May 2012 Update
Provision for Andrea
In the rural town of Togoville, Togo, a young woman named Agnes tries to care for her five daughters and three sons, with no husband or provider to help. The children’s father died when they were very young, leaving the care of the children to Agnes and the children’s grandmother. Agnes works as a small trader, selling bananas and oranges. She and her eight children live in poverty day to day, trying to survive on little to no means.
Agnes longs for her 7-year-old daughter, Andrea, to have the opportunity for an education. She’s tried to pay Andrea’s tuition fees in the past, but has been unable to keep up the payments. Without making payments, her daughter is “expelled” from school, sent home without knowing if she’d ever be able to stay enrolled.
Last year, Andrea found Vapor’s center in Togoville and became enrolled in the soccer leagues. Here at the center, Vapor staff members noticed her family’s difficult situation and selected Andrea to be a part of Hasmin’s Friends child sponsorship program, where she’d have the opportunity to be matched with a sponsor. But although she was a candidate for sponsorship, Andrea spent months waiting for someone who would provide for her.
On December 16 last year, Agnes had become desperate about her daughter’s need for an education. She spoke with Victor, Vapor’s child education administrator at the Togoville center, asking him for help so Andrea could go to school.
“I cannot promise anything,” Victor told her. He explained that there was nothing he could do until someone committed to sponsor Andrea.
“But I told the mother to pray very much,” Victor said.
Across the world that same day, God was already moving to provide for Andrea. Mike Davenport had recently returned from a visit to Haiti with Vapor. In Haiti, he witnessed devastating poverty—poverty similar to that of Andrea’s Togoville home.
“After visiting one of the villages in Haiti and discussing what I saw with my wife,” Mike said, “God immediately put it on both of our hearts to support a child.”
Mike and his wife, Colleen, prayed together and reached their decision quickly. On December 16, they contacted Vapor’s donor relations manager, Susan Boycott, to begin the sponsorship process.
“In looking at pictures of the children waiting for sponsorship, Mike struggled to pick one,” Susan said. “I directed him to the two who had been waiting the longest. Still, he did not want to choose based on a picture. I selected Andrea for him, not based on any criteria.”
Susan was unaware that, across the world, Andrea’s mother had that same day talked with Victor about her daughter’s need. But now, Susan was able to notify Victor that Andrea officially had a sponsor and could begin attending school as soon as possible!
“Thanks to God,” Victor exclaimed. “Yes, indeed, we must give glory to God.”
“Andrea’s mother had an enormous burden of supporting the needs of her children,” Victor explained.
Mike’s family was also excited about the sponsorship.
Andrea is performing well in school, as well as in Vapor’s life-on-life discipleship leagues.
“Andrea follows well the teachings of the Word of God and the Bible stories which her coach tells her at Vapor,” Victor explained. “She loves school, as one can see it on her constant smiling face. Andrea’s life changed completely by Hasmin’s Friends sponsorship program. She has food paid for every morning and midday, school uniforms, sports supplies and other materials for school.”
In January, Mike traveled to Vapor’s Togoville center and was able to meet Andrea.
“Our meeting was bittersweet,” Mike said. “I was overjoyed to actually meet the child God led us to sponsor. However, it grieved me to know that there are so many children who daily live in poverty like Andrea does.”
Togoville, Togo, is located in West Africa, and is home to approximately 10,000 residents. According to UNICEF, Togo’s gross national income per capita is $440 per year, and 39 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day. Vapor’s center for humanitarian aid and disciple making was established in Togoville in 2011, and is making a daily impact in the lives of the community.