A Way Forward

Story and photos by Kalis Minelys, Dominican Republic Field Content Specialist

A single mom finds safety and support through her children’s Hope Center after her son drowns in a river near their home.

Miguelina, age 39, is a single mother to seven kids; three (Samuel, Henry and Marializ, pictured with her here) are sponsored and go to a Hope Center in their community. They live in Los Rieles, Dominican Republic, an agricultural community that floods every rainy season. Many families here live dangerously close to the river, and the flooding threatens their homes and lives each time it overflows.

Miguelina works hard every day to provide for her children. She is a janitor at a Christian school and volunteers at her kids’ Hope Center and church whenever she can. Her children’s sponsorship has changed her life in many powerful ways. After seeing the positive changes in her sponsored children’s behavior, she decided to join the church connected to their Hope Center. The church has become her second home.

Miguelina reading the Bible

Miguelina has grown in her faith and enjoys reading the Bible with her kids. And through the Hope Center, Miguelina and her family have received refuge during floods, food and medical aid.

Miguelina shares, “The Hope Center is a safe place and secure for my kids. When they are there, I have peace in my heart knowing that they are being instructed in the ways of the Lord, are well taken care of, and are being fed.”

A Powerful Connection

And Miguelina appreciates her children’s sponsors who have done so much for her and her family.

“In my heart there is only gratitude towards the sponsors of my kids!” she says. “It’s amazing to know that in another country there are people that love and are a blessing to my kids, even without knowing them personally. My kids love their letters! When they receive letters, they run home to show them to me.”

“I pray to God every day for the sponsors of my kids, that He continues to bless their lives in a way that they can continue to bless other kids in need.”

 A Family Tragedy

In 2010, Miguelina’s youngest son, Waldy, who was 3, drowned in the river near their home. With tears in her eyes and pain in her heart, Miguelina says finding her lifeless son in the river has been the hardest moment of her life. Even 10 years later, she still sets a dinner plate at the table for him. The support she has received from the church, pastors, the Hope Center, and her community have been her motivation to move forward.

Miguelina says, “The community in which God has placed me in, the people from the Hope Center, and my pastor have been a great support during these past years of constant struggle.”

In 2017, by the grace of God and the help of her church, Miguelina and her family received a huge blessing! The church received a donation from a visitor and were able to build her a new home away from the river and flood waters where her son drowned. This solid home has allowed her and her family to heal and feel safe as they continue to build their future together. “My biggest dream is to see my children become men and women of God and be professionals one day,” says Miguelina. With their community of support, she is confident they will get there.

“Dear sponsor, every day I pray for you and ask God to continue blessing you. Thank you for loving me.”

Marializ, who is 14 years old, dreams of being a teacher

Marializ, who is 14 years old, dreams of being a teacher. “I become so passionate about being a teacher when I see my teachers at Hope Center teach us. I hope one day I can teach other kids as well.”

Henry, who is 10 years old, wants to be a mechanic to help repair cars.

Henry, who is 10 years old, wants to be a mechanic to help repair cars. “Dear sponsor, I love you so much! Please come visit me soon! ’’

Samuel, who is 8 years old, wants to be a policeman to help keep criminals off the streets and help keep his community safe. “Dear sponsor, I love the letters and gifts that you send me. I hope I get to meet you in person one day!”

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