loading

Jesus Gabriel

11 years old

Casserengue, Pariba, Brazil

Eleven-year-old Jesus Gabriel lives with his single mother and seven siblings in a small brick house that has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a living room. The walls are cracked, the floors are unfinished, and there's little ventilation.

The house itself is located in Casserengue, one of the most impoverished cities in Northeast Brazil, where 45% of the population lives on less than $35 a month. There are no job opportunities to speak of, and food and water are scarce. In fact, the only thing the city seems to have in abundance are drugs and alcohol.

And finally there's Jesus' health: because of a congenital defect in both his legs, he walks with a limp.

All this would make even the most optimistic person doubt whether poverty can be overcome, but Jesus is a shining example of how it's possible to keep dreaming in the face of challenging circumstances.

And much of the credit for this goes to Pastor Dayrson Rose.

A missionary in Casserengue, Rose and his family were sent to the city by the Assembly of God church four years ago, and as soon as they arrived, they got to work starting up a community center for children; one that would provide a safe, creative environment in which kids could thrive. Mission accomplished. The community center now provides education, healthcare and vital child development services, and it's precisely because of these services that the children's dreams are coming true with increasing regularity. Research has shown that Compassion's well-rounded approach to education and development dramatically increases the probability of continued education and future employment, and the kids who attend this center are living proof of that.

Today, the Oficina de Arte Vide Feliz - Compassion's local church partner since 2011 - is the place where Jesus' long-standing dream of becoming a pilot is alive and well. Which is pretty remarkable considering the city doesn't have an airport or offer any pilot training courses.

"My sponsor told me one day I will be able to fly to many places... the Lord will provide this for me," says Jesus, carefully holding a package of his sponsor's letters as he speaks, a powerful reminder of just how inspirational sponsors can be.

"My sponsor told me one day I will be able to fly to many places... the Lord will provide this for me."

But lest you think that child sponsors are the only ones who provide much needed inspiration to kids, think again. All the people who work at Oficina de Arte Vida Feliz encourage every last child to dream as big as they can. In fact, during Bible studies, they often talk about famous people throughout history who achieved their goals despite facing huge adversity, such as Joseph in Egypt. “We do everything to prepare our children to become people of integrity and honesty,” says Maria Vania Canuto, the center’s director. “We try to make them see beyond.”

For a little boy who wants to travel and see the world one day, beyond is the perfect place to be.

Fundraising in action

"

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

"

- 1 John 4:7 -

Fundraise Now To Help Expecting Mothers Fight The Zika Virus.

"

My sponsor told me one day I will be able to fly many places... The Lord will provide this for me.

"

- Jesus Gabriel, 9 years old

Turn your birthday into a fundraiser!

Throw a party!

Entry cover: a donation to your campaign

"

And now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

"

- 1 Corinthians 13:13

"

I needed strength to carry on - and Compassion helped me find that strength.

"

- Rosilda, Mother of two

Fundraiser in memory and honor of a loved one.

"

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

"

- 1 John 4:7 -

Fundraise Now To Help Expecting Mothers Fight The Zika Virus.

Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator, has awarded Compassion its highest rating - four stars - for 14 consecutive years

"

My sponsor told me one day I will be able to fly many places... The Lord will provide this for me.

"

- Jesus Gabriel, 9 years old

Throw a party!

Entry cover: a donation to your campaign

Turn your birthday into a fundraiser!

"

And now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

"

- 1 Corinthians 13:13

"

I needed strength to carry on - and Compassion helped me find that strength.

"

- Rosilda, Mother of two

Fundraiser in memory and honor of a loved one.