Beyond the Letters

I have been supporting The Leadership Center (TLC) for 2 years now.  The first year I was a penpal and this past year as a sponsor.  I learned about TLC from fellow church members who visited on a mission trip.  They came back talking about how wonderful the school and the students were.  A few months later, when TLC was recruiting for people to support the school, I signed up to be a penpal.  For a year I exchanged letters with a second-year student.  After her graduation, I decided to support another student both financially and as a penpal.

For the past year, I have been sponsoring Reina who is a first-year student. We began to exchange letters in the fall of 2022 to get to know each other better.  I visited the campus in January of 2023 with a group from Restoration Church Reston.  It was a great experience to visit the school in rural Honduras, to attend the classes, to learn about the accomplishments of the school, and of course, to meet Reina and the other students and staff.

While I was visiting TLC, Reina and I met several times between classes at a picnic table on the campus.  We exchanged gifts that we had brought to each other.  She brought me gifts from her hometown.  I brought her a book in English, because I had learned in a letter that she liked to read.  Since I am studying Spanish, I chose a book for her that I was also reading in Spanish.  We took turns reading from our books.  She read from the English version and I read from the Spanish version.  It was great fun for both of us!  After just six months at TLC, her English is very good.  Also, I joined Reina each morning doing chores, which was a good way to get to know her and other students better.  We mopped floors in the classroom, raked the grounds, sorted trash, organized the tool shed, and watered plants in the garden.

Reina and all the students and staff I met were so welcoming and loving!  Since I returned home from Honduras, Reina and I have been texting each other on WhatsApp.  I look forward to continuing to support her and to build our relationship further.

-Susan LeStrange, Sponsor 

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