“Do you have any children?” I asked our bearded visitor.
“Yes, I do,” he stated. “Their names are Jonathon and Elyssa.”
“How old is Melissa?”
“No, it’s Elyssa. She’s thirteen,” he replied.
I smiled, it sounded different, but I liked the name. She seemed so much older than my nine summers though.
Later, when my sister, Bethany started the newsletter “The Narrow Way,” she was featured in one of them. It told how she’d given her birthday money to a small African orphanage. She won my admiration. I began to try to save money to help orphans too.
Our dear visitor left after staying with us a little while. He went back to his homeland across the ocean. North America. I wished he could’ve brought his daughter so we could become friends. But it happened another way instead.
Around a year later, Bethany created a website, as part of Ben and her ministry. On that website was a forum. My siblings and I were on it, along with friends around the place. And Elyssa was too. We would discuss Bible topics along with health, nature and the like. But it all started when she posted her testimony. When I read it, I was shocked by how similar my experience was. I could so relate and understand. I messaged her, telling her how it had encouraged me. The messages, emails and letters haven’t stopped since.
The five years between now and then have given me a precious friend and close sister in Elyssa. Even though I’ve not met her yet, I know her. She’s helped me in my walk with God. Her fire for God has been a constant inspiration to me. She is a gift from God. I remember....
I took my Bible and a big writing pad for a walk. After seeing Cherith’s prayer list, I determined to have one. I wrote a long list of family and friends I wanted to keep in my prayers. On the under side of the page, I wrote out ‘requests.’
Rain. To do well at my piano exam. To be able to go to camp. And high on the list, desperately wanted, was... a true friend. I jotted down the year “2005.”
God answered. So soon later, He gave me you. I’m grateful that we can share this blog. I thank God that we are pressing forward together. Happy birthday, sis!!!!!
I really love you, Elyssa.