|   Posted: May 22, 2018

What can bring hope to a little boy who feels lost and alone? Read about this beautiful, surprising source of healing for 7-year-old Justin!

Father to the Fatherless

What can bring hope to a little boy who feels lost and alone? Read about this beautiful, surprising source of healing for 7-year-old Justin!

Justin sits at a table writing a letter to his sponsor

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.

“... And, now imagine that I am right there with you ... telling you how I love you so ... telling you how much God loves you — and, how much He must love me to let me have you in my life ...”

Each word from that letter made Justin sit up straighter. Made his smile wider. He even began to eat from the plate that sat in front of him.

As the letter continued, Justin replied out loud to each question from his sponsor, laughing and eagerly looking at the photos she had included.

“It’s amazing the impact that words can do in children,” says Estefany. “Justin’s day ended in a different way because of his loving sponsor, who took the time to write this beautiful letter that came right on time.”

At home, Justin shared his letter with his mother and siblings. Each one found a bit of hope and peace in those perfectly timed words.

“I love my sponsor, she is the best, and I like what she writes to me because she makes me feel special,” says Justin. “I’m thankful because she prays for me and my family. I pray that God blesses her and her family too. I love to receive letters from her, and I’m thankful that she loves me.”