Mercedes' son is the result of a brutal attack, but Compassion's Child Survival Program came to her aid and introduced her to the love of Jesus.
Abandoned by her father as a child, Mercedes relied on her mother's care and income growing up in the Ecuadorian highlands. So when Maria, Mercedes' mother, got sick, Mercedes had to leave school and go door-to-door seeking jobs as a laundress.
One day, Mercedes was brutally attacked when she was returning home from work. She lost consciousness and cannot recall the details of what happened. She woke up in a strange place, with visible signs and feelings that she was drugged.
"My waist hurt. I was bleeding," Mercedes says. "I got up and everything was spinning, I could not walk, I had chills, and was shivering."
Three months later, Mercedes' mother was concerned about her health and took her to a medical clinic. They were shocked to find out Mercedes was pregnant. Both mother and daughter could not believe the nightmare they were experiencing.
Mercedes was only 13, her mother's financial situation was dire, they barely had food to eat, and a baby was on the way. Mercedes felt emotionally devastated.
Doorway to Hope
Marí¡ thought about an abortion. However, because Mercedes was over three months' pregnant, the health risks were too high.
Then a local church member helped change her life. The church member recommended she go to the Compassion-assisted program run through a local church. Marí¡ and Mercedes immediately went to Compassion's child development center, but were told the program was full.
Their hopes almost vanished. But Mercedes' case had attracted the attention of the center staff, and they accepted her into the Child Survival Program (CSP) for mothers and their babies and pregnant women.
"Without the Child Survival Program I would have wondered what to do with my child," Mercedes says. "I believe they allowed me to become part of it because I was 13 years old and did not know what to do with the baby: whether to get an abortion or to give him away. The project opened doors for me."
A New Commitment, a New Child
Suddenly, there was hope and everything began to change. Mercedes still struggled with emotional trauma for months, but through the program received therapy to help her deal with the problem.
"When I joined CSP, they provided me with a psychologist," she recalls. The professional help aided the process of healing from the trauma she experienced. Soon, Mercedes welcomed a baby boy named David into the world.
However, Mercedes' life was truly transformed when the CSP center sponsored a retreat where she publicly committed to Jesus Christ and was baptized as a new believer.
"Something unexplainable occurred inside of me," she says. Today, Mercedes is a role model for young women. "Now I am happy with my child. I love him so much. He is a blessing from Father God," she says.
"The CSP is an instrument," says Sandra Vizueta, a CSP promoter. "God provides people to assist those in need & and uses them to fulfill His purpose." Lives are saved and transformed through the work of the Child Survival Program. Not only was baby David's life spared, but Mercedes and her mother Maria have accepted Jesus as their Savior.
"Now I feel that a blessing came to me," Mercedes says. "I believe Father God let this happen so as to have these blessings. Everything I was unable to have when I was little, now I give them to my child & God is now my Father, the father that I never had, and He is the Father of my son as well."
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