What impact can I possibly have?

June 5, 2019


Mary Allhoff first came to Nicaragua in 2011 and has been involved with Amigos ever since. After spending multiple summers serving, she now lives in Chinandega full time with her husband (fellow Amigos staff member, Abraham “Tio” Salmeron) and stepchildren and has a little Nicaraguan on the way. She loves working in Human Resources and with Amigos scholarship students and can’t wait for you to come visit! 

I’m often shocked by the humility that some people embody. I see people doing amazing things and having incredible impact and maintaining a posture and presence that seem to say “no big deal.” I find myself amazed at some of these folks since I often get to see the depth of their touch and the wideness of their reach in front of my very eyes in my life here in Nicaragua.

God moves through people in the most powerful ways, even when they don’t realize it. I recently met someone who is living out selfless service and generous love in a way that repeatedly brought tears to my eyes in the week that I was with her. She is humble to the degree that I know she would not want me to use her name. Let’s call her Katherine.

I have the privilege of working with Young Leaders in Action, our scholarship program, and I met Katherine recently while introducing her to some of the scholarship students she sponsors. Over the years, she has sponsored more students than you could imagine and currently supports eight students. That is eight young people who have access to a better education because of her. Eight young people who can pursue a future that they never dreamed of because of her. Eight families who are swelling with pride as they watch their sons and daughters soar because of her. Eight lives who are completely transformed because of her.

Here’s the truly shocking part. When I explained that the kids were desperate to meet her and wanted to spend time with her while she was here, she actually said, “No they don’t have to do that. They probably don’t want to take that time out of their day to see me.” I was blown away by her belief that she wasn’t important enough to “make the kids come.” I could not believe her unassuming thought that we should not “make the kids come.” I assured her that they absolutely wanted to meet her in person and she finally agreed, mentioning that she didn’t realize it was “such a big deal.” I told her she would see and feel how big of a deal it was when she met the kids.

As I expected, at our dinner with the students, several had trouble fully introducing themselves because of large lumps in their throats preventing them from expressing how much she means to them. As they spent time getting to know her, asking her questions, sharing the details of their lives and laughing with her, I could feel her slowly absorbing the depth of her impact. As some of the students have been sponsored by her for 5 years, I could see her realizing that her selflessness has yielded transformation that came to life in front of her very eyes. It was truly something beautiful to watch. It was God using His willing servant to bring His kingdom to life here on earth. It was a glimpse of Heaven.

I know we all left that night transformed. I know that the kids were changed by the opportunity to finally meet the person making their dreams come true. I know that she was changed by the reality of seeing her seemingly simple gesture of generosity come to life in front of her as 8 young people expressed their gratitude and deep love her. I know that I left changed by seeing Heaven meet Earth in the form of generous love and holy humility.

No matter who you are and how you are a part of the Amigos family, please never ever underestimate the impact of your partnership. If you don’t believe me, just do what Katherine did. Come and see for yourself. We’ll be waiting with open and grateful arms.