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¡Sorpresa!

Have you ever had a surprise party? Or been able to surprise your mom or dad with a special gift that you made?

A few months ago our friend Grace, who’s 10 years old, got to travel with her family all the way from Washington state to El Salvador to surprise Gabriela. Grace’s family has been sponsoring Gabriela for years, and Grace gets to write letters and send photos to Gabriela. But this was the first time they met in person!

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Come on this journey from the United States to El Salvador to see the big SURPRISE!

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Grace's Heart

Grace lives with her mom, dad, little brother and pet dog in Washington state. She loves to write letters to Gabriela. Last year Grace held a big event at her church called Compassion Sunday. She told everyone why her family sponsors Gabriela and got even more kids sponsored!

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At Home in the U.S.

Grace, shown here at home doing dishes using a dishwasher as one of her chores, dreamed of meeting Gabriela someday.

"It would be really awesome just to be able to go and meet (Gabriela), because I know she is probably kind of like me because she's about the same age as I am. I'm just like 2 or 3 months older than her, so it would be really awesome if I can go and meet her someday. Maybe when I'm older."

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Meanwhile in El Salvador ...

Gabriela lives in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, with her mom, her grandmother, a bunch of chickens and her pet duck, Chepe. Like Grace, she washes dishes as one of her chores. Her family's sink is outside, and she washes the dishes by hand. 

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Pen Pals

Gabriela loved getting letters from Grace and writing back to her. She dreamed about Grace's family coming to visit her in El Salvador someday. "If my sponsor was here, I would be so happy they were in my home, because they came all the way to El Salvador to see me!" Gabriela said.

Someday seemed so far away ...

But Gabriela was in for a surprise — Grace and her family were on their way to meet her!

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The Morning of the Surprise

Gabriela went to school and had to take tests the morning of the surprise visit. That may not sound like a fun way to start the day, but Gabriela works very hard in school. She knows that some kids don't get to go to school, and her mom has taught her how important an education is.

While Gabriela was at school, Grace and her family went to a local park. A teacher from Gabriela's Compassion center had chosen the park as the surprise meeting place. Grace was a little nervous — but more excited than anything!

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It's Almost Time!

Gabriela finished her tests, and she and her mom, Mayra, rode the bus to the park. There aren't a lot of parks like this in El Salvador, so it's a treat for Gabriela to have a beautiful, safe place to play.

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Who's That Family?

Then, as Gabriela and her mom came down the path, they saw a family they recognized from photos ...

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Surprise!

Gabriela was so surprised when she saw Grace waiting for her that she barely knew what to say! She and Grace met and each could barely believe the other person was real!

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Just Like Old Friends

But Grace was exactly right — most 10-year-old girls are a lot alike! In just a few minutes they were running and playing on the playground like they had known each other for years — which, they kind of had!

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What would you like to do for fun if you met the child your family sponsors?

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Grace's brother, Alex, was excited to meet Gabriela too!

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One More Thing!

Grace's parents had one more surprise for Mayra and Gabriela. Once the two families got back to Gabriela's home, Mayra was shocked to find a brand-new dining room table and chairs in their house. 

Gabriela had never had a table and chairs to use for the meals they shared together as a family. Her mother worked very hard but wasn't able to buy a lot of furniture for their home, other than a bed and a few chairs. And now they had a special place to eat. That very day, Grace, her parents and her brother sat down with Gabriela and her mother and shared a delicious meal!

Not every surprise is as big as this one, is it? Can you surprise someone in your life this week? With a note or a gift or a hug or a smile? Or maybe you can write your sponsored child a surprise note and drawing! He or she will love the ¡sorpresa!

Grace's Heart

Grace lives with her mom, dad, little brother and pet dog in Washington state. She loves to write letters to Gabriela. Last year Grace held a big event at her church called Compassion Sunday. She told everyone why her family sponsors Gabriela and got even more kids sponsored!

At Home in the U.S.

Grace, shown here at home doing dishes using a dishwasher as one of her chores, dreamed of meeting Gabriela someday.

"It would be really awesome just to be able to go and meet (Gabriela), because I know she is probably kind of like me because she's about the same age as I am. I'm just like 2 or 3 months older than her, so it would be really awesome if I can go and meet her someday. Maybe when I'm older."

Meanwhile in El Salvador ...

Gabriela lives in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, with her mom, her grandmother, a bunch of chickens and her pet duck, Chepe. Like Grace, she washes dishes as one of her chores. Her family's sink is outside, and she washes the dishes by hand. 

Pen Pals

Gabriela loved getting letters from Grace and writing back to her. She dreamed about Grace's family coming to visit her in El Salvador someday. "If my sponsor was here, I would be so happy they were in my home, because they came all the way to El Salvador to see me!" Gabriela said.

Someday seemed so far away ...

But Gabriela was in for a surprise — Grace and her family were on their way to meet her!

The Morning of the Surprise

Gabriela went to school and had to take tests the morning of the surprise visit. That may not sound like a fun way to start the day, but Gabriela works very hard in school. She knows that some kids don't get to go to school, and her mom has taught her how important an education is.

While Gabriela was at school, Grace and her family went to a local park. A teacher from Gabriela's Compassion center had chosen the park as the surprise meeting place. Grace was a little nervous — but more excited than anything!

It's Almost Time!

Gabriela finished her tests, and she and her mom, Mayra, rode the bus to the park. There aren't a lot of parks like this in El Salvador, so it's a treat for Gabriela to have a beautiful, safe place to play.

Who's That Family?

Then, as Gabriela and her mom came down the path, they saw a family they recognized from photos ...

Surprise!

Gabriela was so surprised when she saw Grace waiting for her that she barely knew what to say! She and Grace met and each could barely believe the other person was real!

Just Like Old Friends

But Grace was exactly right — most 10-year-old girls are a lot alike! In just a few minutes they were running and playing on the playground like they had known each other for years — which, they kind of had!

What would you like to do for fun if you met the child your family sponsors?

Grace's brother, Alex, was excited to meet Gabriela too!

One More Thing!

Grace's parents had one more surprise for Mayra and Gabriela. Once the two families got back to Gabriela's home, Mayra was shocked to find a brand-new dining room table and chairs in their house. 

Gabriela had never had a table and chairs to use for the meals they shared together as a family. Her mother worked very hard but wasn't able to buy a lot of furniture for their home, other than a bed and a few chairs. And now they had a special place to eat. That very day, Grace, her parents and her brother sat down with Gabriela and her mother and shared a delicious meal!

Not every surprise is as big as this one, is it? Can you surprise someone in your life this week? With a note or a gift or a hug or a smile? Or maybe you can write your sponsored child a surprise note and drawing! He or she will love the ¡sorpresa!

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Grace's family loves to help Gabriela by sponsoring her. But Grace wanted to help even more kids in need! So she hosted a Compassion Sunday. That's an event where Grace told people at her church about Gabriela and how sponsorship helps poor kids around the world.

After she gave her talk, Grace invited her church family to come visit her table outside the sanctuary. On her table she had pictures of children who needed sponsors. Thanks to Grace's bravery and hard work, people at her church sponsored more than 25 children that day!

We thought Grace's Compassion Sunday event was SO cool. So we made a fun game about all the challenges she faced to hold her event. Can you imagine you are Grace and complete all the quests? All you need to play is a six-sided die.

Play the game!

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