How to sow seeds for eternity

For 16-year-old Merling, anything is possible because of her sponsor.


“I would do anything to sustain my child. She is my responsibility,” says Angela from Nicaragua.

I often wonder what I’d do if faced with some of the situations I read about. How would I survive trying to provide for a family despite little education, no home and no job? Would I fight? Or would I crumble?

Angela’s strength of spirit shines despite her circumstances. A single mother raising her daughter, Merling, in a tiny room made out of corrugated zinc sheets, Angela is keenly aware her lack of education means she doesn’t have a lot of job prospects. She spends her day washing and ironing in order to scrape together enough money to feed her daughter.

Merling and her mother sitting outside their house

When Merling was three, their local church opened a Compassion project and she was sponsored, easing Angela’s burden.

“Merling spent three afternoons [a week] at the project and I was happy because she had food and was cared for while I was working,” Angela shares. “This project is good; it is of much help to me. It has helped me to take her forward. One dollar a day is nothing and some days I cannot make even that. Our life would be harder if the project wasn’t here.”

Fast forward 13 years and Merling is a thriving 16-year-old, looking forward to her future.


“I love being at the project, to me they are like the siblings I don’t have. Tutors advise me and I am thankful for that. The project has been a great help to me in whatever I need. During the time here I have learnt and received opportunities that my mother cannot give me, like the computer and pastry vocational [training].” 


The love, care and education invested in Merling over the years is bearing fruit. She is a home-group leader in her church and is part of the project dance group. She helps in the kitchen and enjoys using her pastry skills to prepare the desserts.

Merling at her local dance group

All of this is possible because someone, somewhere, decided to sponsor a little girl they had never met. “My sponsor’s support means a lot because they send donations for my food, school supplies, shoes, and everything I need. To me, it is a lot. What I am today is by God’s grace and their support. They have done much in my life with God’s help.”

We don’t always get the opportunity to do everything we dream of. But through sponsorship, we get to sow seeds into lives that can one day grow into something truly inspiring. Something eternal. We can change dreams of the future not just for children but their parents as well. Merling has big plans.

“I want to finish high school to find a job and be able to pay for my university studies," she says. "I also want to work to find a place of my own and help my mum so she doesn’t get too tired. I want to be a great professional; I want to be a lawyer, have my own office and continue on.”

WORDS : Roz Walsh, Orfa Cerrato

PHOTOS : Orfa Cerrafo


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