Building a Kitchen with My Sponsored Child

09/17/14

There was a rush of excitement and joy as Deron's team arrived at COTN's ministry center in Haiti. About 40 tiny children were lined up, ready to welcome them with songs, dance, and poems. 

 
When the ceremony came to a close, one of the smallest boys walked to the front. "Can I just pray for the Americans?" he quietly asked Marc Antoine Michel, our Haiti country director. "I want to bring God into the situation and make sure they feel welcome." 
 
Marc Antoine gave him the go-ahead, and 5-year-old Woodmy prayed out loud for the whole team. 
 
Woodmy was only five years old, but that didn't stop him from getting up front
Woodmy was only five years old, but that didn't stop him from getting up front and praying for Deron's Venture Team
 
That was the moment Deron knew he wanted to sponsor Woodmy. But after a long week of work and play, when Deron sat down with Marc Antoine to choose a child to sponsor, he wasn't sure which one was Woodmy. He picked the first profile that stood out, hoping it was him. 
 
"When Marc told me it was the boy who had prayed for us, I was so happy, because I already knew I wanted to sponsor him," Deron remembers. 
 
Little did Deron know that about six months later, this little boy who struggled in school and never thought he had much of a future would stand up before another Venture Team on Easter Sunday. This time, he would give an entire sermon. 
 
Deron got to hear the sermon, roughly recorded on a phone, when Marc Antoine visited Flood church in San Diego in May. "I was speechless," he says. 
 
When Deron returned to Haiti this summer, Woodmy wouldn't leave his side. 
 
This summer, Woodmy introduced Deron to his mother, and brought a photo
This summer, Woodmy introduced Deron to his mother, and brought a photo that Deron had sent him after his last trip. 
 
It wasn't too much of an issue the first few days, while the team focused on building relationships and playing with the children. But when they began their project—constructing a new kitchen for COTN's Village Partnership Program—Deron had to explain to Woodmy that he couldn't play with him anymore. 
 
"I told him there was a lot of work to do," Deron remembers, "so he just started helping."
 
Over the next few days, Woodmy worked alongside Deron, putting the team to shame with his 6-year-old muscles, stamina, and enthusiasm. Deron had the hard job of trucking wheelbarrows full of dirt and rocks from up the hill to the construction site. 
 
Woodmy (right) worked tirelessly, piling rocks into a wheelbarrow for Deron
                       Woodmy (right) worked tirelessly, piling rocks into a wheelbarrow for Deron to transport. 
 
"Every time I thought I had reached my physical limit, he would call my name from up the hill," Deron laughs. "He had found another rock, and he was so excited, because that's what he could do."
 
"I couldn't help but smile and remember why we were building the kitchen in the first place, even when I was exhausted," Deron says. "It was a good reminder that we were doing more than putting rocks in a bucket."
 
Deron and Woodmy take a break from their hard work on the kitchen
                                        Deron and Woodmy take a break from their hard work on the kitchen. 
 
Between his hardworking spirit and his willingness to preach, pray, and lead spiritually, Deron is amazed at how much growth and transformation Woodmy has shown over the past year. Woodmy is also doing much better in school. "Woodmy was not good at school at all—he had to repeat first grade last year," Marc Antoine explains. "But this year, he will pass to second grade with a high average, because of the tutoring," which he receives as part of COTN’s child sponsorship program
 
"It feels like such an honor that I would be a part of this transformation in some way," Deron marvels. "God could have used anyone, but he used me. It's just $32—not that much for me personally, but it really does have an impact."
 
Do you want to have that kind of an impact on a child's life? Sponsor a child for $32 a month today!