Rick and Becky sponsor 12-year-old Menua in Armenia.
When the World Vision bloggers traveled to Armenia this winter, we met Menua and his mother, Anoush.
Find out the difference Rick and Becky are making in Menua’s life and how important their letters are to him … and read a reply from Becky!
Dear Rick and Becky,
We don’t know each other, and the chances of us meeting or finding each other are pretty rare, but I had to write this letter to you in hopes that enough people would share it that one day you’d read it.
You’re a World Vision sponsor, and you have been sponsoring a 12-year-old boy from Armenia named Menua. From what I can tell you’ve been sponsoring him for a while now, and the reason why I’m writing you like this is because I met him today.
I’m feeling so emotional after returning from his home that I’m not entirely sure what to say to you, Rick and Becky, but I had to write in an attempt to tell you how much you’ve impacted a family a world away.
Before you became Menua’s sponsor, his parents lost everything in the Gyumri earthquake, and his father later died when Menua was 4 years old. Life quickly went from happy and comfortable to sad and vulnerable, as it so often does for families like Menua’s. For a time, he and his mom got by with the help of an aunt, but after the tragic death of Menua’s young cousin, his aunt moved back to Russia. Since then, it’s been he and his mom, living in an apartment that’s not really an apartment. It’s a converted area in the attic of a building where they find a way to survive.
Menua has a good mom — a proud, loving, and tenacious woman. She works as hard as she can to take care of him, working seven days a week at $1.50 a day, but as you can imagine, that doesn’t exactly go far. Even with working her arthritic hands to their max, they still struggle to survive.
Today I sat in their makeshift home, and I listened to their story. I watched Menua’s mom break down in tears recalling the sadness of their narrative. I watched those sitting around me tear up as our hearts broke for this mom and her son. There was so much tragedy and sadness in the room that it felt overwhelming — but all that dissipated when your names came up, Rick and Becky.
You see, your sponsorship of Menua is what they talk about when they talk about the good things in their life. In fact, as soon as the topic of sponsorship came up, Menua’s mother immediately went to a cupboard and pulled out a stack of papers.
And you know what they were?
They were your letters, Rick and Becky. All of them.
Letters, photos, cards — they’ve not only saved everything but they are among this family’s most prized possessions.
Menua and his mother had told us of their loneliness but then referred to you, Rick and Becky, and said that it was like you were a very close relative to them. When speaking of you, Menua perked up and said, “They are always writing to encourage me.”
Rick and Becky, I know from the other side of the world, letter writing might not seem like that big of a deal, but from this side, I need to tell you how big of a deal it is. Your letters make a lonely and isolated family feel like they are being encouraged and cared for by a close relative. In fact, I think it might be safe to say that these letters are the most important letters you send anyone all year long.
And it’s not only the letter writing that you need to know about, Rick and Becky. Your monthly sponsorship and the special gifts you have sent have kept them from starvation and ensured that Menua has received the medical attention he needs for his eye condition. The World Vision staff here have made sure that your special gifts were used for emergency food rations when they were going hungry, came by with a box of clothing when they had none, and have personally ensured that Menua gets to the doctors as often as he needs.
Rick and Becky, I don’t know who you are, where you live, or what you do. But I do know this about you: You are counted as family to this widow and her son half a world away.
Growing up to old-school Christian music, I remember a song from my childhood called “Find Us Faithful.” While I don’t listen to that style of music anymore, that song flooded my mind today as I sat in that humble home. The words kept repeating over and over again in my mind:
We’re pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who’ve gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who’ve gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives
And I have to tell you, this song I hadn’t thought of in 25 years made me think of you, Rick and Becky. Today, in this makeshift apartment with Menua and his mother, you were surrounded by a cloud of witnesses — the World Vision blogger team.
And well, today we found you to be faithful.
On behalf of Menua and his mother, I want to say thank you to the both of you for everything you’ve done to lift them up — both physically and spiritually. And on behalf of the World Vision blogger team, I want to thank you for the encouragement you were to us on this day.
Keep running this race, Rick and Becky, because you’re running it well.
With sincere hope that one day you’ll discover what a difference you’ve made in Menua’s life,
–Benjamin L. Corey
Make a difference like Rick and Becky: Sponsor a child in Armenia through World Vision today.
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A few weeks later, a reply from Becky!
Benjamin — you found us! Your story of our family really touched us. We are aware of their needs now after being a part of World Vision for years (and having another child in Albania).
We figured out how great their need is when we intended money at Christmas to go to Menua for things he might want. Instead they sent photos of he and his Mom with a large amount of food — those staples we take for granted. At first we were shocked and then quickly realized how blessed we are … and how food is what made them happy!!! Flour, sugar, etc. were their “gifts.” How humbling.
We are reminded by your post how much our letters mean to them; so we will write more often now. We continue to contribute and be involved with World Vision — World Vision does change lives … we are simply a small piece of “why” it changes lives around the world.
Thank you for sharing … we hope you are as blessed to know you found us and that we plan to continue on. We are humbled and thankful for your letter and attempt to find us … just two people trying to walk the road of faith and sharing our blessings.
Write to your sponsored child today! A quick and easy way is to send an email, which you can do by logging in at myworldvision.org/email.
This post was originally published on Benjamin L. Corey’s blog.