Meet Titus

Museva Titus

 

This week you will meet Titus.  He is a 16-year-old boy from Zimbabwe.  Titus lives with his grandparents and other family members in the rural village of Ngundu.  They live in a small, brick hut that has no plumbing, electricity or running water.  Titus must get his water from the community well.

Both of Titus’ parents have passed away.  Titus was going to school but once his parents died he felt like he could not continue getting an education.  VisionTrust encouraged Titus to continue with his schooling.  They paid for his education and clothing and over time he finished his primary and secondary education.  Titus says, “Everything I have is from VisionTrust.” VisionTrust has also taught Titus about God.  He has begun to share the good news of Jesus’ love to other people.  Titus is very thankful for all that VisionTrust has done for him.

 

Discussion Question:

Have you ever felt like you were in an impossible situation?  Titus felt like it would be impossible for him to finish school after his parents died. VisionTrust helped to guide Titus to make a wise decision about his future.  Think of a person in your life that could help you to make a wise decision about your situation. Go to them and talk to them about how you are feeling.

Scripture:

Matthew 19:26

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

 Ways to get involved:

VisionTrust told Titus about Jesus and his love for him.  In turn, Titus is telling others what he has learned.  Is there someone in your life that you would like to share God’s love with?  Do something special for them.  Tell him that you love them.  Speak kind and encouraging words to them.  Love them the way Jesus loves you.  Tell them what you are learning about Jesus.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for Titus as he shares God’s love with others.
  • Pray for the Vision Trust group in Zimbabwe.  They are helping so many children like Titus.
  • Ask God to give you courage to ask a wise friend for advice in a hard situation.

Fun Facts: 

  1. Zimbabwe is located in the southern part of Africa.  It is landlocked which means it is surrounded on all sides by land.
  2. Sadza is the most common food in Zimbabwe.  This is the food that Titus and his family eat everyday.  It is made from ground maize (corn) into a stiff porridge and is usually eaten with meat if the family can afford it.
  3. Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.  It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  The falls form the world’s largest curtain of falling water at one mile high and 360 feet high.  The local people have named it Mosi-oa-Tunya’ which means “the smoke that thunders”.

 

 

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Ishwarya and Anand

PicMonkey Collage

Ishwarya and Anand are twins from the country of India. At the age of three, these children’s lives changed dramatically. Their father was an alcoholic. Life was already hard having a father who drank too much and would become angry. Things soon got much worse for this sweet boy and girl. Their mother, in an attempt to get away from their father for a few days when she was afraid he would be angry with her, was hit by a train and killed. This left the twins and their older sister without a mother. If most of us lost a parent, there would be someone who would love us and care for us. Their father left them and married another woman. Can you imagine losing both of your parents at the same time? They lost the only caregiver they knew, their mother. Their father who was supposed to care for and protect them was now gone too. Since he didn’t take care of them, their older sister did what she could to provide food for them. Sometimes neighbors would help, but because food was scarce for their families as well, they had to stop feeding the children.

The aunt of the twins tried to help these children by taking them to a hostel to study. A hostel was like a boarding school. They would go there to study and have a place to live. However, the aunt had a hard time paying for the fees and ,without her knowledge, the people in charge of the hostel were sending the kids to neighboring homes to work in order to pay for the fees. Once the family found out that the children were not getting an education, they took them out of the hostel. The aunt and uncle tried to get them into another school, but most of the schools avoided them because they did not have the money to pay for the education. They felt that there was no hope for this young girl and boy.

Finally, the aunt and uncle heard about the VisionTrust Learning Center. They approached the staff at the center and were welcomed! They currently are enrolled in the school while living with their uncle. The children feel that it is only because of VisionTrust that they are able to study and go to school. Eating and playing with other children was at one time a distant dream for them. They are now very happy, well nourished, learning a lot and believe that they have a good future ahead.

Discussion Questions:
• What are the benefits of having food? What about having an education? How could not having either or both of these effect your life today and what it might look like in the future?
• Look up James 1:27. What is our role in helping the orphans of the world?
• How can we be a part of the mission to “help” the orphans? Even if we never meet any, what can we do?

