Topics: Child Advocacy, Formerly Sponsored Children, Poverty
Maria was born in a small neighborhood in Lima, Peru where crime, alcohol, drugs and promiscuity abounded. She lived with her parents and two brothers at her grandparents’ house along with more than twenty other relatives and remembers being fearful just walking to and from her school in her neighborhood.
Maria’s Mom, a strong believer, found out about Compassion through her church and Maria became sponsored when she was seven years old. The Compassion project quickly became her favorite place to play, learn, and receive a hot meal multiple times a week. She recalls how big of a difference the letters from her sponsors made in her life stating, “Their letters were always filled with love and encouragement. They told me to trust in God and to dream big and that He had a plan for my life. Those words have stayed in my heart forever. Even though my surroundings made me a fearful and insecure girl, I was transformed by the love of God that worked through my sponsors and my tutors.”
As Maria was finishing High School she remembers praying to God for direction since she wanted to continue to pursue her education, and she received a partial scholarship through Compassion in order to study English. She later became an interpreter and translator for missionaries in her church as well as for the Compassion Office in Peru.
Maria longs to see Peru overcome poverty and she is committed to letting children know that Jesus loves them and that He has a plan for their lives. “In gratitude for all the blessings God brought into my life through Compassion, I am currently sponsoring two children and I just became a Child Advocate. I hope to continue to serve God by working with Compassion to help connect children with sponsors.”