Meet Valentina, one of our very bright fifth grade students at the Makarios School.
Valentina first joined us at the Makarios School when she was in second grade. We have been blessed with the opportunity to watch Valentina grow and transform over the past 4 years and would like to share a bit of her story with you.
Valentina lives with her great grandmother and little brother in Pancho Mateo, one of the nearby villages Makarios serves. It is not uncommon for our students to live with grandparents or other family members. Her mom works long hours in a beauty parlor and her dad is in the army and lives in another part of the country. Valentina’s mom is still a part of her life and she is able to stay with her frequently, but she only sees her dad around once a month.
Valentina has always been one of the best students in her class and has a very sweet demeanor. She spends a lot of time with three of the other fifth grade girls in her class. The four of them are inseparable! Unfortunately the four of them started getting into a little trouble this year and were having problems getting along with some of the younger girls. As the cattiness increased, Valentina’s attitude started changing and she was acting out more in class. One day the four of them were called into the office to have a talk with our Principal, Assistant principal, and school chaplain. They talked to the girls out of love and concern for where their behavior was leading. They reminded them the value of the blood of Christ and the sacrifice He made for them on the cross. They continued to share the Gospel with them and offered an opportunity to make a change in their lives. The girls listened, but didn’t say much.
A few days later, Valentina pulled our Assistant Principal aside in the cafeteria. She told him she had been thinking about what they talked about in the office and she wanted to accept Jesus into her life and the other three girls wanted to as well. He gathered the four of them and they went to talk more about this decision and prayed. All four of them decided to follow Jesus that day!
It was a very bold decision for them to make, especially for Valentina. "For her to have a life in Christ is not easy. A lot of the young women in their villages are not believers. She sees the opposite lifestyle around her. To accept Christ at such a young age is not normal where she lives.”- Francis Bautista, school Chaplain. But Valentina wanted her life to be different. We believe and pray God can use her as a light to other young women in Pancho Mateo. We would love for you to join us in praying for Valentina's walk with the Lord. That amongst the darkness and sin that is so present, she will continue to choose Jesus and follow Him the rest of her life.
(Below is a photo of Valentina reading the Bible with her friend Neifi, who also made the decision to accept Christ)
Every student has his or her own story, and for each one we give all the glory to God. We are thankful and blessed He allows us to be a part of His work here in the Dominican Republic and are thankful for all of the people He uses to complete that work.
You too could be a part of the work God is doing in the Dominican Republic. By sponsoring a student like Valentina you not only provide the means for them to attend Makarios and receive all the benefits the school gives, but you have the opportunity to invest in a child’s life and come alongside Makarios in sharing the gospel with them.