Dennis Abel, a domestic abuse survivor, is a young man pursuing a life that God intended.
Many of the children attending Compassion El Salvador's projects come from non-Christian families where abuse and violence are their "daily bread." Consequently, an important aspect of Compassion's ministry is helping to sow forgiveness and hope in the hearts of these children.
Dennis Abel's story is typical of many children attending Compassion El Salvador's projects. Before Dennis was registered in the Compassion project, he knew something was terribly wrong in his home. His father claimed to love his mother but he often beat her.
Project Staff Exemplify God's Love
Because they couldn't bear their father's brutal abuse of their mother, Dennis' two older brothers and his older sister ran away from home. Yet in the midst of their suffering and uncertainty, Dennis and his younger sister were enrolled in Compassion's Macedonia Child Development Center (ES-745) in Texistepeque, 75 miles west of San Salvador.
Just nine years old at the time, Dennis experienced a different world at the project, one of love and understanding. "The brothers and the sisters in the project were really special," he says. "They taught me about the true love of God!"
A Family Move
But things soon changed. The family's economic situation became critical and Dennis' father decided to move the family to Metapan, 45 minutes away. "I didn't want to go because my father hit me constantly," says Dennis. "And I couldn't stand seeing him hit my mom. So I decided to stay in Texistepeque with my aunt Elsa, who's a Christian. She's really nice to me."
Now Dennis and his brothers have taken different paths. His brothers are not Christians; they don't have any contact with the family and live lives of violence themselves.
On the other hand, Dennis, 13, has become a Christian and faithfully prays for his family. When asked what he wants most for them, he answers enthusiastically: "I want God to bless my family, especially my father!"
Dennis' heart has been changed through the love God reflected to him through his project workers. They are also the biggest reason he decided to stay in Texistepeque. With a shy smile he confesses: "I would have missed the brothers and sisters at the project!"
Dennis has made a firm commitment to serve God every day of his life. And he wants to become a pastor - a byproduct of the love and affection showered upon him at his project.
"I want to be a pastor and preach the gospel so that people will come to the feet of Jesus," he declares.
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