GSAA Students Sponsor 11-Year-Old

Savannah Byard, a sophomore at Gem State Adventist Academy (GSAA) in Caldwell, Idaho, says, "God put it in my heart to go on the Peru mission trip, but I knew that I could never raise the $2,500."

Then one day Paul Opp, People of Peru Project director, spoke at chapel. "I told God I would do my part. If He wanted me to go, He would have to bring in the money," Byard says.

After she wrote 150 letters, money started to trickle in — $50 here and $50 there. "At this rate, I'll never be able to go. I might just as well give up on the idea," Byard told herself. Then her sister's ex-boyfriend sent $500, and hope revived. At the last minute, the money poured in.

When Byard arrived in Iquitos, Peru, she immediately fell in love with the people. GSAA students presented a Vacation Bible School each evening. "I found myself wanting to do more for those kids!" she says.

Lupe, an 11-year-old girl whose mother left her and her three siblings when they were small, needed a sponsor for the People of Peru Project's breakfast program at the Iquitos public school. Opp told how Lupe's father gets up early just to earn enough money so his children can eat. Sometimes, when sales are bad, the children must skip a meal.

Byard wanted to help Lupe but didn't how she could ever come up with the needed $20 each month, so she asked students Lisa Beaver, Kattie Lott and Reina Navarrete to partner with her. They eagerly agreed to commit $5 each month so Lupe could have a good breakfast every day.

Now each month, these four GSAA students put their $5 into an envelope and mail it off to Peru. They remember to pray for Lupe, while knowing they can make a difference.

June 01, 2012 / Idaho Conference