Given in Faith

When sponsor Jenna Curtis got an unexpected check in the mail, she prayerfully considered how to use it. Deciding to give it to her sponsored child in Haiti, she then watched in astonishment as its impact rippled far beyond what she could have imagined. 

Jenna during one of her trips to Haiti.
Jenna travels to Haiti regularly, so she knew she wanted to sponsor a child from this country that, she says, had already stolen her heart.

Halfway through the concert, the music stopped and someone took to the stage. There with a group of high school students from her church, Jenna Curtis — a college student in her last semester — knew what was coming. She had heard this before, and already knew what she had to do.

The speaker shared about the intense needs of children around the world. They talked about how people just like her could change a child’s life. Moved, she walked over to the Holt table. 

“I had continuously felt the need to sponsor a child and I finally gave in,” Jenna says. “It was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.” 

She decided to sponsor a little boy named Fritz. Fritz lives in Haiti with his mom and four siblings. His father passed away, and ever since, his mom had struggled to provide for her children. At the time, all six of them lived in a spare room of a friend’s home.

Unable to afford fees, uniforms and supplies, Fritz’s mom couldn’t send her kids to school. But when Jenna started sending $34 every month to sponsor Fritz, he enrolled at the only primary school in their coastal village — Fontana Village School. For the first time since his father died, Fritz could go to school. He got better at reading. He loved math and Creole. He got to play soccer with his friends. At school, Fritz ate a nutritious hot lunch every day.  

Jenna knew that her decision to sponsor Fritz would make a huge difference in his life, but she had no clue just how much.

Fritz, 10, begins playing and learning with Fontana Village School's supplies.
Fritz, 10, begins playing and learning with Fontana Village School’s supplies. Before Jenna started sponsoring Fritz, his family did not earn enough to send him to school.

A few months later, she got an unexpected check in the mail. It was exactly 398 dollars and 22 cents. Although part of a college scholarship, the funds exceeded what she needed to pay her tuition.

“It was totally a God-thing,” Jenna says. “The Lord can use the smallest of gifts to further His kingdom.”

 

Jenna prayerfully considered what to do with this unexpected blessing. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Jenna, more than 1,600 miles away in Haiti, 10-year-old Fritz and his family were in crisis. 

Due to a conflict over land, Fritz and his family were forced to move from the small room where they had been staying to a place far away from Fontana Village School. Fritz and his siblings had to drop out of school. The cost of education in this new neighborhood exceeded what Jenna’s sponsorship could cover, and Fontana Village School was too far away for Fritz to walk. So he and his siblings stayed home, without enough food and without hope of an education. 

Haiti is the most barren and impoverished country in the western hemisphere. The needs of children and families are often overwhelming.
Haiti is the most barren and impoverished country in the western hemisphere. The needs of children and families are often overwhelming.

At the same time, in Franklin, Kentucky, God was moving in Jenna’s heart.  

“As I prayed for direction, I was affirmed that I needed to support Fritz and his family,” she says. 

Certain of her decision, she contacted Holt and asked to donate exactly $398.22 to Fritz and his family — to provide for him and meet any extra needs he may have. But she had no clue he had moved and dropped out of school, and that he and his siblings had little to eat. 

“I didn’t understand the tangible need they had at that given time,” she says. 

Holt staff in Haiti immediately assessed how this money could be used to meet Fritz and his family’s most urgent needs. 

“Money in Haiti can go a long way,” Jenna says. After hearing how her gift helped Fritz and his family, she learned just how far. 

First, Fritz and his family got a new home — a small concrete house with a blue door. This home is rented, in advance, for one full year — enough time for his mom to find a steady source of income. Holt staff even helped them move in. And best of all? It’s close to Fontana Village School! Fritz can again go to school. Because his siblings have sponsors, they can go to school again, too. And they can all get the daily nutritious meals they wouldn’t have otherwise. 

“Finally, Fritz and his siblings are at peace and can enjoy their right to go to school like every other child.”

 

With Jenna’s gifts, Fritz’s mom bought school uniforms for all of her children. They got new shoes and new books and notebooks for school. His mom received funds to buy new clothes, toiletries and food to keep on stock for her family. 

Through sponsorship, children at Fontana Village School receive school uniforms, nutritious meals and school supplies.
Through sponsorship, children at Fontana Village School receive school uniforms, nutritious meals and school supplies.

After all of this, there was even money left over, which will be kept in a special fund for Fritz and his family should any other emergencies arise. 

“It was totally a God-thing,” Jenna says. “The Lord can use the smallest of gifts to further His kingdom.”

Jenna’s gift — given in faith — changed Fritz’s life. 

“With joy and smiles, Fritz and his family found back their friends, their old habits, their school and their native community,” says Holt staff in Haiti. “Finally, Fritz and his siblings are at peace and can enjoy their right to go to school like every other child.” 

Fritz (center) with his classmates at Fontana Village School.
Fritz (center) with his classmates at Fontana Village School.

For Jenna, hearing this news a month after making her gift is beyond what she could have imagined. 

“Always be open to the gifts you can give,” Jenna says in encouragement to other sponsors. 

Because, like it was for Jenna and Fritz, you never know how your unexpected blessing could be an even greater blessing for a child in need. 

Megan Herriott | Staff Writer

Interested in supporting a child like Fritz? Learn more about child sponsorship at www.holtinternational.org/sponsorship.

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