassion, but were told that she had since returned to the child development center. So, we thought all was well, at least sort of… We had a hunch all would not be well for long. Sadly, we were right. We received the phone call every sponsor dreads just a couple short weeks after receiving the above-mentioned letter. Ana’s father had found work and had therefore moved Ana and her family to a location where Compassion does not work.
    We have loved many Compassion children since that sad day in August of 2011, but I still return to Ana’s letters and pray through my tears. I will be praying for you and your precious Abigail each time I pray for and remember our precious Ana.

    • Brynn Paine
      Apr 30, 2013
      at 12:44 pm

      Thanks, Miranda! It’s always hard to lose a child, especially when you have formed a good relationship with them. I’ll pray for your precious Ana as well.

  3. Katie
    Apr 29, 2013
    at 10:58 pm

    I also still think of and pray for my “lost” children. I didn’t realize it happened so often.

  4. Kathy
    Apr 30, 2013
    at 7:34 am

    This is beyond heart breaking. I am going to print this out and put her photo on my fridge so I remember to pray for her every day. I’ve been a Compassion sponsor for 30 years and probably lost about half of the kids I’ve sponsored before they graduated….but nothing like this.

  5. Garry
    Apr 30, 2013
    at 8:44 am

    Good post Brynn. I have lost two kids, both older kids than Abigail, in 23 years. Not having closure is difficult, But like you, I pray that Wendi and Herlin are doing well, and learned enough in the time we were together.

  6. Apr 30, 2013
    at 5:03 pm

    I cannot believe it! You posted this on April 28. That is Carlos’ birthday. He moved to a place where there was no project. But even after five months of writing him, it was still so hard to let him go. I thought I must have been crazy to dream of seeing him someday. So yeah, thanks for this post! I am sure that Abigail is very precious to you. Blessings!

  7. Samantha
    Apr 30, 2013
    at 5:23 pm

    This makes me sad. I’m 17 and just started sponsoring (okay, it’s been 1 year 9 months and 5 days). The thought of losing that beautiful little girl makes me want to cry. But the Lord has a plan in everything.

  8. Apr 30, 2013
    at 7:04 pm

    I, too, will be praying for Abigail.And, for you.

  9. bruna
    Apr 30, 2013
    at 7:17 pm

    i’am is bruna,i’m brasiliam i have 15 years
    i was patrocined for michelle and ray,but i out of project they were a blessingin my life.Today I no longer have contact with them.
    pray for them everyday
    patrocibadores you guys really are a blessing in our lives

  10. Sep 17, 2013
    at 2:17 pm

    Bruna, I pray that, during your time in the project, you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior. We all want our sponsored children to grow well in all areas of their lives. But more than anything, we want them to know that Jesus is the best Friend they will ever have. We want them to commit to Him and follow Him all the days of their lives. If you have never done that, it is not too late. Just pray to Him and ask Him to cleanse you and be your guide through life.

    If you have received Him, remember to turn to Him with praise, and when you are discouraged, and in all of life’s turns. And may He bless you and make you a blessing to those around you!

    Thank you for your encouragement to sponsors!

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