Our story starts in 2012, when a man named David traveled to Nicaragua to visit his sponsored child, Antonio. When David returned from his trip, he wrote an entry in his blog and shared pictures from his trip. After reading David's words about Antonio and his family, my heart went out to this little boy.
Antonio's mom is my age, right around 25 years old. Antonio is 9 years old. I could be Antonio's mother. It's hard to imagine, for me, but it's true. I could have given birth at age 15-16 and had myself a son that was Antonio's age. This woman is a superhero.
Antonio now lives with his mother and his equally young stepfather. Together, they brought a sweet baby boy into the world, so Antonio is now a big brother.
Then, I read David's account of Antonio's home. He spoke of it as a glorified box, a shack, a very un-sturdy home. Wobbly walls and roof. He mentioned it not having any running water and the family's toilet was simply a hole that was dug into the ground behind the house.
My heart ached for this family. But, despite all of those things, Antonio is a wonderful little boy and seems to just shine right off the computer screen in pictures:
In November of this year, David announced that he will be moving to the Philippines to work with an organization that helps children and families. He has a wonderful opportunity to do God's work in that country and will be teaching children there. He announced that he will no longer have a way to support his sponsored children and asked his family and the O.C community to take over the sponsorships of his children, if they were able.
I have to be honest with you here, I had no intention of sponsoring another child. I thought my family was big enough, I was excited to be in a place in my life where I finally had a little extra spending money, excuses, excuses. But, then I remembered Antonio. I remembered his hard story and his sweet smile that lit up my heart and I knew that I could sponsor him. That I would sponsor him.
I talked to David, and after a couple short weeks, Antonio is now on my account. He is here for me to love and get to know. I am beyond blessed.
I want to wish David all the best in his work and mission in the Philippines. I know that God has great plans for his life and I'm excited to hear updates along the way.