Silly or not, we weren’t sure. But with a sharpie, we began. On one side, we printed Jesus loves you. On the other, Krista and Jay love you. Our best love-words on a wooden heart tucked into our suitcase.

In addition to memories and photos, we wanted a keepsake from our time with Angel, our sponsored child. We chose hearts and packed a blank one. Ready for Operation Heart Exchange

On sponsor day, our time with Angel and his father, Carlas, ebbed and flowed. Getting-to-know-one-another questions mixed with smiles, laughter, and play-doh.

As goodbyes approached,  we explained our motive through the interpreter and handed the blank heart to Carlas. He wrote five names on the white wooden heart: Carlos, Yazmin, Donovan, Angel, and Edeer. Then placed the heart in our hands. Remember us. Remember your new friends in Mexico. 

In return, we gave our love-inscribed heart. Krista and Jay love you. Jesus loves you. 

A heart exchange. A personal exchange of love.

Now, our heart lives with this family of five in a small town north of Mexico City. When they look at it, our prayer is they remember and know our love. But more importantly, they know and feel Jesus’ love.

Their heart rests on our mantel as a visual, symbolic reminder of the connection between us. Different cultures and languages but connected by exchanged hearts.

Remember the day. Remember the love, joy, and prayers. Remember one another. Remember. 

A month ago, a heart exchange happened in the mountains of Mexico. Where the love of Jesus connected two families and we discovered it’s never silly to love.

Postscript: With the home-going of Reverend Billy Graham, another exchange came to mind. Mr. Graham clung to his faith at the foot of an old rugged cross. On February 21st, he exchanged it for his crown. A beautiful and eternal exchange.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

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