A close up of Secia smiling

Abandoned by her father, 10-year-old Secia grew up with her mother and elderly grandmother until her mother's tragic death from tuberculosis. She never knew or felt her father's love, and suddenly her mom was gone too. She felt alone.

"When my mom died, I was very sad because she was everything to me," Secia said.

Secia was registered at the local Compassion center in El Agustino, Peru, and immediately the church pastors and staff members surrounded Secia with love and care. They provided for health screenings to ensure she did not also contract the disease and gave her a new, clean bed to replace the one she and her mother slept on.

However, the loss of her mom affected Secia's emotional health. She stopped playing with her friends at the center and became depressed. In order to help Secia cope with the death of her mom, her tutor at the center, Noemi, stepped up to help Secia properly grieve and overcome this tragedy. Secia started to attend Bible classes with Noemi and received the spiritual support she needed.

"When my mom died, my tutor always reminded me that I was not alone and that God was always there to protect me. She also encouraged me to be part of the dance group at the church to lift my spirits, and now I love it," said Secia.

Noemi said, "We have seen a tremendous change in Secia's attitude in the past six months, thanks to the bible studies, her dance group and the time she spends at the student center. Now Secia is happy, friendly and very affectionate."

"I like to come to the center, because I met Jesus here and I have learned that God is with me no matter what. I believe it." Secia said. "I don't feel alone anymore, because I know that God takes care of me," said Secia, with a sincere smile on her face.

Secia has never been alone. God has always been with her through many difficult seasons in her life. She has her grandma, her local church, a sponsor who cares about her, friends and a wonderful future in front of her.

"When I grow up, I want to be a doctor, because I want to save lives and help people avoid losing their loved ones. But if they do, I will remind them that God is at our side and everything will be ok," said Secia.

Secia and a group of girls in dance clothes at the Compassion center
Secia and her grandmother