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Local Church Helps Build Relationships across the World

Abi+Herrera+and+Sonjaa+Maletta
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Local Church Helps Build Relationships across the World

Abi Herrera and Sonjaa Maletta

Abi Herrera and Sonjaa Maletta

Abi Herrera

Abi Herrera and Sonjaa Maletta

Abi Herrera

Abi Herrera

Abi Herrera and Sonjaa Maletta

Faith Bowry, Guest Writer

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  17-year-old Abi Herrera grew up in one of the poorer neighborhoods of Costa Rica. She woke up one summer day, ready to help her mom out at the daycare ran by her family for other families in need. Herrera’s father is the pastor at a church which partners with the daycare that her mother works at. It is a common place for different non-profit organizations and churches to partner with when they go to Costa Rica.

  This particular morning, they were being visited by a mission group from Kensington church. This day would change Herrera’s life. Who would’ve thought that a church could form relationships across the world?

  That day, Herrera met a lady named Sonja Maletta who would continue to come back to Costa Rica year after year. Through these trips, they formed a bond. They got to know each other well and worked together often. Maletta states, “it’s as if I finally had a daughter of my own.” Herrera shared how she has always wanted to go to America, and Maletta soon decided to take her in.

  In Costa Rica, students graduate at 17-years-old, so already having finished her schooling, she moved in with Maletta for five months in January of 2018. While there, she learned to expand her English beyond the basic language skills she had learned in her classes back home. She also made friends with numerous people her own age.

  “I learned a lot of English, how the church works, and I learned how awesome and generous people can be, showing me love in many ways,” says Herrera.

  Although she had always dreamed about America, she says, “…I’ve always wanted to visit there, but now that I’ve lived there for a few months, I’m sure that’s where I want to live.”  As of now, Herrera has a goal of working to be able to afford a college in Michigan and aspires to become a Spanish teacher in the states.

  Herrera has noticed many differences between Michigan and Costa Rica, from the differences in architecture to how the churches are ran. but, the most shocking thing to Herrera was the weather. She stated, “In Costa Rica, the coldest it ever really gets is 60 degrees. It was a shock when I came in January and Sonja had to get me a heavier coat.” According to Herrera, the two places are similar in the nature aspect, as they both have many trees and lakes.

  Overall, this has been such a learning experience for Herrera. She continues to come visit once or twice a year. “Having this opportunity has been the best thing to ever happen to me,” beams Herrera.

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Local Church Helps Build Relationships across the World