I first met Erick my freshman year of college. On a spring break trip to Tegucigalpa, my team and I were nearing the end of our work day at one of the Point of Impact programs when he stumbled into the classroom to receive his bowl of rice and beans for the day.
Noticing his physical disabilities, I sat down next to Erick and began feeding him in between his cheerfully contagious spurts of giggles. And just like that—I fell in love.
He couldn’t stand the thought of a raisin, and I couldn’t help but smile as he meticulously picked out every single one and placed them on the table next to us.
It was time for my team to go, so I stood to leave. But Erick decided otherwise and patted the seat next to him for me to sit back down. We hadn’t said anything to each other, but words are optional when you have Jesus.
The following year I was able to meet Erick’s mother, Lorena, and his older brother, Byron. I loaded up my suitcase with gifts galore for Erick, but when I arrived Byron had a deep look of confusion painted on his face.
“Why are you Erick’s sponsor, but not mine?”
Through my broken spanish I did my best to express to the Silva family that my boyfriend and I wanted to sponsor them. Instantly our friendship blossomed, but this time, they were family.
For the past few years, I thought Byron and Erick’s father had passed away. But when I asked our staff what happened, my heart physically ached from the inside out.
After noticing Erick’s physical handicap, their father claimed he was not his son—and left.
Byron is a bright, young child who carries an enormous load of responsibility for a twelve year old. Because of Erick’s Cerebral Palsy, Byron has to carry Erick on his back to school. He attends POI everyday with the weight of hardship wearing on his thin shoulders.
I see it written on his face everytime I see him.
Often time he gets in trouble for missing school because he feels he must find a job to help his mom with food and medicine. It’s not easy being a man at the age of twelve.
Sponsoring Erick and the Silva family through POI has impacted them, and myself, in ways I never imagined. Not only do the boys receive nutritious meals, academic tutoring, medical care, and Biblical guidance—Byron can be a little boy again.
I encourage you to visit our website and pray through the pictures that will fill your computer screen. These aren’t just children in another country who need thirty-dollars a month. They are children just like Erick and Byron—children who live in a country where poverty is normal and hope is distant.
Each one of them have a story, and as a voice behind this ministry, my desire is for you to support, love, and grow alongside these children—no matter the distance between.