Ways to Get Involved:
There were people that failed these children, but there were also people that never gave up finding a way to help them. After searching for someone that would help with the children, the family finally found that help in a VisionTrust Learning Center. Consider praying for these different learning centers around the world and if able, possibly supporting one of these kids through VisionTrust or some other organization that helps the orphans of the world.

Prayer Requests:
• Pray that Ishwarya and Anand would both grow to be strong believers, that they would remain healthy and well fed. Pray that God would bless them with a good education and that they would come to know Jesus personally.
• Pray for all of the children at this learning center in India. Pray that they would grow to be intelligent, Godly young men and women.
• Pray for the staff as they seek to meet the needs of as many children as possible.

Fun Facts About India:
• India is located in South Asia. At one time, India, Pakistan and Bangledesh were all one country until they split from Great Britain in 1947 and gained their independence.
• India has the second largest population in the world, with over 1.2 billion people.
• The highest mountain in India is Kanchenjunga. It is 28,209 feet tall. It is the third highest mountain in the world.
• The most popular sport in India is cricket. India had the first team to win the Cricket World Cup on home soil when they took the title in 2011.

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Jose’s story

*written by Claire Mraz, 13 years old

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In America, we don’t realize how blessed we are. We have food and water, clothes, houses, and money. Others aren’t so fortunate. Jose Enrique is a thirteen year old boy who is an orphan. He lives in Peru, a country with mountains and rainforests. Sadly, Jose’s mom sold all of their furniture and household items for alcohol. There were times where they didn’t have food for up to three days in a row. Their poverty became so extreme that Jose and his brother, Luis David, had to go live at the VisionTrust Center.  With the help of VisionTrust, they have had a chance to see a doctor; and more importantly they are also getting daily meals. Jose now has a mattress to sleep on every night!  He goes to school at the VisionTrust Learning Center and has the highest grades in his class! They later got news that their mom was dying from liver failure and were able to spend some time with her. She was taught the gospel and got to know Christ before passing. Jose enjoys soccer and other group games; he also likes to draw. Even with little, most of his life, Jose Enrique is happy at the VisionTrust Center. They have made a wonderful and important impact on him and his brother along on their journey.

Discussion Questions:

  • If you had to live at an orphanage would you look to God for aid and advice?
  • How do you feel that Jose’s mom became closer to God?
  • Do you like playing soccer or other sports?

Fun Facts:

  • Peru is officially known as the Republic of Peru.
  • Spanish is the main language in Peru but some may speak Quechua or Aymara.
  • Peru’s currency is the Nuevo Sol.
  • The finest cottons are from Peru.

Ways to get involved:

Jose stayed strong during his transition away from his home. You could go to an orphanage and give those strong kids some encouragement and every other person there as well. You could also ask someone to go to church with you and introduce them to God.

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for Jose and his brother as they deal with life and the worries they may face.
  • Pray for all of the employees at VisionTrust, that they have the wisdom to teach these kids about God.
  • Finally, pray for all of the children who are orphans or just struggling children, help them get to know God and all of the wonderful things he does for us.

 Scripture:

And he said to them “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15

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Albertha’s new glasses

albertha

*Sorry we’ve been gone so long…   We plan to get these stories out much more consistently in the coming months and hope you enjoy sharing them with the children God has placed in your lives!

Check out a video about Albertha’s story of sight renewed by clicking here: Sight Renewed

Albertha is a 17 year old girl who lives in Liberia and enjoys playing kickball.  The small, coastal, African country of Liberia is still recovering from

a 14-year Civil War that ended in 2003. The Liberian people are struggling to rebuild their lives after having almost everything taken away from them by the gruesome war. Even after 10 years of peace, the vast majority of Liberians still do not have electricity or running water, and many children do not have access to adequate education or health care.

Albertha is one of these children who had to drop out of school. Her father died, and she lives in a house with 5 other people including her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother works as a nurse for the government, but she is the only one in the household that has a job. The family eats one meal a day and live together in a house without electricity and running water.

Another problem Albertha had was that she couldn’t see very well. This made reading and learning difficult. Things began to get better in several ways for Albertha.  She got the opportunity to enroll in school when VisionTrust came into her village and started a learning center. Albertha now has prescription glasses given to her by a doctor – she can read better because of the glasses which helps her a lot in school.

Through her new experiences at school and getting her glasses, Albertha was able to hear and understand that Jesus loves her and wants to have a relationship with her. She decided to follow Jesus and is continuing to learn more about Him. She now feels God’s love and understands that she has hope for eternity.

