Adalid Toledo, formerly sponsored child and Compassion El Salvador senior accountant, credits Compassion for nurturing his calling as an accountant.
"Other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." Matthew 13:8
When he was a toddler, Adalid Toledo's future was bleak. That's because Adalid grew up in a large, poor family in Atiquizaya, El Salvador. This community, located about 46 miles from San Salvador, the country's capital city, is an area known for illiteracy, malnutrition and sky-high child abuse rates.
Such desolate circumstances can smother any chance for a child's dreams to grow. But all that changed for Adalid when, at age 6, he was enrolled in Shalom (ES-460), a local Compassion project.
Much like the parable of the seed that falls on good soil, sponsorship nurtured big dreams in Adalid's heart, including his desire to serve children.
"My Compassion experience changed my life," the 21-year-old says today.
"Compassion's financial support allowed me to go to school, but what really changed my life was the spiritual input," the young man says. "I was able to get to know Jesus personally."
Adalid still carries fond memories of his time at Shalom. "The spiritual retreats, Christmas parties and the excitement that came with the arrival of each of my sponsor's letters (are wonderful memories)," he says.
At age 17, Adalid left the project when his family moved west to El Refugio. There, he began attending the First Baptist Church of Nazarea, which began a Compassion project.
"I was so excited," says Adalid, who became the project's first Bible teacher. "I knew the blessings that were about to come."
A New Career
During the past four years, Adalid has continued to minister at the project. Currently, he serves as the project's accountant while attending college. The nurturing care that helped grow big dreams in a young boy's heart is now multiplied a hundredfold throughout the children Adalid serves in El Salvador.
"In the project I work at now, there are a lot of children who are 10 years old. They are going to be in the project for at least eight more years," he says.
"Imagine the chances we have to change their future, to show them that Jesus can bless and change any life. Child ministry is a blessing but above and beyond it is a Christian obligation."
What did you like about this story?