On our second day in the Dominican Republic I had the honor to spend the day with my sponsored child. Seven years ago Kelly and I met Ishmael and his family. I was excited to reunite with them.
Ishmael is 14. His dream is to be a bicyclist racer for the Dominican Republic national team. If that doesn’t work out he wants to be an engineer. He’s quiet yet witty. Smart and full of joy.
We ate lunch at McDonalds where I was able to catch up over the past 7 years. It was his first time back to McDonalds since 7 years ago.
His first words to me were “It’s been so long. I’ve missed you.” Wow!
As I learned more and more of the difficult circumstances of Ishmael’s life I couldn’t help but think about the things we take for granted. Clean water. Computers. Internet. Shoes. Health. Air Conditioning.
As we wrapped up dinner Ishmael’s mom looked at me and said, “You are his hero.” Those four words hit me hard. I then realized the power of my visit.
The $38 a month ensured he was fed, provided him with a better education, and most importantly showed there was someone who cared.
Now, Ishmael is a part of the BTI360 team. He’s got the book bag and other gear. He’ll be working hard to help grow others. We are proud to be a positive influence on his life.
If you are considering sponsoring a child go here: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it has a real impact on a kid’s life.