My POI story- Kimberly Barahona

Story on Kimberly Barahona, a 6th grade graduate from POI’s Project in Crucitas

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“I can´t believe it! I still remember only being able to see her eyes peeping above the stove in Ayestas.” Ruth said while coming to the realization that Kimberly had finished her last year with POI.

Kimberly Barahona, who graduated from the POI program last December, had been a part of POI since she was 2 years old. Her mother Susan, has been the cook at our Crucitas neighborhood since 2007. For a long time Susan didn’t work because she needed to take care of her daughter who is the youngest of 3. Then the opportunity to become a cook for POI opened and only because POI would let her bring the young daughter to work did she take the job.

kim6“Because Kimberly was 2 years old I remember sitting her in a corner of the kitchen with toys so she could play, not get bored and become a nuisance but after a while all the kids wanted to play with her, she easily made friends,” Susan says. Kimberly’s older brothers also attended POI projects but Susan remarks, “even though all of my kids have gone through POI, Kimberly has been the one that has benefited from it the most because she has been here the longest. It will be hard not having her next year here.”  Susan takes pride in POI, as a staff member and as a mother.  She couldn’t find words to express her gratitude. She reflects saying, “How  couldn´t I be thankful! Speaking as a mother, I knew that I didn´t have to worry about the expense of purchasing a backpack or school supplies, and when she was sick POI clinic was there to provide what she needed. Her heart is rooted in Christ because that is what she learned here.”

 

 Kimberly who had many emotions was short of words but wanted to share a couple of her most treasured memories:

What is your first POI memory?

I don’t know what my first POI memory is because I remember always being here. I remember always being happy of coming to POI and having fun playing with my friends and learning about God. I would get bored at home or during vacations and would always look forward on being back at POI. I remember Profe. Yesica, who was my Kindergarten teacher, who always took time with me to make sure I was learning everything. POI is my family, they have been here for us in the good times and during bad times, and they have helped us and given us advice.

What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned at POI?

No fighting… how to be a true friend, recognize friends who can become a bad influence and how to avoid them… help my classmates… and most importantly always seek God and follow his word.

When you grow up, what would you like to be?

I want to be a Dr. because I would like to bring healing to people that need it the most.

What is your favorite POI memory?

I’ve always enjoyed fun day but this last one I made sure to have extra fun. I knew it was going to be my last. So I enjoyed everything like never before.

What will you miss the most?

Learning something new everyday, the friendships, and being able to spend more time with my mom.

Any final regards?

Yes. I would like to encourage all the kids in POI to stay here until they graduate, not choose the easy way out and learn as much as they can.  I would also like to thank God for allowing me to become part of POI, the Hamilton Family for all what they do to make sure we are taken care of, my teachers for always putting up with me, and my sponsor, Madison, for always being so special and kind with me.

As we welcome the New Year, we remember and pray for all the sixth graders that graduated.  Some, like Kimberly, spent more then half of their life with us. They will be missed but we can’t wait to welcome new faces that will fill our classrooms.

The POI children’s program is strategically planned to help children receive daily tutoring and reinforcement lessons, nutrition, medical care but most importantly biblical guidance. For only $38 a month you can sponsor a child in our program. With this money, you provide all these benefits to a child whose family lives on about $3 a day. If you are interested, check out our website today to pick a child!

http://www.poihn.org/sponsor-a-child/

 

 

Angie is Home

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“ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. ” Matthew 25:40

During one of our visits to an orphanage for children with intellectual deficit and neurological diseases, two new faces stood out. Siblings Angie Milagro (5 years old) and Angel David Cruz (7 years old). Both have a history of intellectual deficit and medication history for epilepsy.

Angie and Angel lived with their parents who are alcoholics and drug addicts, in a garbage dump and who used the children for begging. Their history with them was one of suffering abuse, trauma, malnutrition, complete lack of attention, love and care. Because of this they were separated from their parents by the national child protection authorities.

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In the last four years the siblings have lived in three different orphanages. During the last five months we started an intentional relationship with both. Every weekend they have been staying at our house homes and shared with our boys, girls, and house home parents. They have been accepted, loved, cared for, taken to the doctor, bought new clothes. They have taken swimming lessons, visited church, gone to the movies, making this the first time they have experienced a family atmosphere.

