Hope Over Her Story

Oct 18, 2016

Steph Duff

Glowing candles light up Martha’s face. She looks around the table at her friends. The purple, zebra-striped tablecloth and the cupcakes in front of her make her smile widely.

Today, Martha celebrates her tenth birthday.

As she closes her eyes and takes in a deep breath, she considers all she has to hope for. At ten years old, Martha knows the hope that is before her – she knows the potential that lies within her.

And Penny Osborne may have something to do with this.


Penny has been sponsoring Martha since Martha was five years old.

“For half of Martha’s life she has had consistent, intentional prayer from Penny,” says Samantha Mathews, Back2Back Monterrey staff. “That leaves a mark on your story.”

Every summer Penny visits Martha. Through this time with her and sharing letters, Martha’s life, her self-talk, is effected by Penny’s example.


Martha blows out her candles on her birthday cupcakes and the celebration continues. As sugary treats are shared and birthday wishes are granted, the girls around the table begin to talk about what they want to be when they grow up. It comes to Martha’s turn and she smiles confidently.

“I want to be a doctor, a teacher, and a police officer!”

“She’s dreaming big,” says Samantha. “And it’s because of people like Penny in her life.”

Martha knows she is not alone. There are people firmly in her corner – assuring her she can do anything she wants, whatever she dreams of. Penny is more than a sponsor in Martha’s story – she is championing her, reminding her she is capable.

Through her actions and her words, Penny regularly illustrates to Martha that she is worth believing in.

As Martha enters into her tenth year, she walks confidently in the direction of her dreams because hope is over her story.

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dog, Telulah. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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