Jivinson’s Hero

One of my boys, Gresham, is a bit obsessed with Troy Polamalu. Mr. Polamalu is the star of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense at the moment. He’s a game saver – frequently sacking quarterbacks, intercepting passes and being a general thorn in the side of the opposing team. And he’s my boy’s hero.

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Gresham recently had a birthday. And of course…


He and his friends played football and Gresham wore Polamalu’s number and sacked the quarterback, intercepted passes and was a general thorn in the side of the opposing team.


Grandparents sent him a big box.


And inside…


Be The Best it said. Signed Troy Polamalu.

He was a little happy.


Troy’s words hang above my son’s bed. The closest the two will ever come to meeting. Proof that his hero is real.


Today the bloggers and I visited Jivinson. He’s eight and bashful. He didn’t like all the clicking I was doing with my camera.


But eventually he warmed up. And even smiled a time or two.


Jivinson lives in a simple house on stilts – too many poisonous snakes and spiders to build on the ground. Two bedrooms for Mom, Dad, Jivinson and his three brothers. Food grows in the yard. Tilapia swim in a nearby pond. Jivinson goes to the clinic when he’s sick. He’s learning to read and write and says he wants to be a teacher to “teach everything.” And he likes it when his family goes to church together on Sundays.

Jivinson’s family has enough.


They have daily bread. Everything they need.

Because of Jivinson’s hero.

Her words hang on the wall in Jivinson’s house. The only decoration there is.


I’m happy to have you as our Compassion child she wrote. Our family will pray for you and your family.

The first letter from his sponsor. The closest Jivinson may ever get to meeting Kim and Kristen of Canada. Proof that they are real.

Kim and Kristen, we gave Jivinson hugs for you. And I promised I would tell you something for him: I love you. Thank you.

Sponsor A Child From Ecuador