Carlos Garcia Machado is an LDP student who is starting his second semester of study for an undergraduate degree in economics and business at ESEN (Escuela Superior de Economia y Negocios, or Higher School for Economics and Business), one of the top business schools in the country. This is Carlos’ journey, in his own words.
“Let’s start from the beginning. My mom sold tortillas, my dad worked in a mill. By the time I was 11, my mother had left because my dad abused her. It was just my dad and my four younger siblings and me.
“I was angry at my mom, even though, to a point, I understood why she left. I was also mad at my dad, because he was the reason why my mom left. In my heart there was hate, and it was growing.”
Carlos says that his anger began to diminish as he spent more and more time at the Compassion child development center — learning about Christ and even leading Bible studies. As he neared the end of high school, he was encouraged to apply for the Leadership Development Program.
“In two days, I gathered my paperwork, my high school grades and a letter from the pastor. After all the interviews and the whole process, I waited for three weeks, and I received the news that I was part of the LDP. I was glad that I could continue my studies because I had assumed that after [I graduated] I would start working instead. I was part of the LDP. How could it get better?”
After being accepted into LDP, Carlos went through a strenuous series of tests and interviews in the process to be accepted into ESEN, a highly prestigious and competitive school. He remembers standing before a group of businessmen and leaders in his last interview, and being asked “Why should you attend this school?”
“When I opened my mouth, I said, ‘If it is God’s will, you will give me the scholarship. If not, it is OK, because it is also God’s will.’ When I walked out of the room, I thought, Why did I say that? I messed up!
“But days later this important businessman called me, and called me ‘Brother Machado’ because I am a Christian. He said, ‘Brother Machado, I am glad to tell you that you have been awarded a scholarship from ESEN.’ I would have never thought I would be studying at that place, but you know, God’s plans are different from my plans.
“[My classmates] are people with a lot of money. Many of them do not believe in God, and they even look for spiritual confrontation. Now I see that God’s plan for me is to share the gospel with them. When they come and ask me about God, I tell them that if they want to argue, I do not wish to talk, but if they truly want to learn about the gospel, then I can share.”