Friday, February 19, 2021

The Gringos are Here!

Tiffany and Shawn Richardson, along with their daughter, Karma, are practically honorary members of the Sowers family. You might remember that the Richardsons bought a new home with backpack drives in mind. They also open up their home to accommodate the Sowerses whenever they’re in the vicinity of Edgewater, Florida. Karma is even the new custodian of Trish’s old, beloved harp. This week, the Richardson family is spending time in Honduras, with five other team members from Edgewater Alliance Church. 

This is trip number four for Tiffany and Karma. Shawn had to miss out on last year’s trip, so this is his third visit to Honduras. Members of the Sowers family aren’t their only surrogate family in Honduras. The Richardsons have been sponsoring four children, but they just found out that one of the older girls is leaving the program. Of their three remaining sponsored children, two of those are sisters. You don’t have to sponsor the entire family to feel a kinship. The two sisters have four more siblings and the Richardsons love each of them.

During each trip to Honduras, the Richardsons make sure to pay a visit to this family’s home. Tiffany described the closeness that has developed over time. The first year, the mom was polite, but a little standoffish. The second year, the mom wasn’t there, and they got a chance to meet the father. Year three brought hugs from the mom and sincere thank yous for loving her children. What about year four?

Tiffany said, “This time it was like family! We always go to their house. This year, I asked where their older daughter was. She’s not one of our sponsors, but we have grown to love each of the children. The mom pulled a photograph off the wall. It was the only framed photo on their walls. The mom explained that the daughter graduated!”

The mom also shared another special photo. This one was familiar to the Richardsons because it was an old photo of them. It was one of the first photographs they ever gave their sponsored children, years ago. Tiffany said that judging from the wear and tear of the photo, it’s obvious that it has been carried around by someone. The mother was so touched that the family continues to come back year after year. It’s also a reminder of how much small things like letters and pictures mean.

On Wednesday, the team of eight from Edgewater Alliance handed out more backpacks. This time, it was for two smaller schools, so their backpack events were combined into one location.

On Thursday and Friday, the team paid a visit to the Sowers’s place to help organize backpacks for the next teams to arrive.

The team flies out on Saturday, and Tiffany is already a little saddened by the thought of leaving. She said, “These children and their families are so appreciative and thankful. Their communities have such a warm feeling and they are always excited to see us.”

She continued by saying, “There’s nothing better than driving down the road in the back of a dusty truck and hearing people scream, ‘The gringos are here!’”

- posted by Christi

No comments: