Friday, February 29, 2008

A child from Belarus

Today I mailed in our application to host a child from Belarus this summer. Lance & I had little to no hesitation that we should do this, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to get our application in (okay, I know why: we're procrastinators).

I'm really looking forward to it! I was involved in several international exchanges when I was a teenager. And I loved it. I think everyone should have the experience. Especially when you grow up in a relatively small suburban city that is not very diverse.

I know I was impacted profoundly by the realization that "different" doesn't mean "not as good." Had I traveled and stayed with a group of American teens, I don't think I would have benefited quite as much. I had to be thrown into a foreign home by myself, to feel the isolation of being the one who was a minority.

This summer we will host a girl, probably around 10 years old. She will have studied English in school, but most likely will not be able to communicate with us very well. This will be our major challenge, I think. I hope to be able to use the computer and some sort of free translation site to communicate with her when I feel we need it. I would like to learn to speak some of her language, but mostly help her speak English better.

I remember feeling very far away from home when I first traveled overseas, and I was much older. I pray that we can be warm and loving and welcoming enough so that our little Belarus girl will not feel sad & homesick. There are others at our church who will also be hosting, and I am very excited that the children will be able to hear a familiar word when we go to church.

To read more about the program, and why it exists, see these sites:


Keri said...

I think it is so great that you are doing this!! I can't wait to meet her. :)

Donna said...

How exciting Laura! That will be so nice that there will be other children from Belarus at church this year! I can't wait to meet her too!