Every day Estarlin went to school, he faced a harsh reality. One day soon, his education would come to an abrupt end. Estarlin grew up in the Dominican Republic in a poor community called Barahona. At the time, there was one small school for all the children to attend, and it didn’t offer classes past the fourth grade.
To continue their education, children either had to move to another community or not finish school at all.
But when Estarlin was eight years old, something happened that he never expected. A Children of the Nations school was being built in his community and for the first time in his life, Estarlin could dream of pursuing an education that would go beyond the fourth grade. As he started attending school there, he received nutritious lunches at school every day, something that was unimaginable for him before.
“We could see a ray of light in the darkness, and everything was different,” he says.
In time, even his spiritual life started to change. He heard the word of God and it resonated with him.
Because of your generosity, Estarlin now has many special childhood memories. Some of his favorite memories are participating in Bible debates at school, summer camp, and going to Santo Domingo’s zoo and aquarium with his class.
Today, Estarlin is studying to be a dentist in university! And he’s a testimony to the way God’s love can change a life.
“I had no hope of finishing my studies because of the lack of school. But today, thanks to God and Children of the Nations and all our sponsors, I’m in my last semester of university and will have a career in dentistry . . . God is good,” he says.
Estarlin is most passionate about helping others have a beautiful smile, calming patients’ pain, and educating children about taking care of their health and oral hygiene. After graduation, his goal is to work hand in hand with the development in his community to “continue transforming children as [Children of the Nations] did to me.”
“I chose this career because I came from a very humble town and I know that through this career I can help many people have a better quality of life,” he says.
A big part of Estarlin’s story is his special relationship with his sponsors. They communicate through letters every year with life updates, and Estarlin tells them how he is doing in college.
“I pray for them as they also do for me. I can only thank them for their contribution they give us and so many!”
As Estarlin heads into his last semester of dentistry school, he gives all the credit to God.
“I have to tell you that hope is the last thing that is lost in this life! God always has an answer and a future saved for each of us.”