|   Posted: January 30, 2019

When Ronald’s father was killed, his family was left reeling. But the Compassion staff, along with Ronald’s sponsor, Larry, became a lifeline for the teen.

Ronald Alvarez

When Ronald’s father was killed, his family was left reeling. But the Compassion staff, along with Ronald’s sponsor, Larry, became a lifeline for the teen.

Home Country: Honduras

Occupation: Engineering Student at University

Q: Tell us about when you were first registered with Compassion. What was it like? How did you feel?

A: I was registered when I was 8 years old, in 2002. My younger brother Edgar was also part of the Compassion center. My parents started to attend the Peniel Church, where the center is located. The church staff talked to them about the child development center and the spiritual benefits that children get. My parents did not hesitate in enrolling me.

I enjoyed my journey as a Compassion child. When my father died, I found comfort and a family within the Compassion center. If not for their support, I would not be able to cope with my father’s death, or to find an opportunity to afford university. At the Compassion center I also found Larry, my sponsor, who was like a father from another country to me. I felt loved because I used to get school supplies, birthday gifts, field trips [and] medical checkups, which my single mother could not afford.

Q: Can you tell us what happened to your father?

A: I was 13 years old when my father was robbed, shot and killed a few blocks away from our home. His departure to heaven was unbearable for my family and me. However, my father had encouraged me for my entire childhood, and those words sustained me. He ignited a Christian legacy in me, which led me to become a leader who constantly serves others.

Q: How did your father’s death impact your family?

A: After my father died, my mother became the only provider of the family. As a schoolteacher, she found a job outside the city. She used to travel and leave me in charge of my younger siblings. When only 13 years old, I used to buy groceries and cook for my brothers while my mother was away working during the week. She used to return home on the weekends and spend time with us. I appreciate the fact that she trusted me and gave me such responsibility because that made me grow up. When I was 17, she found a job in the city and stopped traveling.

The church staff used to make frequent visits to me and my siblings because they knew my mother was out of the house. They also picked us up at my house to develop devotion time along with my classmates or to celebrate birthday parties, so we did not feel alone.

Ronald with his mother
Ronald with his siblings

Q: Tell us about your sponsor’s role in your life.

A: When my sponsor, Larry, found out that my father passed away, he volunteered to pay his funeral expenses and he sent gifts to buy groceries for a couple of months. I remember that in his letters, Larry used to tell me that he was my father from another country and that I was also a son to our loving God. Those words lifted me up and made me feel loved, self-confident and spiritually strengthened.

Q: Can you tell us what your life looks like now?

A: In 2012, I got a phone call from the Compassion national office with the news that I had gotten a university scholarship. In that moment, my dream of experiencing the university life was unveiled in front of my eyes, and I did nothing more than to praise the Lord. My mother was making an extra effort to keep us afloat, and she was deeply worried about our future education. But God made a way where we thought there was none, and that phone call with such great news changed our lives forever.

I am currently studying computer science engineering at university, and computer science has become one of my biggest passions. I am happy to say I will soon begin my six-month internship period at one of Honduras’ most prestigious computer network and embedded system companies.

Q: You’ve dealt with a lot of adversity in your life. What gave you strength in those times?

A: God is my fortress. It’s not easy to cope with the death of a relative, and I doubt that I could make it this far without God by my side. My family is also my rock. My mother is my inspiration because she’s such a hard worker; I look up to her. The center staff [and] my friends from Compassion and from university also give me strength.

Q: What are your hopes for the future?

A: When I was growing up, my father used to tell me that I had to accomplish a career and make him proud. Now that I’m about to graduate, I’m pretty sure that he’d be so proud of me. My mother always says that there is no such honor to a parent than to have a child who follows Jesus, and a child who becomes a professional to serve other people who suffer from poverty like we did.

Looking ahead 10 years, I picture myself with a master’s degree in robotics or telecommunications. I also want to pursue my service in the worship ministry, and I am eager to see where the Lord takes me.