Poverty and abuse were almost enough to push Rudielsy into a life of devastation. Almost.
Growing up in Guatemala, Rudielsy carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. After his father died when he was little, Rudielsy felt responsible for taking care of his family. His only male role model was his grandfather, who beat his mother and grandmother.
As a teenager, Rudielsy began looking for ways to numb the pain. He began hanging out with a rebellious crowd and running from God.
But Rudielsy's mother, grandmother and the workers at the Compassion center he attended were determined to fight for his life. Every day, they battled for Rudielsy on their knees. "The director and many of the tutors at my center kept praying for me," says Rudielsy. "With time, the words spoken to me really tore apart what was preventing me from becoming the man God wants me to be."
Finally, he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. Through his Compassion center Rudielsy discovered how much God loves him. And he found the Father he had been yearning for.
Now, 17, Rudielsy aspires to be a newscaster and inspire teens. "I want to & share the gospel with them," he explains, "because God is the only way to enjoy this life in the right way. And because I want to strive to release others from their spiritual poverty just as God did with me through Compassion International."
Through Compassion's curriculum, Rudielsy has also learned how important education is to improve his life. His Compassion tutors have helped him improve his study habits. He hopes to be accepted into Compassion's Leadership Development Program and one day graduate from college.
Rudielsy is also learning some basic but critical life skills at the center, like how to take care of himself. He has learned the importance of nutrition and good hygiene. He also receives regular medical checkups.
Rudielsy is learning how to develop socially as well.
When he showed an interest in tae kwon do, a martial-arts discipline that engages the mind and body, his Compassion teachers told him to go for it. "I started to train more and more, until one day I attended a competition that I won!" he says. He hopes to one day be selected to represent Guatemala's national team and compete in the Olympics. Participating in tae kwon do has surrounded him with new friends and positive influences.
Praise God that Rudielsy is growing spiritually, physically, economically and socially, which is all part of Compassion's holistic child development model.
Through this model, children learn how to develop in all areas of life. They learn to thrive. They learn to overcome. And they learn how to fulfill God's miraculous plans for their lives.