Their grandmother, who is also a member of POI church had been requesting their custody for a while and with the help of POI on Friday December 2, Angel David’s custody was granted to her. POI will be supporting her by covering all his expenses of food, education and medicines. And Angie has been accepted to live as our newest member at the girls’ house home!

We are very happy and grateful to God for the opportunity to be able to change the life of this beautiful girl who lived in a dump, who has language problems, who is afraid of the dark but who will no longer face these problems alone. She will not feel hungry or thirst but will feel cared and loved for because Christ has loved us first. Welcome Home Angie, we have been waiting for you!

Please keep us in your prayers pray that:

  • Zarco and Sindy can be strengthened as they start facing new challenges
  • For our house home girls as they learn new family dynamics
  • For Angie as she starts her healing journey
  • For Angel David and his grandmother

My Opportunity to Spread His Love

pic4By: Mary Boyadijan

Last year God gave my mom and I an opportunity to serve in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with POI. I made wonderful relationships with my team, the translators, and the children. Our first few days consisted of doing VBS. We were assigned to teach the Bible story at the facility in Crucitas. In the beginning, I was just taking it all in, not really knowing what to think about everything, but that afternoon I realized these kids are not much different than me. They have families, they go to school, and they hang out with their friends. I had no reason to look at them any differently than I would look at someone at my school. After this realization, I jumped right in, and tried to get to know them with the little Spanish I speak. (Which is not that much) I mainly learned how they were doing and what their names were.

 

Our team had the benefit of hosting a fun day for the kids during that week. Fun day is a day when the POI staff and the kids from all of the programs get together to go to a park and participate in many different activities. I spent most of the day with the same kids. They were three sweet boys. One sixth grader named Vector, who was about the same age as me, and two kindergartners named Perci and Jefry. I felt a connection with all three of them, even though we could not communicate that well.  We did all of the activities together. We played soccer, did the piñata and ate lunch together. The most special time was when we were in the pool. I took them across the pool one time and the smiles on not only their faces, but all of the children faces was priceless. They were all grinning ear to ear and laughing. The laugh was so contagious, that I just started laughing too. Just going across the pool gave them so much joy.

 

Saying good-bye that day was one of the hardest things I have had to do. That was the last day I got to spend with them until I return next year. Of course I was crying. They all gave me the biggest hugs, which made saying good-bye even harder. Right when we got home, I began counting down the days until the next year. I also asked my mom if we could sponsor a child. I wanted to sponsor Perci and Jefry, so we could follow them up in the program. Jefry was already sponsored. It was a little upsetting at the time, but we still had Perci. I was so excited that we could stay connected with him throughout the year.

 

Again, God blessed me and my mom with the opportunity to go back, but this time with my little brother. I was so excited to get to see everyone again. Summer flew by, and it was already time to go to Honduras.  We bought Perci some clothes and a soccer ball to bring to him, and we were on our way.

 

When we arrived, I felt joy. I could not wait until the next day to see them again. This time when we didpic3 VBS, we were assigned to do the recreation. It was so amazing to see all of the smiling faces that I missed so much again. At lunch, on the first day back Perci came in the door ready to eat. I turned around to see him looking up at me with a confused face. Once I said hello to him his whole face lit up and he gave me the biggest hug. I was so happy to see him again. We sat down together at lunch, and I met his two brothers Isaac and Odibler. I got out my polaroid camera and took a picture with each one of them and gave it to them to keep. They were so amazed and grateful. For the rest of VBS, I never saw Jefry, but I created a strong relationship with his brother Jose., and many others that will always have a special place in my heart.

 

We had the privilege of hosting fun day again. I will always remember the look on everyone one of their faces. They were so happy and joyful. I did get to see Jefry that day. He told me that he had been sick for the past week, so he wasn’t able to come. Once again, we had an amazing fun day. At the end of the day, they all loaded the big yellow school buses. Right when they were leaving, Perci stuck his head out the window and said two words to me, “Te amo.” I was in complete tears at that moment, as I waved to all the buses going by with the sweet faces in the window.

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Now, we have the opportunity to sponsor Perci, Jefry, and possibly another child. Sponsoring a child is a great way to keep in touch with them, and make a difference in their life. I have spent a total of two weeks in Honduras with POI, and those two weeks have changed my life forever. I pray  that God continues to allow me to go back to this beautiful country to spread His Word and Love.