Today, the Gomezes are a unified family and active members of their church. Carla and Carolina's mother, Jessica, also volunteers at her girls' project.
A few months before Carla Bellen Gomez's fourth birthday, she and her two-year-old sister, Carolina, were abandoned at Compassion's San Pablo Apostol Student Center (EC-127) in Quito, Ecuador. It didn't take project staff long to discover that the little girls' home was near the project.
Checking to see why the girls had been abandoned, the project workers learned that the father, Carlos, was an alcoholic and physically abusive toward the girls' mother, Jessica, who had left for work one day a few weeks earlier and never returned home. Carla was immediately registered into Compassion's sponsorship program and Carolina was placed in MealsPlus, a program at the project for children under the age of five.
The project director, joined by the pastor of the church that houses the student center, visited Carlos and asked him to consider letting the girls come home if the project staff helped him overcome his alcohol addiction and aided him in caring for the girls. Carlos agreed.
After Carlos had remained sober for several weeks, he began attending church, interested in finding out more about the people who were helping him and his girls. His attitude and behavior began to change and soon his wife, Jessica, heard from neighbors and friends about the distinct differences they saw in Carlos.
Jessica returned to her home to see for herself whether the changes were real. When she saw the improved condition of her family, she decided to move back home. Just one week after the family was reunited, both Carlos and Jessica made decisions to accept Christ into their hearts and home.
Carlos has been sober for almost three years now and his family is increasingly active in the church. Jessica volunteers at the student center, where she helps care for the over 200 children the project ministers to. Carla is entering her third year of school and Carolina has been in Compassion's regular sponsorship program for one year.
There is no sign of the violence, addiction and tragedy that formerly troubled this young family. Instead, Carla and Carolina are growing up in an environment characterized by love, stability and commitment. The hope and love of God have truly transformed the Gomez home.