“We sponsor two boys in the Dominican Republic, Wilton from Villa Laura (a Dominican village) and Miguel from Batey Lechería (a Haitian village). Though both boys are similar in age, they don’t seem to have much else in common. Different circles of friends, different interests and talents, and different cultures that tell them they shouldn’t be friends. They had never hung out together, that we know of…until it started raining on the first day of camp.
The rainstorm forced us all under the pavilion during craft time. As our group was settling in with the craft, I looked over to see our two sponsored boys sharing paints. My mama heart smiled at the small gesture of friendship between them.
We had been sponsoring Miguel for several years when we decided to also become a sponsor to Wilton. This summer was the first time we had been with the boys together as their sponsors. We were uncertain how our time with them would go, knowing the racial tension that existed between their villages and hoping that our presence wouldn’t spark rivalry between them.
Throughout the week at camp we were able to pour into Wilton and Miguel equally, having conversations about their relationships with the Lord, with friends, with us, and with each other.
A beautiful thing happened by the end of that week. We went to Wilton’s home in Villa Laura to spend some time with him and his wonderful family, and we found that Miguel had walked over from Batey Lechería to spend time with Wilton and us. Wilton brought Miguel a cup of water as we sat on his family’s front porch. Even Wilton’s grandparents joined us, sitting down next to Miguel.
WE KNEW IN THAT MOMENT THE LORD WAS MOVING, SHOWING US THE HOPE FOR UNITY NOT ONLY AMONG THE CHILDREN, BUT ALSO AMONGST THE TWO VILLAGE COMMUNITIES.
It all started with a rainstorm and shared paints…and in the end they were calling each other brothers. What a beautiful thing that two boys whose cultures would label as foes were drawn together in friendship because of the Gospel!”
This article by Brad & Michelle Parkman was first featured in our 2018 | 2019 Annual Report.