Important Updates from the One Child Matters team, partners, and supporters.

When asked if she had a letter from her sponsor, young Hiwot came back quickly, clutching a treasure. It was a postcard sent more than two years earlier, and it contained a prayer that helped transform her life.

Letters Bring Hope

She must have known exactly where it was. That’s all our staff could think when young Hiwot ran back out of her house, clutching a letter from her sponsor. The home Hiwot shared with her mother and sister was tiny, but her quick return made them realize – she knew exactly where her sponsor’s letters were.

What’s more, the letter was two years old. It was a prayer card from her sponsors, and the words it contained were powerful, speaking right to her heart.

Our staff had asked Hiwot if she could share a letter from her sponsor because the workers at Hiwot’s project had shared about Hiwot’s transformation since being sponsored. As she walked with the staff toward her house, they learned more about her.

Hiwot’s name is quite common for little girls in Ethiopia. In Amharic, Hiwot means LIFE.

But life as Hiwot knew it was tremendously difficult.

Her father had left the family years earlier, forcing Hiwot’s mother to work odd jobs in her struggle to provide for Hiwot and her sister. Still, they had very little hope for the future.

When Hiwot’s mother learned that One Child Matters was opening a child development center in their community in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capitol, she ran to get her daughters registered.

“That was the day that everything changed in my life,” Hiwot says.

In the years since, Hiwot’s life has improved dramatically, but there were times of difficulty – something Hiwot’s sponsors noticed in her letters to them. Dean and his wife Maria remember receiving a letter from Hiwot where she seemed troubled, and they wanted to write in response to that:

It was quite a while ago, but Maria remembers that what she wrote was influenced by a letter Hiwot had written to us. She wanted to encourage Hiwot because she sensed that Hiwot needed it. The Holy Spirit prompted her to write what she did.

Thus it made sense that Hiwot quickly ran inside her house and came back with that letter her sponsors had so carefully written to speak to her heart two years earlier:

Dear Hiwot,

We pray for you and your family that our Lord will keep you safe, healthy, and provide for all of your needs. Pray to our Lord for everything so that He will know your heart, and His sweet Spirit will live inside you. Remember that Jesus loved each of us so much that He gave His life for us so that we who believe in Him can live life through Him. He knows your heart, Hiwot, so always speak to Him through prayer. We hope your studies are going well, and thank you always for your prayers.

In God’s love, Your Sponsors

Lisa Diaz from James River Church shares her experience from a recent trip to Ethiopia with One Child Matters.

Back in May I traveled with James River Church and One Child Matters to Ethiopia and filmed some impacting stories. It was the BEST TRIP I’ve ever been on so far, and I can’t emphasize enough how much God’s presence and anointing was on it. I prayed so much for God to direct me as I filmed, and then direct me as I edited, and then to use it to touch hearts- and He has done so!! This is the proudest film I’ve ever been a part of. And I say “a part of” because God was directing this piece from beginning to end.

You can find the original article by visiting Lisa’s blog at IRIS Film & Photo.

Ever wonder what your sponsored child experiences as they leave the project and head home? Kaliyan welcomed us into her boat to follow her on her journey home from the Mechrey Floating School in Cambodia.

I didn’t pass the grade because I don’t like school but in the project the tutor told me that I have to study, to be a professional in the future and I promised her to do my effort to pass the grade and I now will chance because she made me realize what important is to study. I ask you so much that you pray for I can change and to think about my future please.

— 10-year-old Julia from the Dominican Republic, in a letter to her sponsor —