Below is a story written by Katie Burdette, sponsor from the SE region, who works with Charity Services Centers in Miami, Florida and recently visited the NPH home in the Dominican Republic!
I had the greatest pleasure to go to the Dominican Republic to visit one of the NPH homes that Friends of the Orphans supports. To get the chance to not only meet the children and staff at the home, but to also see the villages and surrounding areas that these kids are in showed the true impact of this program.
From the first moment that I stepped off the plane and met our guide at the Airport, the Staff of NPH Dominican Republic treated me with the love and attention of a dear friend. As we left the city to go to the home, a couple of children approached the van asking for money and food, many younger than my 13 year old NPH Godchild. I could not help but imagine if Wilfrido had to do the same before NPH saved him. Although the Dominican Republic was beautiful, I could still see the struggle and poverty. Inside the home, however, the children were so happy as they ran around the courtyard free to play without worry.
Nothing prepared me for how well NPH created their amazing setup; they had houses that looked just like homes one would find in Miami. They also had a complete medical building, school, working farm, pond full of fish, playground, and even a baseball field! Everything that NPH has done at the home has made a community that anyone would want to be a part of. The kids were vibrant and so welcoming. Everyone was excited to see us and was quick to ask us questions about where we come from and if we knew their godparents. I had a chance to spend some time with the younger children at the home, and as soon as I entered the house, they jumped up, hugged me, and grabbed me by the hand to take me outside to play! All of them loved to play catch and were quick to bring out books for us to read to them.
As wonderful as it was to spend time with these adorable children, nothing beats getting a chance to spend time with my Godson. Hearing some of the songs he wrote was wonderful! He really has talent! We spoke about his dreams and how he wants to become an architect. He even pointed out structures and explained to me how they were built. He has grown so much since I first started to sponsor him. Knowing that this program is making his dreams come true gives me hope that one day he too can help more children and maybe even build another home for the program. Meeting Wilfrido and the rest of his siblings really was a trip of a lifetime! I will never forget those moments with the children: reading to them, having them teach me new words in Spanish, and sitting down to eat with them in their homes that they were so proud of. I truly feel blessed that Friends of the Orphans is making such an amazing impact in transforming these children’s lives and that I had the opportunity to not only help support these special children overseas, but that they also made it possible for me to see it!