The letter I share with you today is from EC-558, which is the project that my young man Edison attends. He will be graduating in December, so it's a short relationship, but I am still grateful to learn about the community where he is from.
My name is Erwin Reyes Samaniego and I'm the pastor of the Alliance Church Nueva Vida located in Guayas province in the Coastal Region of Ecuador. We work along with the Child Development Center that is attended by your sponsored child. Thank you for choosing the sponsorship of Edison.
The place where the center works is in a poor neighborhood. Recently, several urbanizing improvements took place. The families face hard situations such as: dysfunctional households, delinquency, drug selling and consumption. Some of the children that attend our center come from a place that used to be a dump. In this place there are no basic services, poor education in adults, and there is a lot of illnesses and poverty.
Our challenge in this community is to share the Gospel, through loving and merciful acts towards the families. We want to see strong and healthy families, who live with dignity and eradicate delinquency. The Compassion Center is attended by many children in our community, which allows us to be in contact with many families and start new friendship. Several homes have opened their homes for the church and attend regularly to the church meetings. The children receive several benefits, such as support in their studies, medical assistance, and spiritual guidance for their lives. Several youth made their faith decision last year and now they are serving in the youth ministry.
A month ago, we organized a summer camp that lasted 15 days. We had the attendance of more than 500 children and teenagers. It was a huge celebration and at the end of the camp, every child received a Bible. Recently, we started with the men ministry called Hardworking, Brave Men Who Love God and our Families. All the men showed interest and committed to attend meetings. Some of them even offered their homes for having the meetings, so they can take friends and family there.
Something that really encourages our children is to receive a letter from their sponsors. It is a big joy for them to know sponsors are taking the time to write to them. For most of them, it is the only letter the receive, no one else has written a letter for them before. This fact makes them feel loved and valued because some of our children lack a father or a mother and in some cases, both. On the other hand, we have seen the sad faces of the children that don't receive letters from their sponsors. When they see their classmates with letters and their hands are empty, they try to pretend nothing happens, but sadness is evident in their lives.
Sponsor letters help the children to improve their self-esteem. They know they have a friend who loves them, sometimes even more than their own parents. It is so nice to witness when a child receives a letter or a gift from their sponsor, and we know that it is a big impact in their lives. When children answer a letter, they express all their love and thankfulness through them. A special and unforgettable moment is when a sponsor meets their sponsored child. I understand it is not possible for every sponsor, but let me tell you, it is a wonderful moment full of hugs, and even tears, and it is a hard moment, even for us. Their relationship with their sponsor is so important for their personal development, self-esteem, and so encouraging in life.
Let's pray together for our children and teenagers, for them to learn more about God's word and may their lives be transformed and become more powerful testimony our of almighty God in our community.
I deeply thank you for your sponsorship and your commitment to give every month to Edison. May God pour many blessings upon you and your family.
Erwin Reyes Samaniego