Esmirna Campusano is passionate about educating the next generation and shaping their lives with radical love. She teaches in a bilingual Christian school in her hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and coaches students learning English as a second language. She also serves in the youth ministry at her church and works on staff at a ministry that provides leadership training for local church leaders.
Raised in one of the poorest communities in Santo Domingo—known for its poverty, crime, and drugs—Esmirina’s world changed significantly when her father moved to the United States. She was very young at the time and the abandonment by her father left an enormous hole in her life. When she contracted dengue fever at twelve years old, Esmirina was hospitalized and in critical condition for weeks. She longed desperately for her father, but instead she received a phone call notifying her that he wasn’t coming. Esmirina’s heartbreak grew into resentment.
Her mom, now a single parent, found employment as a cook at the local Compassion program, which gave Esmirina the opportunity to be sponsored into their child development program. As a result, she flourished in her education. More importantly, though, she discovered God as her Father and learned the transforming power of forgiveness. When she made the brave choice to forgive her dad, she released the resentment that had been holding her heart captive.
Currently studying psychology, Esmirina dreams of eventually earning a master’s degree in family therapy. Fluent in Spanish and English, she is a vibrant public speaker with a passion for speaking about God as our loving Father, the power of hope, and how forgiveness brings freedom.