Dr. Ruth, once a sponsored child, now a doctor helping other sponsored children, credits her Lord and her sponsor for the support and inspiration to pursue her dreams.
Compassion sponsors are heroes, says Dr. Ruth Coquira, age 24, a formerly sponsored child who is now a pediatric doctor. Recently, Dr. Ruth sat down with several Compassion staff members to explain how her sponsor changed her life.
Of course, not every Compassion child has the gifts and calling to be a doctor but Dr. Ruth is emphatic: Sponsors are the champions who children need to inspire and fulfill their dreams. This year, she has provided medical services to over 1,300 sponsored children. Here is her story.
"I come from a family of farmers except for my dad who worked in the mines. Our life was very difficult; we didn't have much so my father decided to move us to La Paz. Once we arrived in the city, we began receiving help from Compassion.
"I was six when I received my first letter from my new sponsor, Gretchen. She was 17 and attended a university. She wrote and told me all about the amazing things she was doing - traveling to different places, including Russia, and then later studying for her doctorate in political science."
A Sponsor Fuels a Young Girl's Dream
"Gretchen always wrote to me about the Lord and she encouraged me never to stray from Him. She told me that everything was possible if we put our faith in Him.
'You can do just about whatever you want,' Gretchen said.
"Her words became my inspiration. They motivated me to study and to do something with my life.
"When I was 15, I set a personal goal of becoming a doctor. A key factor in that decision was Gretchen. My dad, well, he didn't have much faith in me. He didn't think that I would make it. In Bolivia, medicine is considered to be a complicated, long career path and medical training is extremely expensive. My family obviously didn't have the financial means to help me so my father never thought I would succeed.
"But I was able to attend San Andres University, the country's largest state university. I only had to pay registration fees and I photocopied my medical books and shared the material with other students. Sponsorship is a miracle. Thanks to (my sponsor's) generosity, I have achieved my dream of becoming a doctor."
A Young Bolivian Leader's Future dream
"We still have so much work to do (in Bolivia) to develop as a society. One day I would love to have my own pediatric practice. Current statistics reveal a child dies every minute in Bolivia. My hope, my dream, is to help lower this percentage.
"And I know I would not be here - I wouldn't be anything - without Gretchen's encouragement and assistance. She'll always have a very special place in my heart. I want her to remember that in Bolivia she has someone waiting for her with open arms."
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