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A Personal Note

Chart showing current amount of donations to the matching fundI remember three brothers at the El Oasis Children’s Village. These boys had lost their parents. Before coming to El Oasis, four-year-old Miguel would go out into the local village and scrounge for food in the city dump or wherever he could get food. He would bring it back to his younger brothers so they could eat.

It should have been no surprise that at the end of their first meal at El Oasis, the two older brothers took food from the table and quickly hid it under their beds. They didn’t yet know that you and other generous donors were going to make sure they had enough food! Each boy wanted to make sure that his brothers had enough food to eat.

But let me tell you about a special moment for Miguel and his brothers. It’s the kind of moment you make possible for boys like him. It took two or three more meals, but then Miguel began to realize that for the first time in his life he was going to have enough food! Imagine what that felt like for him! Imagine what that freed him to focus on and accomplish with his life!

This happened thanks to gifts like yours. I don’t want you to forget this — your gift to supply food for children like Miguel and his brothers is a life-changing gift.

Miguel realized he could have hot food instead of the cold food underneath his bed. He saw that he would be taken care of and receive multiple meals each day. And soon he saw that El Oasis was a place that loved children and would take care of him.

As Miguel grew up he was a helpful child on the El Oasis campus. I remember at Christmas he would offer to decorate the homes with Christmas lights. He also wanted to learn to run the little PA system in the church. He took pride in operating it every Sabbath. He would arrive wearing a suit coat that was much too large for him, but he wanted to look like a pastor or someone important. He would make sure that things functioned correctly in order to make life a little easier for the administrator.

One day the little daughter of Miguel’s house parents was learning to take her first steps. The house father was obviously excited by the event taking place. Miguel observed what was going on with great interest. He eventually approached his house father and asked, “Do you think my dad was excited when I took my first steps in life? I wish there was someone that would have been excited for me.”

His house father replied, “I don’t know about your biological father and what happened back at that time in your life. I do know that every day I’m thrilled to be your house father. As the days go by, I’m proud of everything you do - for being such a fine young man, for being so helpful and caring of other people. I know that Jesus would have been smiling down and would have been proud of you the day you took your first steps as well.”

That’s the kind of loving care you help provide with your donations! Fast forward several years to 2013 when Miguel was 20 years old. I had the chance to visit with him. Miguel told me how grateful he was to the donors and sponsors who supported him allowing him to have his life changed. He now had hope in his life and was able to pursue higher education so he could do something important to help other people. He wanted to make sure that you knew how grateful he was for helping him.

Today, Miguel is studying dentistry at an Adventist University in Mexico. He has come a long way from the little boy who was so concerned about his next meal that he hid food under his bed. Thank you for the generosity, care and love you have shown him! He will pay your kindness forward as he continues to serve others.

Doug Congleton

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