Discussion Questions:

  • Do you wear glasses or contacts? What would be some of the difficulties you would have if you couldn’t see very well and had no glasses or contacts to help you see better?
  • How many meals do you eat everyday? Can you imagine just eating one time a day?
  • What were some of the good changes that happened in Albertha’s life?  What have been some good things God has been doing in your life recently?

Fun Fact:

Liberia has amazing beaches, a rich supply of minerals and forests, and a great climate for agriculture.

Prayer Request:

Please pray for the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.  For more specific information click here: www.visiontrust.org/ebola 

Pray for Albertha to continue to grow in her relationship with Jesus.

Scripture: 

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law.” Psalm 119:18

 

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Mary’s story

  • *written by Rachel Spoelstra, 12 years old
  • *parents – read ahead before reading to your child as some of the circumstances of Mary’s life include being sexually abused by her father
  • *Mary’s name has been changed to protect her identity

mary

Mary is a 15 year old girl from the Dominican Republic. When Mary was born, there were five people living in her house including her mom, dad, and three brothers. When she was two years old, she fell and lost her hearing. Then something terrible happened to Mary when she was seven years old. Her father behaved inappropriately toward her and hurt her. He was caught and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his crime against his deaf daughter.

Now, Mary lives with her mom and brothers. Her mother sells food on the street to help the family have enough money to survive. Whily studying at the public school, the leaders told Mary’s mom she would have to find a special school because she was deaf. They weren’t equipped to help her.  Her family could not find a school that would take her until they heard about the VisionTrust school for the deaf in Sabana Perdida.  Now Mary attends this school.

She has seen God in the eyes of the people who have helped her recover from the hardships of deafness and abuse in her life. Mary has received both spiritual and psychological attention at the school. She has much to overcome from her past, but she is making progress and learning to forgive her father.

Mary is also getting help with sign language. At her previous school, she wasn’t taught to sign, but now at the VisionTrust deaf school, she is beginning to learn. Before she found this new school, she didn’t have any hopes and dreams. She was just trying to cope from one day to the next. Now, Mary is interested in volleyball and wants to go to college one day.

After hearing about God, Mary decided she wanted to follow Jesus too. She is sad when she can’t come to school and learn about God as well as get healthy food and the special attention that she needs.

Discussion Questions:

  • Who have you had to forgive recently?
  • Was it easy or hard?
  • How does what Jesus did on the cross forgiving us for all our sin help us to forgive others?

Scripture:

“The Lord is a refuge to the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9

Fun Fact:

The Dominican Republic is the oldest country of the Americas. It was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first trip in 1492.

Ways You can Get Involved:

As Christmas approaches, find a way to serve as a family those who are in need or who have suffered abuse. Look into local opportunies to help those in need.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for Mary to grow stronger and learn sign language well.
  • Pray for Mary’s mother to get a better job opportunity.
  • Pray for Mary’s father to turn from his sin and turn to God.
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Zimveka’s story

MW001-0008 zimveka Ntonio 1 (640x480)

Zimveka  is a four year old boy who lives in the village of Katsekera, Malawi. His village has no running water or electricity. Most of the homes are brick and have straw roofs. The more elaborate ones have tin roofs.

Zimveka and his brother lived with his grandmother in a make shift home that was literally falling apart. Since they didn’t even have enough money to feed themselves, they certainly couldn’t afford a better home.  Often there was literally no food on their table and the two boys went hungry day after day. Zimveka and his brother suffered from extreme malnutrition.

Things began to change for Zimveka when he joined the Learning Center in his village run by VisionTrust. When the leaders discovered that Zimveka’s home wasn’t livable, they built his small family a new house. His life is being transformed as he gets daily food and lives in a new house along with his grandmother and brother. In Katsekera, it gets down to 40 degrees in the winter and many of the houses don’t have windows, doors or blankets.

Recently, a VisionTrust team from the United States visited and said, “We saw their sleeping arrangements and they are simply a straw mat on the floor or something similar. They just sleep huddled together. The people in the village are hopeless. They think that this is all there is.”  The team did many home visits, and simply shared a story of how God had worked in their lives. Two of the women got teary-eyed when others told about God’s provision. The people were so grateful for a blanket and bar of soap. Most of the women or children walk about 1/2 mile to pump water from the well.

