Several years ago, I was scrolling thru my Facebook feed and chanced upon a post from my old high school buddy, Cheryl Brockmann. She was speaking of the Point of Grace Academy in Kenya and about the wonderful work Pastor Meeker and Miss Lorna were doing with the students there. Included were several pictures of children. One little girl, with huge brown eyes and a soulful face spoke to me and touched my heart. I quickly contacted Cheryl to inquire about the child. I was told her name was Lucy and that she did indeed need a sponsor. I signed up to fill that role immediately.
Over the years, I corresponded with her and came to know her likes, dislikes, about her family and friends and other little things she told me in her letters. I knew she was very artistic because each letter she sent me enclosed a beautiful, intricate mandala type drawing, that must have taken little Miss Lucy hours to complete. She impressed me as being a kind and conscientious child, I kept pictures of Lucy in frames around my home and watched her grow over the years and thought how wonderful it would be if one day we could actually meet. I had expressed that wish to Cheryl and was absolutely thrilled when she called one day, asking me if I was ready to join her on a trip to Africa. I said yes at once.
Going to Kenya and Point of Grace was such a blessing for me. Sitting on the edge of Lake Victoria, it is geographically breathtaking. The land is lush and fertile, with monkeys chattering in the trees. But beyond the beauty of nature, was the true beauty of the people. Everyone I met was warm and welcoming. The people there exude a kindness and openesss that is rare. They invite you into their homes and are gracious hosts.
The day after we arrived, Lucy and I were finally able to meet. I felt like my heart was going to burst. Such a charming, industrious child she is! She was some what shy at first, but that was quickly overcome. We spent much time together and since she lived in the neighborhood, I was able to visit her house and meet her parents and several of her siblings. It was literally a dream come true. Over the days spent there, we met frequently. We walked hand in hand and she told me more about herself and her life. She is so grateful to be able to go school there and she praised the Meekers and her teachers. She loves her family deeply and when she speaks of them, her face is radiant. She is so attentive to her little brother and sister, and puts them before herself.
Lucy is a remarkable little girl and I am truly honored to have been able to make her acquaintance. She is so very dear to me, and it was extremely difficult to let go of her hand when the time came to return home. Come back , Miss Julie, she said repeatedly. And I will, first chance I get.
— Julie Beauchot
You can see evidence in these "Faces of Love" — portraits of innocence, caring, sharing, experiences, and simple pure joy and love.