At just 33 years old, Yhovana has experienced enough tragedy for a lifetime. This mother of four struggles to manage despite a violent ex-husband, a community that constantly tries to lure her children into drugs, lack of employment and now, a pandemic.
Yet, Yhovana can still smile. “The pandemic has improved a little and we are a bit better off economically because my (current) husband now has a job, and for the moment we don't lack food,” she says. “The church also brings us joy, and they support us very much. God always helped me.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, Yhovana and her husband couldn’t afford food or diapers. Hunger was a daily companion. Some days, they only drank water or tea while the children only had a single plate of potato and eggs. Sometimes they were so desperate that Yhovana collected chicken's intestines — intended to be pig food — and washed and cooked them for her family to eat.
The stress and worry gave Yhovana migraines, but despite the doctor's orders, she couldn’t rest. She instead decided to pray. As Yhovana recalls this difficult time she smiles through the tears, remembering that even at the worst moment, God didn't abandon her. Instead, he blessed her and her family through the Compassion partner church.
Erika, her second daughter, was registered in the Child Sponsorship Program in 2016. The support has helped the entire family to survive the pandemic.
“Thanks to the Lord, the church supported me at the right moment. When I needed something, the church arrived,” says Yhovana. “When we didn't have anything to eat, they came with a big chicken, and we ate meat for the first time in a long time. When we needed something, the church helped just in time.
“We were able to move forward with the church's support,” continues Yhovana. “Since the need we have experienced during the pandemic, they have been helping us. They are always calling to ask what we need, and I'm very thankful for that.”
Smiling and expressing her joy, even during the pandemic, Yhovana feels privileged and thankful for the support the church and God have provided her family.