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A tribute to a dedicated sponsor who though faced with difficulties, continued his commitment to help three World Vision children get a better life through child sponsorship. The following is written by Donor Care Manager Cecille Corvera whose heart will be forever touched by Sir Doty's life.
An old man walks slowly into the room.
He’s tall, decently dressed in white barong and strides like an accomplished military officer in his youth. He looks stern from afar but as he steps closer to the crowd, his gaze somewhat undrapes a heart warmly beaming within.
Mr. Doroteo “Doty” Coronel, 81, has been a World Vision sponsor since 1999. At his age, it was deeply touching on our part to have him attend a one-hour program all by himself.
For Sir Doty, it was a special moment to finally meet his sponsored child for the first time. Joseph, who is graduating high school with honors, is one of the selected sponsored child-graduates who would be recognized that night.
When I asked if he still remembers his sponsored child’s name, Mr. Coronel just smiled and said,
“I have three and honestly, I don’t really remember all their names.” He was smiling still while retrieving his memory for names when the host suddenly called Joseph on stage for an opening prayer.
The moment he heard of Joseph’s name, Mr. Coronel got keyed up to sweepingly scan around and look for the face of a grown up boy who was just called to walk up the stage. Before Joseph could even utter a word in front, Mr. Coronel proudly whispered to me, “I think he’s my child!”
Finally. After 12 years sponsorship Sir Doty and Joseph can't help but share their joy of meeting each other during World Vision's graduation event "Flying High" that gave tribute to sponsored children who graduated with honors.
How his sponsorship began
In 1999, Mr. Coronel received a Sponsor a Child appeal from World Vision. Since he was already retired that time, he committed to sponsor only two kids. “It’s funny because I asked for two child profiles but World Vision sent me three. I felt burdened for the other child whose profile I was supposed to return, so I decided to take her in and sponsored three children instead,” he fondly recalls.
Before I could even thank him, he enthusiastically went on, “Believe it or not, on that same week,
my pension had increased by the same amount I needed to support the 3rd child.”
12 years had already passed. Still, Mr. Coronel could hardly explain how it happened. But one thing is certain: Over the years, he stayed faithful in giving support to the kids he sponsored and was blessed.
“Happy! Very Happy!”
In the middle of our conversation, Joseph was requested again to come up the stage and get his plaque. As a proud sponsor, Mr. Coronel eagerly stood up and awarded the plaque to Joseph who was already smiling from ear to ear before he could even shake the hand of his sponsor.
As soon as he went back to his seat, I keenly asked Mr. Coronel how he feels about seeing Joseph in person. With tears and smile in his eyes, he says, “Happy! Very happy!”
Tears instantly welled up my eyes as I recall what he just told me before the program began…
One year before meeting Joseph
Early last year, Sir Doty was diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctor said he barely had six months to live because of the uncontrollable growth of lung cancer cells that obstructed his airway passages.
Thankfully, he surpassed the six-month survival period but was still under observation.
With his condition, talking took more time than usual as he had to catch his breath before going on to his point. His breathing difficulty can only allow him to take a few steps. I’m glad those “few” counted in the steps needed for him to go to the stage and back to his seat.
I tried to comfort Sir Doty by affirming God’s purpose in his life. But just like a little child, he candidly shared, “I believe in divine intervention. Someone up there loves me, that’s why I am still here!”
Sir Doty left the hall with a promise to give college scholarship to Joseph. “It doesn’t matter if I am ill or called to go home. When I retired I have already set aside some money to help the poor children. My hope is for Joseph to become a successful Engineer!”
I don’t know when I will see Sir Doty again but I know it will be in a place as special as his faith.
And once again, his white hair, eyebrow and barong will glow altogether in white radiance and lasting happiness.
To Sir Doty, thank you very much for being a light and inspiration to our generation!
May you happily rest in the everlasting peace and presence of our Lord!
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