Vivian is studying Management and Social Development at university through the Leadership Development Program.
Set in a lush valley between two mountain ranges is the small Honduran town of Villa de San Francisco. With cool weather all year, it's a beautiful place to live. Most of the residents are farmers, and almost every structure is made of adobe brick with a tile roof. Vivian, a 20-year-old young woman, calls this place home.
As a girl, Vivian lived with her grandparents, three brothers and her mother. She barely saw her mother because of her constant trips to different places looking for jobs. Her mother has always worked hard to support Vivian and her family. She worked for a long time in a restaurant in the capital city and then moved to Spain to look for better opportunities, where she now works as a janitor. Young Vivian didn't know her father until she was 16 years old.
Just before Vivian turned 6, Compassion-assisted Agape Student Center (HO-131) opened up in her peaceful community. Vivian's aunt found out about the ministry and registered her in Compassion's child sponsorship program there.
What Does a Child Development Center Mean for a Child in Poverty?
Right away, this center became a second home for young Vivian. It became the best place to meet new friends, have fun through a variety of activities, and learn about the Lord's perfect plan for her life. Here she was introduced to the Word of God and eventually opened up her heart to the Lord.
Vivian characterizes herself as being a very active, social and outgoing girl. It was not difficult for her to adapt to new changes, routines or classes. She had a positive attitude and was always willing to help her tutors. Vivian attended the center every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and enjoyed the company of other boys and girls.
"I learned to socialize with other girls. I also learned Christian principles that were very important in my life," Vivian says.
Vivian grew up in wisdom. She loved every part of the ministry and her church. With time, she joined the worship and youth groups. When she turned 16 years old, she attended a special youth retreat held in her town. It was at this retreat that she invited the Lord Jesus in her life. From that moment on, she started seeing things in a new way and began living her life with an everlasting joy.
For many years, young Vivian enjoyed receiving letters from her sponsors. "Even though my sponsors did not write to me very often, they made a big impact in my life, and I appreciate everything that they did for me," she said.
Facing Economic Hardship
As an adolescent, Vivian was about to complete both her sponsorship time and high school. At 18 years old, Vivian was sure about continuing with her studies, but at the same time was concerned for the lack of economic resources to finance her education. Furthermore, her family was facing its worse financial situation ever.
"I was sad and confused. But I was sure about continuing with my education," Vivian says. "Sadly, the family situation was very critical. We had very few economic resources and nothing left for educational expenses."
In order to achieve her dreams, Vivian needed a job. She was not very excited about that idea because she wanted to study full-time, but a job was imperative. While Vivian was on the job hunt, however, a new opportunity arose. A Leadership Development Program (LDP) sign was posted at the Compassion center office.
A Clear Opportunity
"To tell you the truth, there was an LDP sign that caught my attention, and that is how everything started," Vivian says. "Right away, I began to find out about the program requirements and started to notice that I was a strong candidate for the program."
The center staff and the pastor encouraged her to give it a try and trusting God, she took the time to fill out all the documentation. The waiting process lasted awhile, but in the end, the Lord rewarded her with this blessing. She explains, "I'm so grateful and committed to give something in return as the Lord has been good to me."
Finally, a heavy burden was taken from Vivian's shoulders. Now, she did not have to worry about getting a job to pay for her education. "The Leadership Development Program represents a clear opportunity to achieve my dreams of becoming a professional and helping my family," says Vivian.
Vivian is currently studying Management and Social Development at Metropolitana University, located in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. She chose to study this subject in order to help others, which she learned at the center. She is in her third year and has been able to take 47 classes.
Vivian is also getting professional experience by working at the Honduras Compassion field office. This involves completing 800 hours or work, which takes five months. She has been able to assist and work in the Complementary Interventions department, working closely with the LDP specialist.
Vivian embraces her dream, and according to her words, is "almost done with God's help." She acknowledges that everything has been possible because of His mercy and grace. As she looks back to those childhood years, she knows in her heart that God's special purpose came true in her life through Compassion.
Without Compassion her future was uncertain, but the Lord had other plans for Vivian, who is currently expected to begin her career in June 2011. Now, just a few months away from completing her studies, she hopes to have the opportunity to work with children and help more people, just like Compassion did for her.
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