My Name is Maria - Colombia

Maria Andrea with Team MemberMy name is Maria.

I look different than other children. I don't have legs. I don't have arms.

I live with my parents. They don't have much money, but they love me so much. When I was born, they were afraid about what I didn't have, but my grandfather helped them to see what I did have.

I like to go to school. I have a nice school uniform that makes me look just like the other kids. I sit in a desk and listen to the teacher. I work hard and laugh with the other children. Every now and then I get in a little bit of trouble.Maria Andrea

My school is a great place. My parents didn't have enough money to send me to school, so Señora Martha found me a sponsor! I get hot lunch at school and it tastes so good. My parents are happy that I get a good lunch at school, because we don't have much to eat at home.

I like to write to my sponsor to tell her what I have learned at La Rosa de Saron. My teacher helps me to write and I'm thrilled when my sponsor writes back! My  sponsor is another special person who sees what I have rather than what I am missing.

I can't lift up my hands, but do you want to know my best secret? I pray to Jesus, too. I don't need arms and legs to pray! And Jesus knows that I am very special.

Maria Andrea was born with such severe physical deformities that the doctors told her parents she would not be able to lead any kind of life. They planned to abandon her at the hospital. Maria Andrea's grandfather is a member of Martha Villamizar's church and he thought this idea was very wrong.

Martha's husband Jose helped him to get permission to take Maria Andrea home. Since then, Maria's grandparents and church members have helped Maria's parents through tough adjustments and they have come to love and care for her. Maria is a blessing to everybody who meets her, with a spirit that can hardly be contained in her tiny body.

Martha is able to welcome special children like Maria Andrea and her classmates to La Rosa de Saron school because sponsors lighten the financial load. Martha wants to say "Yes" to every child that needs an education, but her answer depends upon a sponsor saying "Yes" to a sponsorship.

Sponsoring a child in Colombia is an opportunity to connect with a child who needs to be reassured that she is special and valued. Are you ready to connect with a child like Maria Andrea? Say "Yes" by signing up to sponsor a child in Colombia.