This is the story of one.
My life is a testimony to the power of one prayer, one smile, one thought, one hug, one verse.
I believe that there is immeasurable power in one life to change the course of another.
Chapter One: Fernando Rafael.
This child captured my heart with his infinite energy and infectious laugh. I chased him around for a bag of chips, tickled him until he buckled over, and spun him in airplane circles until neither of us could see straight.
Just like that, we had formed an unbreakable bond. It could stretch across the ocean, across time and language and lifestyles as different as day from night.
The beauty of human nature is that despite all our differences, at our hearts we are essentially the same. We occupy different corners of grass, desert, ocean, and mountain, but we all look for love. We all need healing. We all want to have purpose. We all have looked in a stranger’s eyes at one point and wondered what was hiding behind them.
Imagine what life would be like if we took the time to listen to the story. Or better yet, become part of it. And then tell it.
26 months ago, Cartagena was just the destination of a plane ticket in a country known for all the things that make it ugly: violence, instability, drug trafficking. No one told me in the midst of the brokenness I’d find beauty. No one told me that while looking for solutions to problems bigger than myself, I’d find the answer in the embrace of a four year old boy. Love.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. - 1 Corinthians 13:7-8
Fernando taught me resilience, love, and joy despite circumstances. I owe it to him to introduce others to his home, a haven of treasures nestled in a country that often gets overlooked because of an ugly face. I owe it to him to urge others to look beneath the surface. Because if one person sees what I have seen, maybe one more story will get told. These are stories that deserve to be told, that need to be heard.
Because if you understood the love I have for that little boy, you would do everything you can to give him the opportunities his dreams deserve. And there are countless other children waiting for that love.
Add yourself to the equation.