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A priceless experience for $1 a day: Huard’s trip to El Salvador

SPONSORED — For Brock Huard, the best dollar he spends every day is doing something special in El Salvador. The host of 710 ESPN’s Brock & Salk and the popular podcast, “Above and Beyond: The Intersection of Faith and Sports,” earmarks $38 per month – just over $1 a day – to support Yessica, his sponsored child through Compassion International.

Yessica, now a bright and happy 15-year-old, has become part of the Huard family after exchanging letters and photos for the past eight years. In March, that family reunited — for the first time — when the Huards trekked to El Salvador to meet her.

The Compassion International child sponsoring program connects children in desperate poverty with caring, one-to-one sponsors around the world. Donating just $38 each month, these sponsors help provide medical checkups, nutritious food, health and hygiene training, educational assistance, mentoring and special services like surgeries and disaster relief. Additionally, each child is introduced to Jesus Christ and encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.

Sponsors receive a photo of their child, along with their story and regular updates. Compassion International encourages sponsors to write letters to — and even visit — their child.
“As you exchange letters, send photos and offer encouragement in Jesus’ name, your love will bring hope to a child that will last a lifetime,” the organization states on its website.

That was exactly Huard’s experience. When he first saw Yessica at her school, he knew exactly who she was.

“You couldn’t miss her. She was just beaming,” he said, recalling the long-anticipated hug they shared upon his arrival. “It was the hug of meeting a family member you haven’t seen in eight years – or that you’re meeting for the first time.”

During the visit to the school, the Huard’s enjoyed a tour and even a performance by Yessica and her fellow students. Later, the Huards visited Yessica’s home that she shared with her parents and siblings. Like so many in rural El Salvador, Yessica’s family lived in dire poverty in a home without running water. The family made due with two hammocks, two mattresses on the floor and an outdoor fire pit for cooking. In an area where gangs and violence are commonplace, most adults – including Yessica’s parents – struggled for day-labor jobs to make ends meet. The experience made a lifetime impact on Huard.

“It hit me. We in America are so rich in things but so poor in spirit,” he reflected. But after touring Yessica’s school and the church projects sponsored by Compassion International, he understood what it meant to be truly rich in spirit.

The trip showed Huard and his family exactly what a simple act of compassion can do. Their monthly sponsorship didn’t just allow them to exchange letters and photos with a sweet child in another country; it made a huge impact on that child’s life.

“I’m amazed that something so simple for me — $38 per month — can create such incredible change in the life of a child in poverty,” he said. “Food, education, medical care, in the name of Jesus? I hope we all make room for that.”

“You can change a life,” says Huard.” “I know it. I’ve experienced it. I’ve hugged it.”

For more information on Compassion International, or to sponsor a child, visit Compassion.com.

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