Story of an Immigrant: Maritza


I volunteer teaching an English class to native Spanish speakers from all over Latin America. All of my students are adults except for one 13-year-old girl named Maritza*, who is from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. For several months now, she has been begging to come to my house, so I invited her to spend the night last weekend.

Maritza and I were standing in my bedroom, and she asked about the pictures of my Point of Impact sponsor child I had on my dresser, so of course I began talking about her and her family. I showed Maritza a picture of me with Keisi, my sponsor child, along with her mother, sister, and brother.   I told her that when I met Keisi’s mom, she told me they needed a mattress because they were sleeping on the floor, and through POI I was able to use what the Lord has blessed me with to help provide that for them.

Then the words that came out of Maritza’s mouth shocked me: “When we lived in Honduras we slept on the floor. We lived in a one-room apartment.”

This blew my mind and didn’t fit with what I knew about her family, so once I regained my composure and could speak again, I began asking questions:
Me:  How old were you when your dad left Honduras and moved here?
Mari:  I was a baby. So it was just my mom, me, and my brother. Sometimes when I was little I forgot who my dad was.
Me:  But your mom was a psychologist in Honduras, right? That’s a good job.
Mari:  Yes, but she couldn’t leave me and my brother at home alone, so she couldn’t work many hours.

I just kept thinking, if only there had been a place like POI where she lived. She has a seemingly great life now that her father has become a US citizen and been able to bring the rest of his family here, but I just keep thinking, how much more about her life in Honduras has she not told me? Did she have enough to eat? Did she have clothes that fit?  Clean water to drink?

I’ve begun to realize just how common the situation of the kids in POI is in Honduras. I can’t change the world.  But even if I can make a difference by sponsoring just one kid, that’s one child, one family, who has a better chance, not only of getting a nutritious meal every day, but of coming to know the love of Christ and breaking the cycle of poverty in her family.  And who knows, perhaps our Father has placed little Keisi in one of the poorest parts of the world and then given her hope and pointed her to Him through POI for a purpose we cannot imagine.  Perhaps she has a “such a time as this” in her future as young Esther did, and the Lord is using POI and even me–what a blessing–to be a part of her journey of preparation.

Written By: Kaci Robertson



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