Student center Primicias de Vida in Nicaragua has 279 registered children. More than 90 percent of them are sponsored. Out of those sponsored children, 2 percent are sponsored by other children or teenagers.
Regardless of their sponsor’s age, children are happy to have someone overseas caring for them, someone to communicate with through letters. Josué is in the 2 percent of registered children sponsored by someone close in age.
A soft smile and a sparkling glimmer in his eyes were Josué’s immediate response when asked about his sponsor. With much enthusiasm, Josué was able to say the country and city where she lives. He also added,
“She was 18 when she sponsored me. She’s now 22 and her birthday is in September.”
Josué is a tall, skinny and serious teenager who speaks clearly about how much he enjoys the friendship with his sponsor.
From the moment Josué was registered eight years ago, he has had the privilege of being sponsored. While he doesn’t have much information about his first sponsor, he now has a sponsor with whom he has had consistent communication.
A simple letter can do incredible things in the lives of children and their sponsors.
Through letters, Josué’s sponsor has been a great encouragement to him, as he has also been for her. It is clear that they have become great friends.
“It means a lot to have a sponsor close in age because she understands what I go through and I understand her, too, because she is young.
I love her very much. I tell her almost everything I do in all my letters.”
Josué’s excitement is not only evident when he receives a letter, but also when it is his turn to write her. His teacher Karla shares,
“Josué wishes he could write pages and pages, but the letter format is only one. Most of the time, Josué has to staple an extra page to the format.”
When Josué was younger, his mother, Nohemí, who is also the center director, helped write his letters.
“He didn’t have good handwriting. Today, Josué writes letters on his own. He likes to write a lot and I wish there was no limit for writing.”
Josué recalled one especially meaningful exchange with his sponsor,
“She once told me that she stopped going to school, but the time passed and I shared with her that I passed my first year of high school, then the second one and so on, plus that I was doing good in class.
She would get happy, and finally she went back to school because she says I became an inspiration for her since she saw my effort. She did the same to continue her studies.”
Of all the letters and birthday cards Josué has received from his sponsor, he commented that there is one that affected him a lot,
“Recently I got a letter where she told me that she graduated from a business course. I was happy for her because of that and because she told me that I had impacted her life, so she pushed herself on as I did.”
For Josué, letters are important because,
“We have gotten to know each other and there is confidence between us. In this way she knows what’s going on with me and I know what´s going on with her, too.”
Josué’s teacher Karla expressed,
“Writing letters is important because Josué and his sponsor are communicating to each other. She can find out about Josué’s achievements. Letters are an excellent way of communicating.”
The ongoing encouragement and advice from his sponsor, parents and teachers have helped Josué become an outstanding young man in the child development center and church. He is becoming a good leader.
“He is no longer a shy Josué; he is now working with the youth group board and helping with his group in Sunday school class,” comments Nohemí.
I was very excited and impressed when my son was sponsored by this young lady because of her faithfulness to write and her continuous support when for a time she didn’t have a job. It is not only the monetary support that matters, but her love and interest in writing to my child, and I appreciate that.”
When Josué´s sponsor lost her job, he told her that he was going to pray for her. Communication on her part and prayer on his side have developed a special bond between them.
“If she was here in front of me, I would tell her that I love her very much, that as I have impacted her life, she has impacted mine with her advice.”
Josué’s mother, Nohemí agrees:
“If she was here, I would give her a big hug for choosing my son, thank God for her, and tell her that she is a great blessing. My son is very happy to have her as a sponsor.”
The end result of the exchange of letters between people from two different nations is a special friendship where differences of food, language, culture and preferences don’t seem to matter.