Zimveka now is one of the 90 kids in the program that receive one nutritious meal daily consisting of a protein, starch, and vegetable. They mostly eat eggs, peas, tomatoes, or potatoes. Zimveka is still very quiet and shy. The director says he is still learning to trust, coming back from severe malnutrition.

Discussion Questions:

  • What do you usually do when you feel cold?
  • How would it feel to be cold but not have a house or even a blanket to try to get warmer?
  • What do you think about Zimveka’s village? How could you bring hope to children like Zimveka?  (If you would like to share your ideas – please send them to mspoelstra6@gmail.com and we will share them in next week’s post.)

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for Zimveka to get his strength back and recover from malnutrition now that he has adequate food and shelter.
  • Pray for Zimveka to recover emotionally from the strain of poverty as only a four year old.

Fun Facts:

It is not unusual in Malawi to see a 12-seater bus transporting 25 people, plus goats, chicken, and baskets of vegetables.

Chichewa is the language they speak in Malawi.

Learn more about Malawi: https://www.visiontrust.org/where/country/id/malawi

How you can get involved:

  • Consider sponsoring a child like Zimveka in Malawi. Check out this link to sponsor a child: https://www.visiontrust.org/sponsor/
  • Pray for Zimveka every night this week.
  • Take some time to thank God for the shelter and food He provides for you each day.

Scripture:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.”  (Matthew 25:34-35)

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Jeferson’s Story

written by Claire Mraz, 12 years old

Jeferson1

Jeferson Alexis Mendez Grande is a five year old boy who lives in Cruz Blanca which is a town in Guatemala.  He lives with his Mom and Grandparents in an adobe home with a tin roof.   Typical adobe homes would have a dirt floor, mud walls, and most likely wouldn’t have running water or plumbing inside the home.  His mom cooks with an open fire.  He likes to play soccer/football and with his toy cars. He speaks Kak-chikel, a Mayan language spoken by the indigenous people.

Jeferson’s dad abandoned his family so they have a hard time with finances. Jeferson has been going to the VisionTrust Learning Center for two years.  He brings home stories from the Bible and tells his family about Jesus and prays with them.

Jeferson’s grandfather didn’t believe in God and was very proud of that. Jeferson would pray with his grandfather every night.  One evening Jeferson asked his grandfather to pray, and when his grandfather prayed, he felt something inside of him that he couldn’t explain. Ever since he has never gone to sleep without praying.

At the VisionTrust Learning Centers, the children like Jeferson learn more about God and teach their families about our Savior.  Even the youngest children can help make a difference in sharing God’s news.

Discussion Questions:

o   Do you have someone in your life you could tell about God?

o   What makes God so important to you?

o   Do you pray every night before bed?

Fun Facts:

o   Spanish is the official language in Guatemala, but there are 21 Mayan dialects.

o   Despite its size, Guatemala is home to 33 volcanoes.

o   The first chocolate bar was created by Mayans in Guatemala.

o   Guatemala means the “Land of the Trees” in Mayan tongue.

Ways to Get Involved:

Jeferson taught his grandfather about God. Consider organizing a group to help you share the word about God. Invite people to church with you or simply share a Bible verse with them each day. You could also find an organization that donates soccer balls to children who can’t afford them in different countries.

 Prayer Requests:

Please pray for Jeferson that he continues his education.

Pray that God gives Jeferson’s mother the wisdom and strength she needs to keep providing for his family.

Pray for Jeferson’s grandfather and that he continues to grow in his spiritual journey with God and continues to use Jeferson to teach people about him.

 Scripture:

“For everyone who ask receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:10

 

 

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Kudakwashe’s story

written by Rachel Spoelstra (12 years old)

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Kudakwashe is a 26 year old young man. He is an orphan but he grew up with his aunt and uncle. In Zimbabwe where he lives, he has no electricity or running water. His many chores to help his family included fetching firewood and water. He normally eats sadza vegtable and meat if he’s lucky(chicken or roadrunner).  He eats about once or twice a day.

Kudakwashe speaks English and Shona. His father died when he was four and his mother died when he was nine. His aunt and uncle raised him along with his brother and two cousins.  He was very close to his brother who died last year at the age of 21 from a brain tumor. Growing up, his aunt was very kind to all the children.  She farmed, and his uncle worked in road construction even though he battled a disease called diabetes.

