|   Posted: May 26, 2022

“The center helped me become the person I am today,” says Darling. “I learned the most important thing at the center… to love God above all else and to put my faith in him because he will make a way.” Learn how Darling’s faith carried her over obstacles and through a journey that helped break the cycle of poverty in her life.

Beauty in Faith

“The center helped me become the person I am today,” says Darling. “I learned the most important thing at the center… to love God above all else and to put my faith in him because he will make a way.” Learn how Darling’s faith carried her over obstacles and through a journey that helped break the cycle of poverty in her life.

Darling in her beauty salon

“Darling teaches me to have faith,” center director Nayeli said about Darling, a student from Chose Lineage Center in Managua, Nicaragua.

Since she was 4 years old, Darling has pursued her dreams through her faith and a clear vision of what she wanted for her future. When she joined the center and became sponsored, Darling was immersed in new activities and learning opportunities. More importantly, the center was where she learned about the love of God.

“The center became my second home. It was the place where I could feel safe from all the difficulties my family was going through at the time,” says Darling. “The staff showed me love that sometimes I couldn’t find at home.”

At home, financial difficulties often led to stress and arguments, which took their toll on Darling. During this time, the center staff noticed a change in Darling’s behavior. She was no longer cheerful and motivated; instead, she became withdrawn and quiet. Upon seeing this, Nayeli and the tutors took thoughtful action.

To help her, the staff took time to pray for her and talk to her after classes. “Tutors are more than just teachers,” said Nayeli. “We want to create an environment where the children feel safe, loved, seen and heard. We want to build trust and help them see that even amid despair, God loves them and has a purpose for them.”

With the tutor’s constant help and dedication, Darling began improving. Center staff helped her believe in her unique potential and the purpose that the Lord had for her. Soon, they saw her become a cheerful girl who found joy in helping others in her class and making them feel at home.

Darling and her center director, Nayeli

“I was just a child, but they helped me regain my confidence and start healing the wounds in my heart that my family’s situation had left behind,” says Darling.

As Darling continued growing, her involvement in the center grew as well. Whenever a new workshop or vocational course began, she would sign up and eagerly await the start date.

“The center offered me every opportunity to grow as a person and learn new skills. I wanted to learn everything!” says Darling, laughing. “The workshop that changed my life was the beauty workshop I participated in when I was in my teenage years. It helped me find my passion.”

Before Darling participated in the beauty workshop, she would often watch beauty videos online and practice on her sisters. But in this vocational course, Darling acquired the necessary skills to start building her own small business. She started by offering to do her neighbors’ hair or nails.

In this way, her passion transformed into a dream for her future: she wanted to have a beauty salon of her own. At first, Darling went to her clients' homes, only to quickly realize that with the increasing number of houses she visited, transportation cost more than what she earned. She needed to start a business at her home. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the means.

“I talked to both my mother and director Nayeli; both of them instantly said they would help me,” said Darling. “The center provided me with the materials and a banner so that I could start receiving clients at home. I knew this was an opportunity that the Lord was granting me, and I had to take advantage of it.”

With the new materials and her mother’s help creating a space to receive clients, Darling was able to launch her beauty salon at home.

Starting a business venture made Darling eager to learn more about properly managing it. So she set herself another goal: She would go to college and major in business management. Because of her family’s financial struggles, this would be much harder than she originally thought.

“I started college in early 2020, but after three months the pandemic hit, affecting my family’s finances. I had to leave because my family could no longer afford to send my sisters to school while paying for my college classes,” says Darling. “I didn’t think I would ever finish my higher education.”

Despite the difficulties, Darling remembered the words her mother would say in the face of hopelessness and despair. “My mother would always tell me, ‘Put it in the hands of the Lord,’ whenever we talked about college, because throughout all our past struggles, he never abandoned us,” recalls Darling.

In mid 2020, the youth specialist of Compassion Nicaragua’s national office came to talk about an opportunity to help the center’s youths attend college, offering them financial assistance and school supplies. The requirements were that they had to be enrolled in college and be active members of the center as well.

Darling and her grandfather
Darling seated

Darling, however, was no longer enrolled in college and was about to leave the center since she was now more than 18 years old. But upon hearing of this opportunity, director Nayeli remembered Darling and the financial struggles that kept her from completing college.

“I knew it would be difficult, but I knew that the Lord put us here as instruments in His hands to help these children and youths reach their full potential,” Nayeli says. “So I talked to our pastor, to our facilitator, to the youth specialist and prayed for a miracle from the Lord.”

As part of her last activities with the center, Darling recorded a video describing the impact the center had in her and her family’s lives. She recognized that her sponsor and a team of people at the center invested in her life and changed the course of her future. After watching the earnest way in which Darling talked about her experience in the center, the youth specialist and the pastor reached out to director Nayeli to tell her that Darling would receive the necessary assistance to finish college.

“I did not believe it when I heard it!” says Darling. “But once again, I saw that the Lord keeps his promises. With his help and the center’s assistance, I’ve been able to pay for college every month since then.”

A year after receiving this opportunity, Darling continued going to the center to help with cleaning duties or to aid other tutors in their classes. During this time, she continued working on her beauty salon while starting another small business — a small diner in the front yard of her house.

“The center helped me become the person I am today. It opened doors for me to grow spiritually, emotionally and academically,” says Darling. “I learned the most important thing at the center, and it’s what has helped me come so far: I learned to love God above all else and to put my faith in him because he will make a way.”

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