Never Lose Faith

By Josela Lopez With Robyn Wilson   |  Photos Courtesy of Hope Center Staff

Even during the pandemic, a girl in Honduras refuses to give up on her dream of being sponsored.

Cleymi's story from Honduras - Never Lose Faith

The country of Honduras has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the government imposed lockdowns in March 2020, the economy crashed. Parents who already lived in poverty had no way to support their families — many couldn’t even afford food for their children.

Even before the pandemic hit, life in Honduras was often difficult. Not only do many kids suffer from poverty, but they also face gangs, crime and violence.

But even in this challenging environment, Cleymi, 12, never stops smiling. Cleymi and her sister, Yesli, attend a OneChild Hope Center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Before the girls were registered in OneChild’s program, they came to the Hope Center to listen to the Child Champions talk about God’s love. Since they were both so committed to coming, Child Champions worked quickly to register them in the program.

Cleymi and Yesli’s parents were overjoyed when their daughters were registered. The family desperately needed assistance. The girls’ dad used to work in construction but is currently unemployed. Their mom sells homemade tortillas and washes neighbors’ clothes in the river; their dad helps transport the laundry. But no matter how hard they work, they barely make ends meet.

That’s why OneChild’s program means so much to their family. At the Hope Center, the girls receive nourishing food and medical checkups—basic necessities that their parents can’t afford. Child Champions also tutor the girls and provide school supplies. The first time Cleymi received school supplies, she started crying because she had never received a gift before. The entire family has also received food baskets during the pandemic.

Cleymi praying

Even in the midst of the pandemic, Cleymi never stopped believing that God would answer her prayers and send her a caring sponsor.

At her Hope Center, Cleymi has also learned how much God loves her. And that gives her a reason to smile. “Cleymi is so happy,” says Elika, one of her Child Champions. “Even if things get rough, she always has a smile on her face. And she helps a lot at the Hope Center.”

Although Cleymi was always full of joy, she kept wondering when she would be sponsored. Waiting to be sponsored can be tough on kids. Many children ask, “When will someone choose me?” They are already receiving life-changing benefits through the program, but they are eager to build a special relationship with their sponsor.

But Cleymi refused to give up. Even in the midst of the pandemic, when many people couldn’t take on new sponsorships, Cleymi believed that God had a plan for her.

God honored her faith.

In February 2020, a church team from the United States visited Cleymi’s Hope Center. During the visit, the team met Cleymi and her family.

Jason Bentley, a Child Champion who was on the vision trip, felt like God kept putting Cleymi on his heart. “Everyone was so moved by Cleymi,” says Jason. “She is such a special little girl. She has a way of lighting up a room. She is so sweet and precious. After we returned home to Colorado, I showed her pictures to my wife and boys. We couldn’t stop thinking about her. My family already sponsored a boy in Ethiopia, so we weren’t necessarily thinking about sponsoring another. But when OneChild started talking about sponsoring one more child, I checked to see if Cleymi had a sponsor yet. When I found out she did not, we immediately added her to our family. We can’t wait to see her again!”

Who would have dreamed that in the midst of a global pandemic, someone would open his heart to sponsor another child? But the truth is that God’s love and mercy for His children are endless.

When Cleymi discovered that Jason had chosen to sponsor her, she celebrated and praised God. Her prayers had been answered! Knowing that she has a sponsor who loves her, believes in her and prays for her fills her with hope for her future.

Cleymi with her sister

Sisters Yesli, left, and Cleymi, right, love being part of the OneChild program, where they receive vital help and learn about God’s faithfullness.

 

Cleymi's family receiving food

Cleymi’s family receives extra support during the pandemic, including baskets of food to prevent malnutrition.

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