Do you enjoy sports like soccer?  Kudakwashe loves soccer and also is very interested in school. About three years ago, Kudakwashe joined the VisionTrust program that is called HELP. It stands for Higher Education Leadership Program.  This made it possible for Kiudakwashe to attend university where he is studying economics and geography. He hopes to become an accountant working for VisionTrust one day!

He has two years left to complete his education. Without VisionTrust, there is no way Kudakwashe would be able to have this chance at a degree. His VisionTrust leaders have also been mentors in his life. They taught him God’s Word, and Kudakwashe says he knows God better because of VisionTrust.

Kudakwashe wants to work with VisionTrust one day because he sees the difference it makes in his very poor village. The children in the program look healthier from the meal and fortified prridge they receive. Kudakwashe wants to help those who have changed his life in so many ways.

Discussion Questions:

What do you think Roadrunner meat tastes like?

Can you tell that some students look healthier or better fed than others at your school?

Fun Facts: 

Zimbabwe is believed to be the location of Ophir, the ancient wealthy country from which King Solomon got ivory, gold, and such other precious items.

Ways you can get involved:

Consider sponsoring a child in Zimbabwe so they can be one of the students in the village that looks healthy instead of hungry. Jasten, Josiah, Matthew, and Aletah are waiting to be sponsored: https://www.visiontrust.org/where/country/id/zimbabwe 

Prayer Requests:

Pray for Kudakwashe to do well in school to finish his education strong.

Pray that more students will be able to get higher learning through the VisionTrust HELP program.

Scripture:

“Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.” Proverbs 4:13

 

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Tadiwanashe’s story

ZW001-0215 Tadiwanashe Moyo1

In America, we have a right to an education. As a part of the taxes we pay, all children not only have the right to go to school, but it is the law. Many American children do not understand how blessed they are to have this privilege. It is something that we all take for granted. Many things in life are possible when we have an education. Without one, we would be at a great disadvantage. In many countries, children do not have the right to an education. Often times it is only for those who can afford to pay for the education. Tadiwanashe is a 6th grade girl living in the country of Zimbabwe. Before coming to VisionTrust, she was not getting the education that would be necessary to help her be successful in life.

Tadiwanashe’s father died when she was very young. Her mother loves her very much. Life is hard for her mother because she is not working. She has a difficult time sending Tadiwanashe and her 3 siblings to school. Tadeiwanashe lacked the support in school fees needed to stay in school. Most of the time, she would be sent home for non-payment of her school fees. She had little hope of an education since she is the youngest in her family. Her mother was struggling and concentrating more on her children in older grades.

When Tadiwanashe was in third grade she joined VisionTrust. She is a very intelligent girl. She is now in the 6th grade. She has been in school consistently for 3 years and is doing very, very well. She has strong leadership qualities. She has been leading the choir at school and was nominated to be the Vice Deputy Headgirl at her primary school. Tadiwanashe also came to know Jesus and has been in a discipleship (one on one) program. She is learning very quickly and is eager to share the gospel with her friends. Her life has been transformed by the Bible teaching that VisionTrust Zimbabwe has provided.

There are so many joyful things in Tadiwanashe’s life. There are also challenges. Right now, the area she lives in is being affecting by a dam that is being built. The community is building a dam, and people will need to move because it will flood their homes. Please pray for Tadiwanashe and her family as they face this challenge. The good news is that Tadiwanashe and her mother have great hope! They both are believers and place their faith in Christ. They know that He will always be there for them, no matter what their circumstances.

As we think about Tadawanashe’s story, like many children throughout the world, we should also think about our own lives. How often have you complained about school? Do you understand the blessing of having an education? How would your life be different if you were not allowed to attend school? What would your life be like as an adult without an education? Take some time to talk about these things with your family. Praise God for the gift of education and also pray for Tadiwanashe and other children around the world that do not have the same opportunities that you do.

Discussion Questions:
Do you appreciate having an education? What are some benefits to an education? How would your life be different if you were not allowed to go because of money? Would you have the same start in life as an adult as other children your age who were able to go to school?

