Sixteen-year-old Sandi may be reserved when you first meet her, but her personality comes to life once she feels comfortable. Surrounded by friends at school and the children’s home, Sandi is grounded and responsible, in part due to being the oldest girl living at San Jose Children’s Home. She has her eyes on a future of new possibilities, hoping to cook professionally one day. If you visit San Jose, Sandi can be spotted in the kitchen spatula in hand.
Over the past 10 years, Sandi’s worldview has broadened. Arriving at age six, she spent most of her formative years living at San Jose. Ten years ago, her worldview was limited to school and the children’s home. The one-block walk to school formed the outer edge of her social circle – her world and its’ opportunities fell within this small radius. Living in Cancun, one can imagine days spent on beautiful beaches with clear blue water as far as the eye can see. However, Sandi had never felt the warm, white sand between her toes or the cool, salty water on her ankles until God forged a relationship between Back2Back and San Jose.
Yemima, who serves at San Jose, met Sandi and quickly learned of her love of cooking. Yemima also volunteers with Back2Back with her husband, Daniele Muller. Daniele’s love for children inspired him to serve with Back2Back; however, what he is most known for in Cancun is his cooking ability. Daniele is a renowned chef in the Cancun area. When he learned of Sandi’s dream of becoming a chef, he invited Sandi to complete eight hours of job shadowing. Coming home after a tiring day at the restaurant, Sandi’s excitement is contagious, so anxious to return and continue learning. She is seeing God work in her life in a personal way and is learning to trust in His purpose for her.
Sandi has so many other social outlets adding to her life experiences: studying the Bible with Back2Back staff, meeting people from other parts of the world traveling to serve on mission teams, exploring her community through field trips to water parks, community parks and cultural events. Now, when Sandi looks out the front door, she sees beyond her one-block radius to a larger world full of possibility. She has visited and walked the beach, dotted with tourists along the way. Sandi dipped her toes in the aqua blue ocean waters of Cancun, seeing the water stretch to the horizon. As she gazes out over the surf wondering where the water ends, she can envision her future through a similar lens – it is as far as the eye can see.