- Living In Poverty 52% 52%
550 Foreign Factories
$5 to $10 per day
5 Benefits of a Home
The Starfish Story
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
A Letter From A Family
On April 17, 2016, our lives were changed forever.
Before I share about why that day changed our lives, I want to share a little bit about our story. In 1995 we crossed into the USA from Mexico as illegal immigrants. We moved to North Carolina and I started a small business as an electronic repair specialist. During the 10 years that we were in North Carolina, our family grew, we had five children and we enjoyed a wonderful life, but the more time we spent in the USA the more we felt convicted because we were illegal immigrants. We felt like we needed to return to Mexico and live with a clean conscience. That meant leaving a comfortable life where I was making a livable wage, supporting my family. I knew that it would be a difficult life in Mexico but we had to return.
We restarted our lives in Rosarito, Mexico, finding work anywhere we could. We began baking bread and selling bread it on the street, earning $5-10 per day. Our living conditions were nothing like what we had in the USA, we were now living in poverty, earning in a day as much as I earned in a few minutes in the USA. The transition was hard on my family, we were all sleeping in one bed, in a small room, but we knew that this was where we needed to be. We were living in Mexico in a shack but we were guilt free, there was a sense of freedom, something we could not say during our time in America. And then, one day, everything changed.
My wife and I were walking down the street and I saw an old, crumbled piece of paper. I picked it up and saw that it was a from a group that was building homes for the poor. We needed a new home more than anything else, my hopes were high that we might be able to receive a home. I called the number thinking that no one would answer, but someone picked up and explained the requirements and the application process. Within a few weeks we received a home through Hope Sports. A free gift that we could only dream of was now a reality. After our house was built, we knew that we wanted to impact other families with our story. We are a living example that there is hope for a better life, that dreams can come true, and that with faith all things are possible.
Our neighborhood has a lot of need and we want to see it transform from despair to hope. We began to pray every day for our community as a family. Those prayer times encouraged us to invite others to join, and now we have two weekly prayer and Bible studies in our home. To reflect the gift that our house is to the community, we’ve named these meetings “Gift from God.”
There was such an overwhelming, positive response from our neighbors to these meetings that we decided to look for more ways to involve ourselves in our community. Soon we began plans to open a children’s feeding center in our home. To see true, lasting transformation in our neighborhood, we must look to the next generation and help them grow. Only five months after receiving our home, we opened “‘My Future Is You’ Feeding Center” and welcomed sixteen children that first day. Today we feed 58 children, three days a week, and pour as much love into them as we can.
It all comes down to better opportunities. Through Hope Sports, we were given a better opportunity for our family. Your example showed us that to give is better than to receive. That is why we are working to build faith, hope, and love in the families in our neighborhoods. Yes, life in Mexico is hard sometimes and we still struggle but we’re glad that we made the decision to return. if we hadn’t we wouldn’t have experienced the incredible blessings that we’ve received in the past few years. The house was just the beginning. There is so much work to be done in our community, and our home can make a lasting impact in the lives of those around us.
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