Child sponsorship is the core of what we do at Living Water Adopt-A-Child, but we also have other projects that people can support.  One of these is our M25 Project, helping older people in the community.

The name comes from the Bible verse Matthew 25:35, “…when I was hungry, you gave me something to eat; when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink…” but the original inspiration for this project came from a lovely lady called Maria.  Maria was in her 80’s and cared for her grand-daughter, also named Maria, who has learning difficulties.  Young Maria comes to our feeding program in Chuchuca.  She is 20 years old, but has the mental age of a 4-year-old girl.  Her father abandoned the family when she was young and her mother left her care in the hands of her grandmother.  She has to walk for about 2 hours to get to the feeding program and, as she can’t make that journey on her own, grandmother Maria accompanies her.

One day when young Maria’s sponsor was visiting them, our International Director, Steve McDaniel, was there translating.  Grandma Maria asked to speak to Steve and said:

“I have to walk for two hours to bring Maria to the program and then we have to walk two hours home again.  I understand that you have rules you have to keep to, but please could I have just one tortilla to give me the energy for the walk home.”

As Steve looked at her, the verse from Matthew 25 came into his mind and he knew that we had to do something for these vulnerable older people too. 

“No, you can’t have one tortilla,” he told her, “you can have a full meal.”

We have now committed to serving “Women in Need” who are registered in our programs who also receive meals.  These women are available to be sponsored, just like the children.  Our Churches in three of the villages where we have programs (Duenas, Jocotenango and Pasojoc) also open their doors once a month to provide a hot meal and some friendly company for some of the most vulnerable adults in these communities.  This program is also available in Albania.

Sadly Grandma Maria passed away recently, but she inspired a lasting legacy which will benefit many older people in her community and beyond for years to come.