One of our sponsors, Melissa S., has started a blog (www.reachthepoorthisweek.com) where you can sign up to receive a weekly story of real child’s challenges and triumphs written at a 4th grade level for you to share with your children. (Just by subscribing, $1 will be donated to VisionTrust.)
What do you want to be when you grow up? We all have dreams about what we want our life to look like when we are older. Perhaps you want to go to college and study to be a scientist, or you may have a special talent that you want to pursue like acting or writing. Maybe playing professional sports is even in your future. For many of us, our dreams become our reality when we work hard to achieve our goals. But what about the people that work hard and still don’t have those same opportunities? What about Luis from the Dominican Republic who dreams of becoming a doctor?
Luis lives with his mother and father and two siblings. Hard work has always been a strong value in Luis’ family. His mother works as a housekeeper while his father does odd jobs for others and picks up the garbage. Both work very hard to provide for their family yet they are unable to send their children to school. Most people in the Dominican Republic do not complete high school and it is very rare for someone to make it to college. Children, especially boys, begin working at a very young age in order to bring home money to help the family. Many of Luis’ friends do odd jobs or work in the rice fields surrounding their village.
The VisionTrust Learning Center has provided Luis with the opportunity to go to school. He receives some food and help with school supplies so there is less of a burden on his family. His education has become important to him and he looks forward to completing his education. He will be the first person in his family to finish high school. Luis never thought his dream of becoming a doctor would come true. With the help of VisionTrust he now believes he can achieve this goal.
Luis has also grown in his relationship with Christ. Recently, VisionTrust led a group of teenagers in a community project where they helped others through projects such as painting a home, fixing a roof and replacing walls and doors. Luis, who is a teen himself, willingly stepped up and led many of these projects. He is so thankful for what VisionTrust has done in his village that he wanted to be a part of making a difference too. Luis has grown to be a person that many can count on to be a leader and a godly example in his village.
1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Share your ideas with your family. Discuss what you think you may need to do to achieve your dream. For example, do you need to go to college? Do you need to make sure you get more practice time in your favorite sport?
2. How would you feel if you did not have the opportunity to pursue your dreams?
3. What does “hard work” mean to you?
The most popular sport in the Dominican Republic, which younger and older people play, is baseball. Current and past professional major league players from the Dominican Republic include Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa and Pedro Martinez. Soccer also is a popular sport. Read more: http://www.ehow.com/facts_7268194_dominican-republic-kids.html
The Dominican flag is the only flag in the world with a picture of the Bible on it.
The flag of the Dominican Republic is composed of a central white cross with red and blue rectangles in the corners (red in the upper right and lower left; blue in upper left and lower right). The national coat of arms is in the center of the white cross. The coat of arms pictures a red, white and blue flag-draped shield with a Bible and cross; the shield is surrounded by an olive branch (on the left) and a palm branch (on the right). A blue ribbon above the shield reads, “Dios, Patria, Libertad” (meaning “God, Fatherland, Liberty”). A red ribbon under the shield reads, “Republica Dominicana” (meaning “Dominican Republic”).
1. Pray that Luis can continue to focus on his schoolwork and get good grades.
2. Pray for Luis’ family and that their hard work in their jobs brings in the money they need to provide for their family.
3. Pray for your community and that God will show you ways to help those around you.
4. Pray for your future. Tell God what you want to be when you grow up and ask him to guide you in school and in your everyday activities.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Ways to get involved?
Luis participated in a community project in his village. He led other teens in doing projects for people who needed repairs done on their homes. How can you be a leader in your community? How can you help others? Together, with your family, find someone in your neighborhood that needs help. You could mow the lawn of your elderly neighbor or take a meal to a friend feeling sick. Every day we have the opportunity to help others. Keep your eyes open to those who need your help and take the first step to do something for them.