Fun Facts:

Zimbabwe is a country in the southern part of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. Magnificent Victoria Falls that forms the world’s largest curtain of falling water is on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The local name for Victoria Falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders”.

Prayer Requests:

-Pray that God would provide a new home for Tadinawashe and her family to live. Pray for all the families who will be effected by the building of this dam.
-Praise God that He provided a way for Tadinawashe to receive an education. Ask God to help you appreciate your own education and find ways to praise Him for this.
-Pray that God Tadinawashe would continue to grow in her faith and do well in her school.

Ways to Get Involved:

There are children here in the US that struggle with basic needs. An education is given to everyone. If children are hungry or not clothed properly their education will be effected. Brainstorm as a family ways that you can help those who are in need.

Scripture:

Proverbs 29:7
The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

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Luis’s story

Luis

What do you want to be when you grow up? We all have dreams about what we want our life to look like when we are older. Perhaps you want to go to college and study to be a scientist, or you may have a special talent that you want to pursue like acting or writing. Maybe playing professional sports is even in your future. For many of us, our dreams become our reality when we work hard to achieve our goals. But what about the people that work hard and still don’t have those same opportunities? What about Luis from the Dominican Republic who dreams of becoming a doctor?

Luis lives with his mother and father and two siblings. Hard work has always been a strong value in Luis’ family. His mother works as a housekeeper while his father does odd jobs for others and picks up the garbage. Both work very hard to provide for their family yet they are unable to send their children to school. Most people do not complete high school and it is very rare for someone to make it to college. Children, especially boys, begin working at a very young age in order to bring home money to help the family. Many of Luis’ friends do odd jobs or work in the rice fields surrounding their village.

The VisionTrust Learning Center has provided Luis with the opportunity to go to school. He receives some food and help with school supplies so there is less of a burden on his family. His education has become important to him and he looks forward to completing his education. He will be the first person in his family to finish high school. Luis never thought his dream of becoming a doctor would come true. With the help of VisionTrust he now believes he can achieve this goal.

Luis has also grown in his relationship with Christ. Recently, VisionTrust lead a group of teenagers in a community project where they helped others through projects such as painting a home, fixing a roof and replacing walls and doors. Luis, who is a teen himself, willingly stepped up and led many of these projects. He is so thankful for what VisionTrust has done in his village that he wanted to be a part of making a difference too. Luis has grown to be a person that many can count on to be a leader and a Godly example in his village.

Discussion Questions:
1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Share your ideas with your family. Discuss what you think you may need to do to achieve your dream. For example, do you need to go to college? Do you need to make sure you get more practice time in your favorite sport?
2. How would you feel if you did not have the opportunity to pursue your dreams?
3. What does “hard work” mean to you?

Fun Facts:
The most popular sport in the Dominican Republic, which younger and older people play, is baseball. Current and past professional major league players from the Dominican Republic include Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa and Pedro Martinez. Soccer also is a popular sport. Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_7268194_dominican-republic-kids.html

The Dominican flag is the only flag in the world with a picture of the Bible on it.

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The flag of the Dominican Republic is composed of a central white cross with red and blue rectangles in the corners (red in the upper right and lower left; blue in upper left and lower right). The national coat of arms is in the center of the white cross. The coat of arms pictures a red, white and blue flag-draped shield with a Bible and cross; the shield is surrounded by an olive branch (on the left) and a palm branch (on the right). A blue ribbon above the shield reads, “Dios, Patria, Libertad” (meaning “God, Fatherland, Liberty”). A red ribbon under the shield reads, “Republica Dominicana” (meaning “Dominican Republic”).

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray that Luis can continue to focus on his schoolwork and get good grades.
2. Pray for Luis’ family and that their hard work in their jobs brings in the money they need to provide for their family.
3. Pray for your community and that God will show you ways to help those around you.
4. Pray for your future. Tell God what you want to be when you grow up and ask him to guide you in school and in your everyday activities.

Scripture:
Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Ways to get involved?
Luis participated in a community project in his village. He led other teens in doing projects for people who needed repairs done on their homes. How can you be a leader in your community? How can you help others? Together, with your family, find someone in your neighborhood that needs help. You could mow the lawn of your elderly neighbor or take a meal to a friend feeling sick. Every day we have the opportunity to help others. Keep your eyes open to those who need your help and take the first step to do something for them.

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