In February of 2007, I had arrived in Medellin, Colombia for two weeks to work with the Open Arms Foundation and in the homes they had built for the restoration of street children.
For a week, the team and I went up to the Boys’ Home, which was close to the city of San Pedro, Colombia, to do some construction and meet the boys who lived there.
I met this boy, Yilmar (far left), who had just arrived at the Boys Home.
He was kind, playful, considerate of others, and devoted to the home. Everything he did, he did with excitement and joy, if it was playing soccer or doing the daily chores each boy had.
Immediately, we connected, even with the language barrier. Before I left, he told me, with his very little and broken up English, that his dream was to go to America.
I immediately told him, “When you come to America, you can come to my house.”
His face lit up, and so did mine.
When I returned home, I knew I was to go back to Colombia, and I ended up going back 4 more times within the next 3 years. Each time I went back, Yilmar was there, and our friendship grew (along with his English speaking skills)
His dream of coming to America is well and alive, and this past week, he arrived at my home in West Virginia.
I couldn’t have been more blessed to see his dream and our dream of him coming to my house, come alive. He’s one of the most dedicated and selfless people I’ve ever met; his heart is made of gold, and his life is filled with pure intent.
I’m so excited about his bright future and to see where he goes in life.
Go here to read an article in our local newspaper about Yilmar and his story of how he ended up on the streets, found the Open Arms Foundation, got to America, and what he is doing now.