The family lives in an area that lacks services no water, no electricity and no telephone. The courtyard has no doors; thieves stole them.
It was noon when I reached the family's house. There was too much sun. Rasmata and Aguirata were sitting with their mother, Fati, in the small living room because there was no shade outside. Only a small tree that Aquirata planted could be seen in the courtyard.
The family lives in an area that lacks services no water, no electricity and no telephone. The courtyard has no doors; thieves stole them. The family keeps their firewood in the living room so thieves cannot carry it away.
Because of the lack of services, life is very hard. People are obliged to walk kilometers to queue for hours to buy water. During the dry season, a barrel of water costs between $1 and $2. It often happens that people even fight to get some water.
Fati used to wash clothes to earn money but could not earn enough to feed the family. Then her husband passed away. Fati had a difficult time coping. Because of her psychological problems, she could not work.
Fati was desperate to care for her children. It was a big relief when the Compassion child development center registered her daughter Rasmata, but it wasn't enough the need was still there. Rasmata's little sister also needed help. A member of the center's management committee who was aware of this family's condition pleaded to the leadership team and was able to get Aguirata registered, too.
Then one day the brothers of Fati's late husband came from the village to take Rasmata and Aguirata. The reason: They believed Fati was psychologically unstable and could not take good care of her daughters. But taking them to the village would mean the end of the opportunity they had to go to school and have free access to health care.
But God was in control. The child development center team leader met the men and told them about all the benefits the girls would have if they continued attending the center. After several days of negotiations, the men came to understand the wonderful opportunity the children had and decided to let them stay.
For Fati, there has been a great change since her two daughters joined Compassion.
"I am grateful and do not even know how to thank the Compassion project for the huge relief. In the past, it was hard to have even a meal a day. Today, thanks to the project, we are able to eat two to three times a day. Besides, my daughters' school fees are paid for by the project. I could not believe that someone could help me raise my children freely, without asking anything."
The center activities have brought so many changes in the lives of Rasmata and Aguirata. According to their mother, they used to be very intractable, but since their registration, they have been kind and obedient, and she believes that all this has been possible thanks to the biblical input.
In fact, when the girls started going to the center, they were Muslim, along with their mom. Whenever they came back from the program activities, they would start singing Christian songs, and would pray before eating or going to bed. Their mother was wondering what was happening to her daughters, but was very happy with the great change in their behavior.
"At that time I could not believe that I myself would be Christian," Fati said, smiling.
What convinced her to give her life to Jesus was Compassion taking care of her daughters with no ulterior motives. "The woman came to the project office one day with tears and told me that she wanted to give her life to Jesus in whose name the project was bringing up her daughters," the project team leader said.
Without Compassion this family would have fallen apart, but now Fati and her two little daughters have come to Christ.
Aguirata told us that she would like to become pastor to preach the gospel. As for Rasmata, she would like to become a nurse to treat the sick.
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