By: Daniela Velasco, Compassion Mexico Photojournalist   |   Posted: November 03, 2022

Belen has been a Compassion center director for 12 years. Discover her journey to finding her calling, the challenges of her role and what keeps her motivated.

Grateful for Center Directors Like Belen

Belen has been a Compassion center director for 12 years. Discover her journey to finding her calling, the challenges of her role and what keeps her motivated.

Written by Daniela Velasco, Compassion Mexico Photojournalist
Belen sits by a lake

Belen is a hard-working woman of God, a dedicated wife, the mother of three grown children, a businesswoman — and the center director of Jesus People Child Development Center in Hidalgo, Mexico. Saturdays, when the children gather at the center for program activities, are her favorite.

“I love being at the center. The laughter, faces, hugs and prayers of the children and my co-workers fill my heart with energy and joy,” she said. Each week, she splits her time between working at the center, making home visits to children and running an organic food business she shares with her adult daughter.

Belen’s journey began at her parent’s house, where Compassion’s church partner was founded when she was 18 years old. A couple had been visiting Belen’s family to share God’s Word. Her family became Christians and founding members of the church. Little did Belen know that God was beginning to chart the path to her calling.

“We gathered in our house for Sunday services. My parents moved the furniture to create space to do the services there,” said Belen. “Over the years, we legally consolidated as a church and managed to find a place to build the church where we are now.”

She began developing her leadership skills by working with groups of kids in Sunday school and leading the other Sunday school teachers. A neighboring church began partnering with Compassion and, impressed with how the program operated, Belen’s church adopted a similar model using their own local resources. As the number of assisted children boomed, their church began partnering with Compassion to expand their impact.

At the time, Belen was the Sunday school teacher. To her surprise, the pastor informed her she’d been selected as the center’s director. “Being center director demands a lot of work that feels like a huge responsibility, but it is something I really like and enjoy doing,” she said.

Belen sits with a girl from her Compassion center
Belen works with 2 girls in a computer lab

She believes God prepared her for the position through her past experiences. “In my previous job, I worked as a secretary, and this helped me to learn about finances, how to use the internet and diverse programs that I use now,” she explained.

Being a center director has pushed her to consistently learn new things. She only had the opportunity to study until high school, but this hasn’t stopped her from being committed to her own studies so she can teach others.

“I’m currently also working as a tutor for the group of teenagers from 15 to 18 years old, and I love working income generation workshops with them,” she said. “It is wonderful to provide them with the tools so that they can generate their own sources of money.”

Over the years, Belen became adept at organizing the center’s administration and logistics. She knows, though, that the most important priority is the children’s soul — souls that needs to be seen, cared for, loved, encouraged and directed onto the right path.

That’s why she and the center staff members help the children understand they are precious and born with a purpose. Every night before bed, Belen prays for the wisdom and vitality to lead the staff members and children so that they can all feel loved, known and protected.

It’s been 25 years since Belen first began serving in the church. From time to time, she wonders what she would be doing if she wasn’t working with children. She cannot imagine herself anywhere else.

“I love being here,” she says. “I constantly learn from the children and their parents; and being able to see their faces when they receive a letter, a gift or food they like is priceless.”

Thank you, Belen, for your commitment to the children in Hidalgo and for all the ways you’re allowing God to use your gifts to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name!

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