During a mission awareness trip to El Salvador in 2008, Mary Kampsen, a sponsor from Minnesota, brought her two daughters with her to meet her sponsored friend, Erick. He read to her a beautiful letter that he had written where he said that ìshe lives in my heart.î
ìIt was just a wonderful, happy feeling!” Mary said of meeting Erick. “I have sponsored him for three years now. It feels kind of like having a second son. I feel it will be easier to write letters to him now that I’ve met him and know more about him and his family.î
After talking for some time, Mary learned that Erickís mother, Valentina, washes clothes for a living, which brings in about $7 on a good day. But, what she really wanted to do is to cook pupusas.
If she could have the small stove required to make pupusas, she could not only bring in a more steady income, but she could also stay at home to raise her children. This was important to Mary, who stayed home to raise her children when they were small.
Mary worked with the local CFCA staff and was able to purchase the stove. Now Erickís mother will be able to stay at home with her children and raise money to support the family.
Two years later …
Since Valentina no longer has to work outside the house, she can now dedicate more time in the fields to cultivating corn and beans. She uses the harvest as ingredients for the pupusas. All of this helps cover some of the expenses of the family.
Thanks to the stove, Valentina has seen many good changes in the past two years, including spending more time with her five children, working together with her family, being more mindful of them with regards to their studies and other activities in which they participate.
She is managing to support her family without the help of her husband who had the opportunity to migrate to the United States for work. But, at this point, the family has not received any support from him. So Valentina and her children are very thankful to Erick’s sponsor for buying the stove for them. They will forever be grateful to her and will always keep her in their prayers.
Erick, who is now 13, says the family works better together, and he is happy because he can spend more time together with his mother helping her with work. He no longer has to to stay home alone, since his mother is never too far from home and is always there to help him and his brothers. He feels very secure having her near him.
View more photos of Erick and his family on our Facebook page.