Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cachaco´s Story

Nearly a year ago I received a message via the comments section of our blog from Claudia, in New Jersey, who had stumbled upon our blog when she was Googling ¨Bocachica¨. Claudia is an American-born Colombian and her husband, Giovani is from Bogotá but moved to the USA when he was 9 years old. About 3 years ago they were in Colombia on vacation and they came to Cartagena for a few days during their trip. Unfortunately their experience in the Jewel of Colombia (as many Colombians refer to Cartagena) was not all that great and for different reasons they had no desire to ever return! There was one experience, however, that they couldn´t get out of their hearts and minds. One day on a tourist outing their boat made a stop in Bocachica for lunch. Their day had been pretty horrible so far and they were just counting the minutes until their boat would finally leave to take them back to Cartagena. They were already planning to cut their trip short and leave this city ASAP! During their wait in Bocachica, they came across an 11 year old boy who´s nickname is ¨Cachaco¨ (that is the word that people in Bocachica use to refer to white people or people from the interior of the country). Cachaco was different from the rest of the crowd because he wasn´t hounding them about buying something or asking for money or anything like that, he just wanted to hang out with them and be their friend. After about 20 or 30 minutes with Cachaco, he had stolen their hearts. It was time for the boat to leave though and as they were loading up, Giovani wanted to find some way to help this kid so he pulled off his sneakers and gave them and a pair of shorts to Cachaco. They assumed they would never see this kid again and off they went. Too make the story a little shorter I´ll jump ahead about 2 years or so later. After all that time Claudia and Giovani couldn´t get Cachaco out of their minds and one day Claudia was Googling ¨Bocachica¨ on a whim to see what she might find. Well, lo and behold, she found our blog and couldn´t believe her eyes! So she wrote me and told me her story and asked if there was any way we could find this little boy for her! One good thing in Bocachica is that pretty much everybody knows everybody so I was pretty sure it wouldn´t be too difficult! With the help of some of our teenage helpers at the mission, I was able to find him without any trouble. I wanted to be sure it was the same kid though so I just told him a tiny bit of Claudia´s story and waited for him to fill in the blanks. As soon as I mentioned that I had heard from a couple from the USA, he immediately got a huge grin on his face and started to tell me the whole story, just as Claudia had told me in her email. It turns out that these past 2+ years or so he couldn´t get them out of his mind either and he would tell his mom and the rest of his family that he JUST KNEW that those people were going to come back some day to see him! His family just told him he was dreaming and he might as well forget about them! Over the last year I have been sending emails, photos and video´s back and forth between Claudia, Gio and Cachaco and it has been fun being a part of their reunion story. About a month ago I got an email from Claudia again, telling me that they were considering using part of their vacation time to come to visit Cachaco in Bocachica and sure enough, last week, I was able to host them and help reconnect them with this boy (who´s not little anymore) that stole their hearts 3 years ago! It was so neat to see them with him again, meeting Cachaco´s family and they were able to take him to the city for dinner and a movie. I believe that their ¨conincedental¨ meeting 3 years ago was no conincedent at all...God has neat things in store for Cachaco and his relationship with Gio and Claudia. They are looking at ways to sponsor Cachaco through our sponsorship program at the mission and hope to be able to help him by giving him the opportunity to get an education and learn a profession. I am excited to see what will become of this. Cachaco really is such a sweet guy, a wonderful boy who loves his family and wants to make something of his life and it is an awesome thing to see how God has orchestrated all of these events to help make that happen.

Giovani, Cachaco and Claudia (he´s bigger than they are now!)

At Cachaco´s house with his family.

Martin and I with Gio and Claudia

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