Yami is an enormous help wherever she goes. She helps care for her siblings at home and use to help her teacher and classmates at the Toronja academy. She has acquired this “servant’s heart” from her mother and is always attentive to others in need. Yami has a willing attitude without ever expecting anything in return.
Unfortunately, it has not always been an easy road for Yami.
In fact, when Yami first came to the academy she felt below-average in comparison to those around her. Through the public school system, she sensed she had very little value and developed feelings of deep inadequacy. Two perceptions that she could identify with were:
“I am unable” and “I cannot”.
With the challenges she faced academically, she also faces danger on a daily basis within her community. Yami describes the prevailing atmosphere of La Limonada from a fearful viewpoint. She says, “In the streets where I live, there are thieves, and sometimes I am very afraid.”
However, by the influence of strength and perseverance within the academy, she now has a very different story to share. The outcome is very rare and unlike the path she first experienced before she started at the Toronja academy.
Attending the Toronja academy has given her a newfound belief in her identity. Her best friend is Dulce… the friendship with her makes Yami very happy. She loves to help her teacher with the math lessons.
The story she learned from the public school system has been replaced with an awareness that she is capable, the cycle of pain and inadequacy has been broken and she knows God loves her.
Yami has become resilient and strong.
An additional positive change in her life has been the connection with Heather, her sponsor from the United States. Yami has received many encouraging letters that help her realize she is valuable, loved and being prayed for outside the walls of La Limonada.
There are many others like Yami within La Limonada. The beautiful children of this community are often written off as insignificant, uneducated, and completely forgotten by most others in Guatemala City.
The God we serve does not see a zip code (or Zona) when He looks on His children in La Limonada. He sees each one of them as precious, worthy and created in His image.
Our work in the academies is about finding value in everyone—finding their identity in Christ—especially for those who have been left behind by society.