As I write, the team is out in the barrio visiting our families from last year, seeking new students and praying. It was this same type of day last year that God overwhelmed me with the task set out before New Hope Girls. I stood outside one of the students home and sobbed. "How God? How on earth are we going to make a difference? There are so many girls. We have so little money. We have no staff." He told me "One at a time." We look back over the year and ALL of that and more were provided by our loving God who promised to provide if we just stepped out in faith. It is through this reflection that I am able to look at some of the many success stories at New Hope. When we were seeking our girls last year, we noticed a dullness in their eyes, as if a switch was just left unflipped. Never having attended school left them unmotivated, uninspired.
One of my favorite stories is about Miss N. She was rescued from a very dark emotional place for a 9 year old girl. But when she arrived at the safe house she looked around and declared, "I'm not leaving here until I'm thirty!" She was there and she had work to do.
She came to us never having set foot in a school. She could not even hold a pencil correctly. I remember this one day, after joining New Hope, when she took notice of our wall clock asking why there were no numbers on it and how could you tell what time it was. My husband began to explain Roman numerals to her and she said "Wait!" and promptly ran to grab her notebook. The notebook. This book and a pen are with her EVERYWHERE! She jotted down all the notes she needed to understand Roman numerals.This year she taught herself to swim and to ride a bike. And, after just one year at New Hope she has tested at fourth grade level by the local government school! All of this thanks to her teachers at New Hope, her motivation and God's grace. All of this thanks to her sponsors.
I pray often about how I can help people understand how their sponsorship really immediately impacts these girls and I often feel at a loss. I believe these precious girls are beginning to speak for themselves.
We are in need of sponsors for 18 of our 26 girls. That's a tall order. If you are already a sponsor, thank you and please share your experience with your friends. If you have not yet chosen to come alongside us at New Hope, would you please consider it? It truly is changing lives, one girl at a time.