Rosa is one of thousands of children in Mexico who have been abused. Compassion has provided counseling
and support, and Rosa is now on the road to healing.
There are no pictures in Rosa's home of her preschool years. At one time they adorned the walls, but the images made Rosa cry. So one day her mother ripped them from the walls and shoved them in the garbage.
Anything to stop her daughter's tears. Rosa was 3 when her stepfather began abusing her. She and her mother don't talk about the years of abuse the memories are too painful. When Rosa's mother discovered the abuse, she immediately left her husband.
"When I left my husband, I had nothing. We were desperately poor, and I became very angry at God, that He had let these things happen to my family. But He showed me He still loved us. He brought us hope through Compassion."
When Rosa was 5, her mother registered her at a Compassion-assisted child development center near Mexico City. At first, Rosa was painfully shy and had a hard time relating to the other students at the center. But slowly, she began to heal.
Compassion staff knew that Rosa also needed professional help. Compassion sponsorship covered the cost of counseling, and the staff poured hours into helping her through the process of dealing with painful memories.
"If we don't help these children, who will?" asks Rosalita, the director at Rosa's center. "It is our responsibility and calling to look after these hurting children. I only hope we can prevent this from happening to many other children."
One outlet for Rosa's pain was art. The center offered art classes after school, and Rosa began to blossom under the patient instruction of her art teacher. Rosa's talent was evident, and she would smile shyly with each compliment her teachers or classmates paid her.
Soon she began entering, and winning, art contests, and her self-confidence grew. Today, Rosa is a 12-year-old junior high student. She still deals daily with the abuse she suffered nearly 10 years ago. But Rosa is no longer defined by that abuse.
She's not a victim. She is a daughter, a painter, a big sister and a friend. There are still no pictures of Rosa's early childhood in her home. Remembering those years remains painful for both Rosa and her mother. The walls instead are decorated with bright pastels and drawings that Rosa has created.
"They give me a sense of freedom," Rosa says shyly. "I paint because I want to show people beauty. I want to show them God's love."
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