I had to do something very hard today. I had to write a final letter to one of my closest friends: Priyanka, my parents' sponsored child in India. She is leaving Compassion's program for very good reasons, but after almost 10 years of building a friendship through writing letters, it's hard to say goodbye. Her letters have been a significant source of encouragement for me, and I know she faithfully prays for me and my family. I just wish we could meet face to face!
Despite having never met, I can honestly say that Priyanka is one of my closest friends. We've grown up together. And more and more each day I'm learning that good friends are few and far between. But because we both believe in Jesus, we have an incredible hope. This goodbye is not goodbye forever. As I told her in the final letter, if we do not get to meet on earth, we will meet one day in heaven and be able to catch up on stories of our lives.
It has been an amazing ten years getting to know her. She frequently invites my family and I to visit her. Last I heard, she wants to be a doctor someday. Her favourite colour is red and her favourite verse is Psalm 23:1. We have shared so much about our lives with each other.
While this may seem like an end, it is only the beginning. Priyanka has the rest of her life ahead of her to live as a Godly young woman and be a witness of His love wherever she goes. And I am only in the beginning stages of getting to know another 9-year-old girl: one who also likes the colour red and whose favourite Bible verse is Psalm 23:1:
This is not goodbye. I know we'll meet again, so let your life begin. Cuz this is not goodbye, it's just "I love you" to take with you, until you're home again...
(The Sidewalk Prophets: This is Not Goodbye)