"With God, There is Always Enough": A Family of Five Takes on One More

05/20/13

"It was the most humbling and honoring experience of our lives."

Tears begin to flow as Danielle Thayer relives one of the most powerful moments in her life. A few months before, she and her husband Bob had stepped out in faith and decided to sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic named Danilo. 

 
"We have five kids," she says, explaining her reservations. "Part of it is the money, part of it is investing in them and loving them—you feel like there is only so much you can do." But the Thayers decided to sponsor a child despite their fears. "We took that step and walked in what God had planned for us," Danielle says. It turned out, God had more than they could ask or imagine in store. 

Danilo's life has many challenges, but being part of I Love Baseball has helped
           Danielle and Bob stepped out in faith to sponsor a child named Danilo, from the Dominican Republic. 
 
Danielle and Bob had already been thinking about visiting Children of the Nations' (COTN) ministry in the Dominican Republic. After they sponsored Danilo, things began to fall into place. "Three days later our flights were booked," says Danielle. 
 
The family traveled to the Dominican Republic, and got to meet Danilo their first day there. But the reality of his situation didn't sink in until they visited his home.
 
Danilo's father left the family when he was just a baby. Since that day, his mother was never able to provide enough for Danilo and his three sisters. Things got better for Danilo when he joined COTN's I Love Baseball Program last year. Because of generous people like the Thayers, Danilo received meals, educational support, spiritual guidance and encouragement, and excellent baseball training. 
 
But right when his life was looking up, Danilo and his sisters lost everything. Their mother came down with pneumonia. The children prayed for her and cared for her, but she never recovered.  The children were left alone, and Danilo became the head of the household. 
 
The Thayers knew Danilo's difficult story before they saw his home, but they still weren't prepared for what they saw. Danilo's home is made of scrap metal—sides of shipping containers, slabs of plastic, anything the family could get their hands on—patched together in the shape of a home. 


                                   The reality of Danilo's situation sank in when the Thayers saw his home.
 
"I've never been in a home like that," confesses Danielle, "dirt floors, no running water, no lights, not even any furniture." In this dilapidated home in the middle of one of the roughest neighborhoods in the Dominican Republic, the teenage Danilo was trying to lead his family and protect and provide for his sisters.
 
The Thayer family was in shock, yet at the same time, they felt the presence of the Lord in a very powerful way. "There aren't words to describe it—the love of God was so thick," says Danielle. 
 
"It was like heaven opened up and God just poured out his love," she continues. Danielle and Bob embraced Danilo and prayed over him, weeping for the pain of his situation, yet overwhelmed by the power and joy of the Holy Spirit. Danielle's praise multiplied as she saw her teenage sons and nephew, moved by the moment, join in the prayer and hugging. 
 
In that moment, all Danielle's doubts and fears of taking one more child into her family were dispelled. "With God there is always enough," she says. 

                             The Thayers feel like Danilo and his three sisters are now a part of their family.
 
Danielle didn't realize it then, but God was working on more than just her heart at that moment. Her nephew was deeply moved by Danilo's situation. Like Danilo, Danielle's nephew has lost both his parents. That night, he broke down, weeping. "I have so much here in America," he said, "but I don't have the peace, love, or joy that Danilo had." 
 
"It's amazing," says Danielle, "God was using Danilo to heal our nephew." 
 
The healing was mutual, though. Before the Thayers left the Dominican Republic, Danilo's older sister told them, "This is the first time I've felt joy since my mother died." 

Danilo and Bob share a hug in the I Love Baseball dugout.                                 Bob and Danilo embrace before the Thayers leave the Dominican Republic. 
 
Back in the United States, a rattled Danielle remembered what God taught her that day in Danilo's home. "There is always enough," she repeats. "We had five kids, and now we have four more!"
 
Do you have room in your family for one more? Take a step of faith and sponsor a child in need today.