It is hard to hang out with kids at an orphanage and not view the world differently. When I felt the love of God poured out from them, it changed my perspective on life. Many of the kids I worked with in Honduras had been through horrible experiences—living on the streets and enduring rape. When I see them survive, and even thrive, I wonder how I can get upset about not passing a little test in school.

David came to our orphanage at age 11. There wasn’t a spot for him with his age group, so they placed him with me. I was worried at first about the age difference since I took care of four- and five-year-olds.

When David’s mom left for Mexico and a better life, she dropped off David and his sister with their aunt. The aunt didn’t want them, so she left them with other family members who didn’t want them either. The two finally went to the police station, and a police officer called the orphanage.

Each child has a sponsor in the United States who helps support them. A few weeks later, David wrote to his sponsor, “I am David and I’m 11 years old, and I am here because no one wanted me but I’m here and I’m happy.”

I’ve never met a boy who had gone through what he had in his short life, yet he is able to give love—love that he didn’t receive from his family. The joy he has is incredible. My problems are nothing in light of what he has experienced.

Maile Hoffman is a senior elementary education major from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.