Almost 12 years ago, we came to the Bolivia Life Center and began sponsoring a 12-year-old boy named Jhoel. He captivated us from our first days in Bolivia with his humor, intelligence, and how he cared for the other children.
Since those early days, much has changed for us. We’ve gotten married, had children of our own, been through graduate school, had three moves, and experienced many life changes. But the sponsorship of our boys in Bolivia has been constant. We consider them part of our family. Their pictures line the walls of our home and the front of our refrigerator.
Sponsorship has anchored our family in the global church and reminds us regularly of the redemptive power of Christ. What a gift to us and our children to be reminded that the God we serve is one of transformation, restoration, and deep, deep love.
Jhoel has graduated from the Bolivia Life Center but is still a significant part of our lives. A few months ago, he told us he was getting married and asked if we could be there. I’m not sure which of the 3 of us (Andy, Kim, Jhoel) sobbed the hardest when we were reunited in the Cochabamba airport.
The morning of Jhoel’s wedding, on the grounds of the Bolivia Life Center, we asked him how many children he and his wife wanted one day. He responded that they weren’t sure exactly, but they knew they wanted to adopt. When Andy asked him why, he responded, “I want to give a child like me a chance to have what God gave me here. A family.”
At the wedding reception, after giving a very jumbled & teary toast, we looked at one another and said, “How in the world did we get to do this?” It was an incredible honor to join the large family from the BLC and the local church to love on Jhoel and his new bride, Renata.
Seeing the outpouring of love from God’s people in Bolivia made us understand his words from earlier that day about family. This incredibly poignant time in Bolivia was right up there with our own wedding and the births of our children.
For years we had hoped and prayed for the completion of the vision of CIN – transformed lives starting new families with health and love only found in Jesus Christ.
What incredible joy to experience that fulfilled vision with our hermanito, Jhoel. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest privileges of our lives to be a sponsor.
Kim, Andy, Ellie, and Nate Muhich
Originally published in Children’s Impact Network’s Christmas Magazine 2018.