Changing the Course of History

Changing the Course of History

By: Djanira Blanco in Bolivia, with Brandy Campbell   |   Posted: May 24, 2007

A Registered Child in Bolivia Escapes a Life of Abuse

Kabir grew up in a city filled with abuse and violence, and his own home was run by the heavy hand of an alcoholic father. His story of deliverance begins with a perseverant mother and the hope of a heavenly Father.

Sponsor a leadership student or donate to support this program today.

Violence filled Kabir Miranda's childhood. His earliest memories are of an abusive father who, when Kabir was just 4 years old, threatened to kill the little boy, his younger brother and his mother. The three escaped into the night, fleeing to his grandmother's home just down the street in Santa Fe de Yapacani. But they couldn't hide from the emotional damage Kabir's father inflicted on the family with his drunken rages.

Sadly, Kabir and his family represent one of many families who face domestic violence in Bolivia. Incidents of child abuse and violence are high in Bolivia but are difficult to track because they are rarely reported. Kabir didn't need statistics to understand the widespread abuse in Santa Fe de Yapacani. Some of his friends at school tried to hide bruises and black eyes. Kabir recognized their pain because he felt it too.

The Love of a Father

Most of the men in the small community of Santa Fe are bored and restless. Sixty percent are unemployed, while wages of just U.S.$2 a day make many other men feel powerless to provide for their families.

Kabir's mother worried for her sons. She did not want them to learn the ways of their drunken father, and the streets around her home were filled with crude language and violent brawls not the male role models she wanted for her boys. Rosa wanted Kabir and his brother to go to school, to occupy their minds. But most of all, she wanted them to know the love of Jesus the love of a real Father.

When Rosa discovered the Compassion-assisted Santa Fe Student Center, she praised God for answering her prayers. Both of her sons registered in the program. But for young Kabir, the emotional and physical abuse of his father had taught the boy fear and shame. He knew little of healthy relationships and nothing of a Father he could open up to.

"I was so embarrassed by what my father did," remembers Kabir. "I did not want to go to the store, to school or to the student center. I was even embarrassed to go to church because of the scene my dad would make."

"I could tell them everything."

Project workers grieved with young Kabir and tried to gain his trust. Their kind words, paired with letters from his sponsors, made the boy feel peace in the midst of the violence. As Kabir wrote to his sponsors, he realized he found freedom in communicating with someone who hadn't heard his father's slurred shouts or seen him stumble drunkenly into town. There was no judgment. Only gentle prayers and words of support and love.

"It was easy to talk to my sponsors, because they didn't see what my father was doing," says Kabir. "I could tell them everything. God blessed my life through my sponsors' love."

Kabir began to blossom under the attention of his sponsors and project workers. As a child he accepted Jesus as his Savior an event that Kabir describes as life-changing. He now prays that his father will one day know the love of Jesus.

Breaking the Cycle

Now a college student studying chemistry through Compassion's Leadership Development Program, Kabir dreams of one day marrying and raising his own family. While he is saddened by the life his father has chosen to lead, Kabir is thankful that his mother found a way to break that cycle of abuse.

"There is a saying in my town, 'From that stick, a splinter,' but I say that is not true, because I have God in my heart," says Kabir. "Compassion helped me cultivate values and Christian habits, making me a good man. & Accepting Christ changed the course of my history."

What did you like about this story?

Related Stories
    No stories found!