The Grooters’ Sponsorship Story

“We were excited as a family to sponsor a child through Touch of Hope Haiti.  Kayla, our niece, thought Jay needed a boy in our family (we have 2 daughters), so Kayla gave us one of her favorites in the village, Calverson.  We loved meeting Calverson on one of our trips to Haiti over the Christmas holiday.  We loved bringing him gifts and lots of hugs.  At that time, you always had to be ready for Calverson to come jump into your arms and wrap is legs around you.  I loved it!!  We welcomed him into our family,” says Amy.

Kylie & Calverson
Kylie & Calverson

Their oldest daughter Jaci also fell in love with Calverson and continues, “I remember the first time we met Calverson and right away he would give us a big hug and always want to be held or sitting on someone in our families lap. When my sister went to visit one time she told Calverson to “smile for Jaci” as she took a picture of him. She sent me that picture and it is one of my favorite pictures and gives me a giant smile whenever I see it still today. Whenever people ask who Calverson is in a picture I tell them he is my little brother because he truly is a part of our family and I love him so much! I love sponsoring a child through Touch of Hope because you actually feel a part of their life, can watch them grow up, and know that they are hearing about how much God loves them.”

Jay and Amy’s family visited Haiti for the first time over the holidays of 2011. During this trip Amy met the second child they sponsor, Rutnie. Amy tells of her meeting Rutnie for the first time: “During that same trip, I saw a beautiful little girl at the Christmas party at the school.  She had a gorgeous white dress on and loved to dance to the music that was being sung.  I asked Kayla if she knew her and if she needed a sponsor to come to school.  We did some searching when we got back to the house.  Kayla found her in the system and from that moment we started supporting Rutnie.  Little did I know how God would change my life through Rutnie and her Mom.  I loved buying Rutnie gifts and we were blessed in that we could deliver them to her personally when we would visit Dell, Renae, Kayla & Webert  in Haiti.    During our last trip a year ago, we were blessed to see Rutnie’s mom almost every day at the orphanage, as she worked there as a “Mommy”.  We would greet each other with a smile and a hug.  One day we just sat by each other as we watched the little children play.  I have been to Haiti 4 times now and I have to admit that each time it would get harder for me to visit Rutnie and her Mom.  I so wanted to be able to just spend an afternoon with her, getting to know her better and encourage her with her family issues, praise her for her wonderful garden she started and encourage her in being a good mom, but I didn’t know her language and I was limited in my time there.  This is the moment God really started speaking to me about going into mission work full-time.  He gave me the desire to be able to serve women like Rutnie’s mom, to learn their language and their culture.”

Jay, Amy, & Kylie with Rutnie

Their other daughter Kylie has also had the opportunity to travel to Haiti several times and spent 6 weeks at Tytoo Gardens Orphanage last spring. She has been able to see their sponsorship grow, she reminisces by saying, “Rutnie started off a shy little girl and has flourished into an outgoing spirit. She smiles the moment she sees me come around the corner because she knows I am her sponsor. Calverson was our first sponsor child and I fell in love with him the first time I met him. I call him my ‘little monkey.” She continues, “Having the opportunity to meet my sponsor kids gives the experience a more realistic feeling. As much as I love being with the kids in person I can’t always be in Haiti, that is why I love that Touch of Hope sends out updates and yearly pictures of the kids. Having their picture on the fridge is a daily reminder of how they have impacted my life!”

Kylie & Rutnie
Kylie & Rutnie

As a family they have been able to grow together and help other children and their families in Haiti.

“I am so glad we took the step to be His hands and feet to His children in Haiti.  It not only is changing their lives but has changed our lives in great ways!” – Amy

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