He was an abandoned eight-year-old boy in Bolivia (who will be called Ronaldo). He had no parents or family that cared about him— he was on his own. He was not sure what was going to happen to him... would he starve? Would he ever find a home? Ronaldo had no hope.
The child services department in Bolivia found Ronaldo in an emergency state. They needed to find a place for him to stay for just one night until they could move him to a designated orphanage. They were not sure what to do with him. He was desperate; they had to do something immediately.
They chose the Bolivia Life Center (BLC) as a temporary place to keep him safe for one night. He met the family at our center, who welcomed him with loving arms, and he experienced the love of Christ. Even though the family at the BLC knew he was only to say for just a few hours, they treated him like part of the family. God called CIN to make a difference in the lives of these children, and He designated Ronaldo’s path so that we could have the opportunity to make a difference in his life with the little time we had. The next morning, he left with the child services to find a home.
He had to do something radical.
Ronaldo arrived at his new home. He had shelter and food and a bed to sleep in. But still, he could not truly settle into the orphanage—something was missing. He tasted the love of God at the BLC, and he wanted more. He had experienced a special place. He knew that to experience that kind of love again, he had to do something radical. Ronaldo ran away from the orphanage. He was on foot, desperate to find his new family.
While on the run, the department found him again. They had specific protocol and decided to reassign him to a similar orphanage like before. But God had already chosen his home, and this new orphanage was not part of His plan. Ronaldo escaped the second orphanage and headed toward the city of Sipe Sipe, where the BLC resides (an over 20-kilometer walk). He contacted the government, requesting that they bring him back to the very first place they left him for one night, the Bolivia Life Center.
The social worker assigned to Ronaldo brought him to our Life Center. When she met the Directors, Gerson and Allie Gabriel, she broke down crying. As tears rolled down her cheeks, she told them how Ronaldo dangerously left a large city of over 1 million people on foot, to the small town of Sipe Sipe, just to find the Bolivia Life Center. She could not believe the impact made on the boy’s life and how he desired so much to join our family. She had never seen anything like that before.
It only took one night. That night there was love and acceptance that he had never felt before. He held on to that sense of love and compassion that welcomed him home. God had a plan for him and he opened the doors and paved the way for Ronaldo to join his new family, one that would love him to eternity.
Today Ronaldo is part of an incredible family that loves him unconditionally. He has more brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, friends, and mentors than you could ever imagine.
It is amazing just what one night will do.
We want all our children at Children’s Impact Network to feel the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. We care for them every day and encourage them in all their dreams and challenges. God is doing amazing work in the lives of our children. All it takes is one day, one night, to make an impact on a child living on the streets with absolutely no one who cared for them. And once we rescue those children, we have the privilege to show that love every single day.
You have the opportunity to pour into the lives of children just like Ronaldo. Through our Child Sponsorship program, you can build a long and lasting relationship, one that can change a child’s life forever. Every moment is an opportunity to grow the Kingdom of God. Today there are available sponsorships opportunities for friends like you. Together, God can use us to make an impact for eternity.
This article was originally published as “Just One Night” in Children’s Impact Network’s quarterly magazine.