Before we charge full-steam ahead into this year, we want to look back. All things considered, 2020 was miraculous. This may seem an inappropriate, or even crass description of a year that was hard on many levels, but I invite you to think about this year from the perspective of one of our Horizon children.
Johan dreamed of having a home. When he tragically lost his birth mother at a young age, Johan was found alone and in need of a family. When he arrived at La Providencia for the first time in September, this 8-year-old’s prayer finally became his reality. Johan will look back on this year and remember love. He will remember meeting his new mother and father, who joyfully take care of and love him, for the first time. In fact, we rejoice in saying that 2020 was the year that every child in our Latin American communities was placed with a mother and father couple. This is a huge step toward Family First: our belief that children thrive in families, and in light of that, our desire to place every child in a loving, healthy family home.
This year brought several advancements outside the home, too. Thanks to some generous donations, we’ve received funding to put in several sports fields at both La Providencia (Honduras) and Maono Light (Kenya) communities — and they’re nearly complete! We’re pretty excited to see and hear about all the soccer tournaments and volleyball games that go down on these courts, as sports are a consistent way the children get exercise, bond and learn a little healthy competition :).
We also installed a water reservoir in Honduras last summer. This reservoir is vital for a reliable harvest and income during Honduras’ often drought-filled summers — it guarantees a water supply for up to 2 months. Coffee and vegetable plantations will benefit most from the reservoir, and we project a 45% increase in agricultural production in 2021! Even shortly after installation, farmers noted an increase in last summer’s produce harvest.
La Providencia was also the recipient of another life-giving gift, this one indoors. Their community health clinic offers dental and medical care, but the building had quite a bit of unused space. This year, we were able to renovate and convert that space into a high school education center, enabling us to expand the schooling system to welcome kids in grades 10 -11. Nearly 100 additional kids can learn at school due to this new space — paving the way for us to expand in years to come.
La Providencia isn’t the only community with news in education either. This year, 11 students from the Baba Nyumbani community in Kenya entered college programs! They’re studying a wide variety of subjects, from Business Administration to Agriculture and Tailoring. We also had one college graduate from Baba Nyumbani! Florence attended Utali college, where she studied food production. We’re so proud of these students; it’s an exciting example of how our value of self-sustainability plays out in children with a steady support system and family.
In fact, this year provided a backdrop for the support systems — staff members, mom and dads — in our communities to shine and show their strength like never before. Like many of you, our families had to shift and adapt as quarantine became a way of life. When the onset of COVID-19 brought fear and uncertainty, our in-country staff and parents displayed their fortitude and commitment to creating a stable, healthy environment for their kids. We’re eternally grateful.
There were even some bright spots, like older children who would normally be away at boarding school returned again to their communities to finish their years online. This actually created a welcome opportunity for all the children to live together in the communities and experience growth in their personal journeys of rescue, restoration and empowerment.
Yes, 2020 was a year of challenges, of shifting gears and back-up plans. But we see a large part of the miracle of last year resting in each of you: our faithful supporters, prayer partners, friends and family. This is a mountain we are climbing together. And when we look behind us, as well as up ahead on the trail, we see you. We see children, even more up ahead, waiting — like Johan was — for their partners on the path.
With gladness and great hope, let’s jump into 2021 together, for the children!
Sarah Pryor, Creative Content Coordinator