Committed Love Moves a Sponsor to Ecuador

A man and a boy sitting at a table looking at a book

Allen Charles Graham is single, but he understands the meaning of the word “commitment.” He started sponsoring children in 1989 when he lived in the United States, working at a TV network. Currently, he lives in Ecuador and is the Training Director at HCJB Global Voice radio station.

“This was something I always wanted to do ever since I looked at the advertising spaces in some magazines.”

Allen had the opportunity to take a closer look to the blessing of sponsoring children when he came to Ecuador for the first time back in 1989 as a “working visitor” for HCJB. He was assigned a prayer partner, who happened to sponsor an Ecuadorian child.

When the prayer partner visited his sponsored child at the coastal city of Guayaquil (260 miles from Quito), he came back and he showed pictures to Allen and shared about that experience.

That was when Allen received that special motivation and knew he was going to commit to sponsor a child as soon as he went back to the United States.

Actually, that was one of the first things Allen did when he was back home. He looked for a Compassion ad in a magazine, cut the invitation to sponsor a child, filled it out, and sent it including this note: “I prefer an Ecuadorian child.”

“In September 1989 I received a package with the information of a boy, Marcos from Guayaquil.”

This boy, the first child he sponsored, was 10 years and boy

Surprisingly, a couple of months later in 1990, Allen received an invitation to give some lectures at the English Fellowship Church in Quito. Of course, he took the opportunity to visit Marcos.

So in July of that year, Allen met Marcos in Guayaquil. Marcos was 11 years old by that time, and he just talked and talked all the time.

“I didn’t speak Spanish and Álvaro, the translator, couldn’t translate fast enough all the things Marcos said.”

Sign language and, most of all, the language of love … hugs, tickles and smiles, let Allen and Marcos establish a strong friendship bond. When they were saying their good-byes at the airport, Marcos said, “I will pray a lot for you to come back to my country.” … And God did answer his prayer!

Allen was called by God to move to Ecuador as a missionary. In March 1992, HCJB accepted his application and later that year he traveled to Costa Rica to learn Spanish.

August 19, 1993, is a day Allen will never forget since it was the day he arrived in Ecuador after a special call by God. He was not just willing to be a missionary with HCJB, but was yearning to see little Marcos again, for Marcos had stolen his heart, and God had listened to Marcos’ innocent prayer.

Since that time, Allen has sponsored a half dozen children. He is currently sponsoring two children — a girl in Ecuador, Mariuxi, and a boy in Bolivia, Pedro.

From all those children, Marcos is the one who left a very deep imprint in the life of this communicator highly committed to children.

At the present time, Marcos is 30, and this sponsor/sponsored-child relationship has evolved almost into a father-son relationship. (more…)

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Seeds for the Harvest

The green leaves start to receive the first rays of the sun, leaving the darkness and cold of the night behind. It is 6 in the morning and the harvest looks ready – ready to be separated from the corn bush, ready to become part of a meal, and ready to be part of a change in the lives of an entire community.

This is the fruit of seeds planted with hope, watered with hard work and dreams, and, at last, harvested with joy.

man sitting on groundPastor Damian checks two sacks full of beans. It is just the beginning of the harvest and the fruits already look promising.

Another man, Brother Juan, a seasoned farmer with dark skin and gray hair, is a perfect example of a Salvadoran farmer – thin but somehow robust, quiet and wise. Juan has served as an adviser to Pastor Damian since they decided to implement program “Double Seed.”

Juan talks about the beans and how they should keep some leaves and dirt in the sack so the beans will not lose the humidity they need.

“This way, they can last for about a year,” he adds, and smiles, knowing that the efforts made these past three months have given results – promising results that translate into hope.

It has been three months since Double Seed started in the community of Corinto, in Zaragoza, a city located eight miles south of the capital city, San Salvador, in El Salvador.

These past months meant sweat and great efforts for the people, but it also meant hope for a future that did not seem so clear a few months before. (more…)

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