He clutched a piece of plastic in his tiny hands—a makeshift toy that felt like treasure. As he watched the Americans file one by one into the place he called home, he noticed something in their arms.
After his father died he moved into his grandmother’s house with his baby brother and his mother. They all shared a worn, dilapidated mat for a bed. None of them managed to sleep because it was just far too crowded.
But then the strange group of Americans brought something with them one day.
They kept saying it was from the Lord, so he watched in anticipation as his grandma wiped her weary eyes as the tears began to fall to the floor.
Though he did not understand the depth of this gift, tonight he would sleep comfortably on his new mattress.
His little heart had seen and felt more than any child should ever have to experience. But that was normal in his country—brokenness, poverty, and a continual faith in something unseen.
Each day his mother would rise to find some scraps of food for him and his baby brother—most of the time she spared her own food so her children’s aching bellies would not go hungry again.
As he scooted off to school, if the school fees happened to be available, his mom and grandmother would busily prepare tortillas to sell in the market…hoping to make at least one dollar for the day.
She would come home from the market late in the evenings after she had searched for a place to find at least a cup of water to boil a handful of beans for her children.
She couldn’t find any—this broke her. Yet again, they would have to go to bed without a meal.
No matter how often he saw his mother weep as she knelt on their doorstep, he noticed her flip faithfully through their worn Bible.
As the tin roof seeped tiny droplets of water that evening, the little boy thanked the person the Americans called God. He thanked Him for a bed to sleep on.
Though he did not know this God, one day soon he would realize that this God was carrying him all the way.
All four-hundred of our children involved in POI live in circumstances that resemble lives similar to this one. They are constantly embraced by the effects of poverty, both good and bad.
When the programs at Point of Impact were created, our dream was to partner each child with a sponsor—a connection to enable both the giver and the child. Not only would the child receive a hot nutritious meal every day, they would receive medical care, tutoring, and they would be taught the truths of the Gospel.
Each time I am in Honduras, the children frequently ask about their sponsors. They always send their love and beg me to let their sponsor know they are praying for them. There is no denying that this relationship changes the life of child—but for some—it changes the life of the giver.
When I was in the 7th grade (December 2012), the Hamiltons (who are my neighbors) brought the children from the POI orphanage to the United States. That was my first interaction with the ministry and I absolutely fell in love with those kids from the very start. They were so joyful even though they had been through so much.
-Samantha, 14 years
I remember watching Samantha with the kids, she wasn’t much older than our own children, they giggled and played just as any others would. I stood back and watched as the evening came to an end and Samantha had to tell our children goodbye. Tears slipped down her cheeks as she hugged each child tight. I knew from this very moment that God had something incredible in store for this young girl.
Not long after, I decided I wanted to sponsor a child because I remembered those children who I met from POI. My birthday present from my parents was to be able to sponsor a child and I was so excited! When I went online to choose a child, it was so hard to pass up so many beautiful faces. But then I saw a little girl with the same name as me. Her name was Samanta!
But then, I decided I wanted to sponsor a child on my own. So, I told my father and he gave me a job in finance with his business. After I had saved up some money, I saw on Facebook that a child named Estefani was in need of a sponsor. So I told my dad about Estefani and we went on the POI website to sponsor her with money out of my own paycheck.
When Samantha texted me that day to ask about Estefani, I was so impressed by her willingness to work hard, even at 14 years old. But what meant so much to me was the fact that she was working to help another child. She didn’t want money for new shoes or new electronics…she wanted to change the life of a child.
When I hear stories like Samantha’s I cannot help but imagine the face of Jesus as he sees his own children caring for the broken. I think we as adults assume our children can never make a difference—but if we’re all honest—all they want is to live the Gospel, no matter how young.
About a week ago I went to Honduras on a mission trip and when I was there I got to meet both Samanta and Estefani. When I met Samanta, she was not shy at all. She went around telling all of her friends that I was her “madrina” (godmother in English.) When I met Estefani, she was very shy at first; it took her a little longer to warm up to me.
When I was there at Crucitas (the neighborhood Samanta is in), I was teaching/working when Samanta showed up and said, “I am here looking for my ‘madrina’ Samanta Lovett.” Nobody told her when, what day, or what time I was going to be there. I knew that it was a miracle worked by God for me to see my sponsor child.
I enjoyed meeting my two sponsor children; they both would come stay with me if other children were around me. I know for sure that other kids my age could sponsor a child. One way to do that is instead of getting gifts at your birthday, you can ask for money and you can put that money towards sponsoring a child!
Countless stories come to mind as I think back on the many sponsors who have invested not only money but time into their child’s life. When you come from a lifestyle, like the one mentioned above, relationships mean everything. One of my favorite aspects of managing the sponsorship program at POI is watching young children and teenagers build life-long relationships with their sponsor kids. The love that is interchanged between the two of them is such a beautiful picture of the Gospel. I am so thankful for those of you who take the time, money, and resources to invest in a child’s life. I can’t even begin to express the difference it makes.
Who is blogging?
Hannah Hamilton is the daughter of David and Ruth Hamilton, founders of Point of Impact Ministry. She first traveled to Honduras at 6 years old and has been passionate about advocating for the impoverished ever since. To read more, click here.