Luis joined the Compassion program as a seven year old living in a very poor area of Honduras. His father was absent from his life, but his hard working mother did her best to be supportive of her children. Although the Compassion program provided him with a variety of opportunities, including teachings on hygiene and health, he first started coming for one reason, and one reason only.
He was sponsored by a Presbyterian church from the United States, and was blessed to receive many letters and gifts. He had much encouragement throughout the sponsorship. He had many opportunities to learn about different hobbies and trades through the Compassion program, and made a decision to pursue a career in industrial engineering.
That would require university. Over five years of university.
For a young man living in poverty, this would likely feel like an insurmountable challenge.
In 1996, Compassion realized that many exceptional students would benefit from furthering their studies and becoming professionals who lead and give back to the church and communities. That's how the Leadership Development Program began. It is a different kind of sponsorship for a small group of students who are graduating from the Child Development Sponsorship Program. The graduating students apply, and only a few are selected after an intense selection process. The best of the best.
A little over two years ago, Luis submitted his LDP application, and along with many other candidates, went through rigorous entrance requirements. He later learned that he had been selected. What that means is that provided he continues to excel and meet all the demands/criteria, for the 5.5 years he attends university for his degree, he will have his expenses sponsored. He will also have access to a mentor, finance/budgeting assistance, correspondence with his LDP sponsor, as well as various responsibilities to fulfill. What a tremendous opportunity for this young man.
So richly deserved.
Luis is a strong, ambitious young man with a sweet disposition, a wonderful sense of humor and a gentle heart. He has such a deep gift of wisdom and peace. He shared his hope of providing a better house for his family, to work hard and serve the community and the church.
Hearing Luis speak made a great impression on my heart.
I had been looking for a little girl for my mom to sponsor on this trip. Something changed the night I heard Luis speaking about his life, his love for the Lord, his hope, determination, ambition and dreams for the future. Day after day this week, we witnessed situations where the men had abandoned their family or were not the spiritual leaders of their homes... and the wives, children and communities suffered for it. God made it clear to me that we were to sponsor a little boy from Honduras with the intention to encourage him to become a young man like Luis... one who lives for the Lord and will be present for his wife and children someday. One who will be the spiritual leader of his household, and serve the Lord, the church, and his community.
A little boy who will join me in praying for my husband's leadership and relationship with Christ.
As part of the LDP program, Luis may be considered a future leader. After listening to this young man and watching him interact with those around him, it's clear that the future has already begun.