But Ablavi’s dad still lived far away, and she missed him. She wrote about it in her letters to her sponsors, Linda and Doug Pfaff in Colorado. “We are very much family oriented,” says Linda, who had been enjoying letter exchanges with Ablavi. “And when we found out that her father wasn’t even with them, that made us think: Oh, my goodness. Kids need their parents.”
About a year after they started sponsoring, the Pfaffs found out they could send a family gift — money that would help Ablavi’s family with expenses not covered by sponsorship. Doug and Linda say they wanted to send a family gift because they wanted to pass on the blessings in their own lives — two sons, daughters-in-law, six grandchildren and a successful family business. So they sent $1,000.
“But we had no idea the magnitude of [how] the gift would help,” Doug says.
How could he have known that $1,000 would solve two of the family’s biggest problems?
‘FUTURE WITH GREAT HOPE’
Ablavi, now 13, no longer crowds together with nine family members to sleep. There is more room to sleep, study and play, now that she lives in a newly built two-bedroom home.
The church workers who run Ablavi’s Compassion program worked with her mother to decide how the family gift should be spent. They arranged for the construction of a new home, which cost about $650, and the purchase of livestock for the family. The home is much larger and belongs to Ablavi’s parents, who no longer have to worry about rent payments. Ablavi’s grandparents stayed in the other home, which is better suited for two people than 10.