When Lita Hannes decided to sponsor a child, she knew that in addition to changing the life of someone in need, she would be changed as well . . . but she had no idea how much.
Lita’s sponsorship journey began in January 2014 when she went on a trip to Las Palmares, Guatemala, a small village her church adopted through Village Transformation.
Considering sponsorship for some time, Lita saw the children of Las Palmares and knew God wanted her to sponsor a child in Guatemala.
“I saw the village and could actually visualize the children and the area I could possibly have an impact on,” she said. Lita and her husband began sponsoring Cristel shortly after the trip and knew right away they would be back some day to meet their sponsor daughter in person.
After two years of waiting, Lita was finally able to return to Guatemala. She was excited to see the new developments her church helped make possible in the village and was even more excited to meet Cristel . . . her sponsored child she had been praying for and supporting.
“It was emotionally overwhelming,” she said. “I got to see the delight in her eyes, feel the joy in her heart.”
Tears of gratitude abounded as Cristel and her mother expressed the amazing transformation the Hannes’ had made possible in their lives.
As she waved goodbye that day, Lita hoped and prayed she would see Cristel again before leaving Guatemala. Sure enough, God answered her prayer, as Lita ran into her the very next day in the village.
Although they didn’t have an interpreter on the second day, Lita said the two of them formed a strong connection that didn’t need words. Cristel stayed by Lita’s side the whole time and helped her distribute food packages to the people of Las Palmares.
“Even though there was a barrier in culture and language, God broke those barriers,” Lita said. Despite their many differences, Lita and Cristel stood hand in hand serving others and spreading God’s love. “My faith became sight when I could see what God does because He’s there no matter what country we’re in,” she said.
Lita’s trip to Guatemala not only increased her faith, but reassured her that the power of sponsorship can transform individual lives—both child and sponsor.
If you’re considering starting your own sponsorship journey, Lita wishes to share this advice with you:
Don’t think long. Dive in! It’s very rewarding because you know you’re making a difference for that child, that child’s family, and the village the child lives in. But the blessings you will receive far surpass even the difference you make in the children’s lives. You will see God at work!
You may not be able to travel to another country or meet your sponsored child personally . . . but you can still make an impact! God can use you—despite distance, cultural differences, and language barriers—to truly transform the life of a child.
Be the one who will choose to invest in a boy or girl in need.
You just might find your own life changed as well.