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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Jaimito: A Day in His Own Words

Jaime is 11 years old and lives in the La Prosperina neighborhood. He had the happy opportunity to be registered at Jesús es Amor Student Center about six years ago.

Jaimito, as many of his friends call him, is a very joyful, outgoing, obedient and disciplined child. He truly loves his parents and siblings, and most of all he has surrendered his heart to God.

family outside their homeJaime and his four siblings — Jesús (16), Jonathan (9), Allison (5) and Aarón (3) — live with their parents, Jaime and María, in the basement of a humble house. Jaimito’s grandma on his dad’s side gave the house to the family 16 years ago. It was once a warehouse full of old and useless stuff, but now it is Jaimito’s home.

Jaime’s father doesn’t have a steady job. He’s an artisan who makes plaster layers that are used in roofs in most houses on the coast. Currently, he works at a little artisanal factory. He makes U.S. $40 every week.

On the other hand, María, Jaime’s mother, doesn’t work. She does all the chores at home and takes care of her five children. She would love to find a job that would enable her to sustain her family too.

María graduated as a nurse’s helper a short while ago. She took a one-year course at a local institute.

Jaimito: A Day in His Own Words

boy brushing his teethNormally, I get up at 6:30 a.m. and get myself ready to go to the center. I wash my face, brush my teeth, and then have breakfast with my family.

My mom usually puts a cup of coffee and a piece of bread or some crackers on the table for each of us. Breakfast is the coolest time of the day because my entire family is there.

After that, I take my medicine — the one that the doctor prescribed. She’s the doctor from the center. She’s really kind and always treats me nicely. She also encourages me a lot. I know she will totally help me to get well soon.

I leave for the center around 8:30 a.m. (more…)

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