A different kind of “matching challenge”

Yolanda and Alan Miller met at Rikers Island in New York, where both worked as correction officers. But within each one beats a heart of compassion for children in need, and together, they (now retired and living in Florida) are making a powerful difference. Here’s how …

Six grandchildren … the joy of Yolanda and Alan Miller’s life!

And Grandma and Grandpa came up with a beautiful way to influence their grandkids spiritually….

They sponsor six children in ChildHope schools — each one matched to a grandchild.

This adventure began a couple years ago, when Alan and Yolanda went to Costa Rica. There, they visited a ChildHope-sponsored school.

“We saw the need,” Yolanda says. But also: “We saw God moving. We saw the work.”

They began to realize that this was more than just a trip. They faced a decision: to determine what was really important. They could either leave Costa Rica with souvenirs — or leave Costa Rica with “trophies for God.”

They chose trophies for God.

“A long way”

The Millers are delighted to sponsor six children in ChildHope schools. “My funds and my prayers will go a long way with them,” Alan says.

The Millers have chosen sponsorship “so these children can have a chance,” Yolanda says. “There’s a fair chance you will grow up in the Lord if you grow up in a Christian educational setting.”

“And hopefully, they take that to their family, to their friends … spread God’s love and God’s Word to others,” Alan adds. 

They’re also eager to spread the word about the importance of sponsorship. They see what a step of faith it is to enroll unsponsored children at the start of the new school year.

“It’s not about the economics,” Yolanda says. “It’s about the love of God.” 

But as the Millers have observed in person, it takes a budget to operate a school with a meal program and meet students’ most urgent needs. So it’s crucial that friends step up to the sponsorship opportunity.

For the kid who has everything

Alan and Yolanda looked at their own six grandchildren, how comfortable their lives are — (“Our grandkids have a lot!” Yolanda laughs. “Too much!”) — and they decided to introduce each of them to a child in Latin America from a far less comfortable background. “We wanted to have a counterpart for each one, so that they can have someone to pray for.”

During their visit to Latin America, the Millers got to meet their sponsored children in person. Then, this past year, they returned to visit them again.

“It was very pleasing to see the difference, the growth in these young men and young ladies,” Alan says. “It was such a joy to see them so vibrant, so full of life.”

One sweet little boy, at their first meeting, was basically non-verbal. But he was full of love! On the Millers’ return visit, Yolanda was happy to see progress. “He just ran to me and was kissing my face!… I had a little Band-Aid on my finger, and he took my hand so lovingly and he kissed my finger … he was kissing the boo-boo.” And the Millers were grateful to see that the child was speaking more — now wearing a pair of hearing aids.

A sponsored little girl “ran to me and started just hugging me,” Alan says. “These kids are so loving, despite their circumstances…. And that is a demonstration to us of the love of God, that they understand that — they get it, even at such a young age. It’s beautiful to see.”

Eyewitness report

The Millers are deeply committed to child sponsorship, and to ChildHope-sponsored schools. The children “are in good hands,” Yolanda says. “We see the program. We see the movement…. (I’m not saying that you have to see it to believe it. That’s not what I’m saying at all. We had the privilege to see it.) And we know that it’s good.”

“These kids are getting fed — physically economically, spiritually,” Alan says.

And the impact spans generations, he notes. “The most satisfying thing that we encountered was a teacher who was a ChildHope student at one time and he came back to teach. I think that in itself is a testament to the goodness and the success of this program.”

“We are so humbly proud — godly proud, righteously proud — to be a part of it,” Yolanda says.

And she’s happy to report that they’ve been blessed with a seventh grandchild: a baby girl, named Faith.

So of course, they’ll soon sponsor a seventh child!

Lunch and coffee

Sponsorship takes just $36 a month, Alan points out. “That’s less than a cup of coffee a day,” he says. “That might be a lunch date…. Fast a couple of lunches and sponsor a child! You’ll be physically fit, and spiritually!”

“We’re not telling you to sponsor the whole village,” Yolanda adds. “One child will impact the whole village…. Every single soul is important.”

Amen. And because every soul is important, we invite you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child through ChildHope. You’ll impact that child’s life … that child’s community … that child’s future! Thank you. God bless you!