How long have your been a sponsor?
I became a sponsor in January 2012 during my trip to Haiti as a member of the HFHC medical mission team.
Tell us about the child you sponsor.
The orphanage at Thomazeau had just opened that week. When we arrived, there were two little girls, Naika and Melineda (ages 2 and 3) standing outside the little orphanage. Oh, my! Those two little girls melted my heart, as well as the hearts of the entire mission team. That day I became the education sponsor for Melineda, and my friend Janice, back home, sponsored Naika. The little girls were just precious! Naika was very giggly, and Melineda was a bit shy! Those two little girls received a lot of attention and love that day–and maybe just a few “sweet treats,” as well!
Why do you sponsor a child through HFHC?
I saw the dire need in Haiti firsthand, and I knew the difference an education, especially a Christian education, could make in the life of a child. Haiti’s children had my heart and impacted my life perhaps more than any other life experience. I shared that life-changing experience with some of my church family and began a child sponsorship drive where a number of children were sponsored. Others soon became involved in Hope for Haiti’s Children medical mission trips, Joy Boxes, Orphan Care Sunday, and participation in the Nashville Project Hope Breakfasts. Each new sponsorship, donation, prayer, or filled-to-the brim Christmas Joy Box made my heart so full that my eyes would overflow with grateful tears.
Do you have any stories about your experience with sponsoring?
My Melineda (Melinda), is now a beautiful young girl, and a Christian. She won the leadership award at a recent Hope for Haiti’s Children Youth Camp. From others who have seen her in recent years, I am told she has a sweet, sweet spirit. That trait is also evident in the yearly picture I receive. The smile on her lips is reflected by the joy in her eyes.
What impact has sponsorship had on you?
Sponsorship is such an easy and inexpensive way to change a child’s life, and so few in Haiti even get to attend school. I am eternally grateful that children like Melinda and Naika can grow up in an environment where they will know they are loved and cared for. Life in Haiti is unbelievably difficult, but just to know that I can make a difference in the life of even one child has impacted my life for good, as well. Who knows what impact Melinda will have in Haiti with God as her guide???