Compassion helps Guatemalan girl fulfill her dreams

By January 5, 2009

Guatemala (MNN) — Compassion International was able to assist a Guatemalan girl in fulfilling her dream. Through her, hundreds of families in her community also have been helped. Dámaris always dreamed of becoming a doctor, and today carries an enormous responsibility as the only doctor in Pixabaj.

"When I look back, I can only say, 'Look what God has done,'" she said.

In 2007, Dámaris became the first person in her family to graduate from college.

"We are so proud of her," says Sandra, Dámaris' mother. "She taught us so much about living out your dreams and trusting God."

Dámaris' parents, who both ran a tailoring business, often worried about crushing their daughter's dreams because they didn't make enough money to send her to medical school. Dámaris, however, never lost faith. She always believed God would answer her dreams of becoming a doctor, and she even practiced by giving "examinations" to neighborhood cats. When she was 4, Dámaris' parents registered her at the Patria Nueva Student Center. She formed a special bond with her Compassion sponsor, who would often encourage her dreams through his letters and pictures.

"I remember my sponsor was from Canada, and he always sent me drawings," she says. "I always thought that was so special, and it was an amazing gift that he always took the time to draw me something in his letters."

At the center, Dámaris received Jesus, and as a teenager she felt the call to serve others through medicine. She was accepted into Compassion's Leadership Development Program after graduating from the sponsorship program, which paid for her college education. While in college, Dámaris volunteered for 3 years at a clinic offering free medical care to those picking through the garbage at a nearby dump. Dámaris remembers birds feeding off the mountain of garbage she had to cross to reach the people needing her care at the dump.

"I remember those big black birds who were so big and fat, even more than the residents of the dump. Seeing all this made me grateful for the family God gave me, and I learned how to serve others."

Today, Dámaris meets with community leaders to talk about improving health conditions near the clinic and has provided medical care for hundreds of families in the community. If you'd like to sponsor a child in Guatemala, please click here .

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