My wife and I “sponsored” a child in Honduras through CRF. Milton Jones, the president of the organization has been a speaker at a number of events I have attended.
It was following a presentation he made over a year ago that I browsed through the pictures of children who needed sponsors so they could attend school. There was nothing exceptional about Felix Flores, except he was born in January 2002, about halfway between the birthdates of my two grandchildren. I figured I could use that as a reminder.
In the early going, the pressure of other things got in the way of my remembering to regularly send a check. I received reminders and I’d send a check, and then I’d forget them again.
When a letter, hand written in Spanish by Felix and decorated with crayon drawings came, along with a recent picture, I had an awakening.
The letter written by Felix had been translated into English so I would know what he said, and his words touched my heart. He talked about his large family that lived together, three generations in one small house. He talked about his parents and their work. He mentioned that he likes to play soccer. He thanked us for our generosity.
His letter made me feel not very generous.
But it also gave me a resolve to do better.
As I made out my next support check, I wrote a letter back to Felix. It was my first acknowledgement that there was an actual child; a living, breathing human being, about the age of my grandchildren; who needed help.
About that time, I noticed a friend who had put the photo of his “sponsored” child in his office. It was a constant reminder of that human being who needed help. My $35 check each month was equal to about half his family’s income each month. I don’t know if that bought food, clothes, school supplies, or what, but I did know that it helped Felix and his family survive and gave them the hope for a better life.
I started including photos of my family in the letters I sent. It inspired me to write letters to my grandsons in Maine – something that would probably never have occurred to me without Felix and CRF. We received copies of Felix’s report cards, showing his progress in school.
Recently, he wrote that his mother was sick. He asked for our prayers for his mother. We have been praying for his family, and we’ve tried to send a little extra money for help with their doctor bills. Two letters from Felix have arrived in the last month. He is grateful for the prayers and for the care we have tried to provide. Felix is a real boy. He will be 12 next month. I’ve never met him and he’s never met me, but he is real.
Jesus said, “ Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” I have Felix’s picture on the wall in my home. I think of him. I am reminded that we, in this nation, in the words of Milton Jones, “hit the cosmic lottery.”
- By James Barrington, Managing Editor of The Canyon News
Reprinted with permission