Something was wrong with Justin. His tutor, Edwin, noticed it the moment the 7-year-old boy walked into the church. He was quiet and subdued and barely returned his favorite tutor’s hug. Even at lunch, Justin sat quietly.
“Since Justin’s family have very few resources, I know that he is always excited to eat his meal in the center,” says Edwin. “Although this time, he didn’t even touch the food.”
Edwin sat next to Justin, and slowly the boy’s story began to spill out. The night before, his parents had had a huge fight that ended in his father leaving the family. Little Justin and his siblings were reeling, missing their father and afraid for the future.
Estefany, another staff member at the child development center, overheard Justin’s heartbreaking story. She hurried off to a stack of sponsor letters that had just arrived, flipping through until a smile spread across her face.
Justin had a letter from his sponsor!
Estefany sat next to Justin and Edwin and asked the little boy if he knew how to read. Justin shook his head no.
“I told him that I was going to read the letter for him, so I began reading out loud, though I never imagine the words that came in that letter until I was reading them,” says Estefany. “We were all astonished.”
“Hello my handsome boy,” began the letter.
Justin lifted up his head and opened his eyes in wonder. “Hello,” he said back.
“I hope you and your family are well. But, before I continue my letter to you, can you do me one favor?” continued the letter. “Yes!” said Justin.
“Can you close your eyes (and, I will close mine),” Justin’s sponsor wrote.
Justin closed his eyes and smiled in silence as he followed his sponsor’s instructions through the voice of Estefany.