By Amanda Burian, CFCA communications project manager
Not long ago, owning a home that was safe and comfortable seemed like an unattainable dream for Rigoberto and Audelina, the parents of four young children in Guatemala.
“[Owning a home] might have been in my dreams, but it was never considered a reality,” Rigoberto said.
In February, the family received the keys to their very own home. Their dreams were made possible through the support of Ken and Linda Vilag, who sponsor two of their girls: Helen, who goes by her middle name, Dayana; and Natali.
Before receiving support through sponsorship, the family faced many hardships and daily life was a struggle.
They lived on the property of Audelina’s brother and didn’t have much to call their own.
“We only had one room built with tin sheets,” Rigoberto said. “We were all piled up in that room. There was no space for our things, and it was chaotic at times.
“I felt helpless; there was no other choice but to continue living there. If it hadn’t been for CFCA and our sponsors, we would still be there today.”
Feelings of hope began to emerge as they started to receive food, shoes, clothing, school supplies, tuition and farm animals, among other sponsorship benefits. Of all these benefits, the most impactful was the gift of a place to call home.
In their old home, the six family members shared two small beds. They did not have enough chairs for each member of the family, so some were forced to eat standing.
Now, the family has a larger home made of more durable materials, and the children have their own room where they each have a bed of their own.
They also have a dining room with a new table and enough chairs to allow them to sit as a family, have a conversation and enjoy a meal together.
Previously, Audelina cooked over an open fire inside their small home, which was very hard on her eyes and lungs.
Now, she has a stove and is able to cook several things at once.
Finding enough water was also an issue for the family.
“There was not enough water for all of us,” Audelina said. “At times I could not wash our clothes and we could not clean ourselves. [Now], I wake up and I know I have enough water to start doing my laundry. I can even take a shower without worrying about running out of water.”
The family’s new home was possible with a special donation from the Vilags, in addition to their sponsorship.
“We pray that this house will provide ‘hope for a family,’ Linda said, “and be a daily reminder of God’s blessings. We ourselves are blessed beyond words to have this family in our lives. We are honored to be able to help this family live a better life.”
For Rigoberto, Audelina and their family, their dreams have come true.
“To my daughters’ sponsors, I can’t find enough words that can express how much you have touched our family,” Audelina said. “We love you very much. You are a great blessing for my children and our entire family.”
Rigoberto echoed that sentiment.
“I do not know what made you decide to sponsor my little girls,” he said, “but I do know that God works in magical ways. May God bless you, Ken and Linda, and may all your dreams come true.”