Today is the last installment of the “Some of the Ways You Can Get Involved” series. And this is one that I’m excited about. (Not that I’m not excited about the other ones.) But today we’re going to focus on one specific kid.
Meet Bryan Geovany
If you had met him a year ago, you would’ve seen this:
This is Bryan on the street, breaking into a dumpster to find food.
He had lived here for a while.
Bryan Geovany is in the background in the blue shirt. He was doing whatever he could to survive. Huffing glue (like Jose Luis in the white shirt) to numb him enough to make him able to get through life.
Then Kevin Cestra and Laura Long found him on the street and were able to talk him into coming to Proniño.
I first met him in July and was amazed by how gigantic his head looked because his body was so skinny.But after a month or two, the ‘honeymoon’ of being safe and well fed had worn off and he started feeling the pull of the freedom of the streets, he missed his grandma, and he stutters. And kids have never been kind to those with speech disorders. So he ran.
Kevin got him back fairly quickly. And I was happy to see him again in October.
Buuuuuuuut, it happened again. Sometimes all it takes is one bad day. One punishment for wrong doing. I don’t know what the trigger was, but by November, he was gone again.
He was brought back. I was happy to see him in January. Then guess what happened. Yep.
He was found AGAIN and I was happy to give him a lecture about throwing his life away in March. One day on my visit we were having yet another conversation about how much he wants a sponsor. This is a conversation that we had had since July. This time I broke it down for him. “Bryan, all of you so badly want sponsors. Why would I look for one for you when you’re constantly running away? I can’t find you a sponsor just to tell them a few weeks later that you’re gone. And so far, you haven’t been able to stay for more than two months!”
Then the little light bulb above my head turned on.
“Bryan, if you can stay in Proniño for six months without running away, I’ll find you a sponsor.”
I know that this promise alone has not kept him in Proniño, but it’s been five months, and he’s still there. Every time I come he talks to me at length about how much time he has left and about how good he’s doing. He also tries to convince me that the six months has already passed. The child does some interesting math.
But the reality is that he is doing so much better. I’m so impressed that he’s maturing and making better decisions. And it’s time for me to follow through with my promise. I think it’s time for him to have a ‘madrina’ or ‘padrino’. A person that is his. A person who will congratulate him for resisting the urge to run, and who will encourage him to stay. A person who will send him little gifts and letters. Little nuggets that might make Proniño slightly more appealing than the street.
Being a sponsor involves donating $30, $50 or $100 a month, receiving updates on your child through Proniño and through me and sending letters and little gifts to him.
I’m going back to Honduras in less than two weeks and I would love to be bringing good news to this guy.
Please let me know if you’re interested in Brayan Geovany or sponsorship in general! email@example.com