Gersi, 23, grew up in an abusive and disintegrated family in a red zone suburb of Guatemala City. When Gersi was 11 years old, shortly after the My Special Treasure girl’s protection home opened, she moved into the home.
“Gersi is a very calm person and she prays a lot. Whenever I share something in particular that is happening in my life, she always says she will pray for me.” – Andrea, Gersi’s mentor.
Gersi helping at the Education Center (above)
Each Saturday morning the children of the My Special Treasure girls protection home with Cesar and Carol (the directors of the home) went to the Chimaltenango town rubbish dump to give classes to the children working on the rubbish dump. They taught them to read and write, played games, did Bible studies and worship. Also, once a month a doctor from a ministry clinic in Guatemala City would go to the rubbish dump to provide a mobile medical clinic to the children and families who work on the rubbish dump.
Experiences such as these inbuilt into Gersi and the girls at My Special Treasure the value are commitment to love and serve those in need. For Cesar and Carol, the directors, an important value to them is that the girls become mission focused as they are with them at My Special Treasure.
“My mentoring relationship with Gersi has developed gradually over time. We both enjoy our friendship and we trust each other.” – Andrea, Gersi’s mentor.
Since leaving the My Special Treasure girls protection home, Gersi joined Nicodemus’ Youth Mentoring Programme. Gersi has been an active member of the Youth Mentoring Programme – participating in group social and community outreach activities (see video above) and is being mentored. Since moving back home, Gersi did not immediately find a church, but two years ago she found one where she feels at home and has been an active member since.
Nicodemus provided Gersi with education support to complete her secondary schooling and now we are supporting her education scholarship to study law at university.
“My dream is to become a lawyer. I want to help people who need legal support but do not have the means to pay for such services.” – Gersi
During the last couple of years Gersi’s situation at home has become harder. Gersi and her family do not get on well. There is a lot of family conflict and many of them are not on speaking terms. The job opportunities extremely limited job opportunities meant Gersi was struggling to find work. She worked for a few months in a stationary store being paid £90 per month and working 12 hours a day every day of the week. One time in the street where Gersi worked a fight broke out between two gangs and her shop was shot at. Thankfully Gersi ducked and was ok.
Despite countless difficulties, Gersi still demonstrated faith and desire for a better life. Recognising this, with Nicodemus sponsoring her ministry apprenticeship, Gersi is now working at a medical clinic in Guatemala City which is part of a church ministry that serves the local population that work on the Guatemala City rubbish dump. This is the same ministry that go to do the monthly mobile medical clinics on the Chimaltenango rubbish dump. Gersi is so happy to be working in a ministry environment where she can not only work and receive a salary but also serve those that most need help. The ministry has been so happy with Gersi’s dedication at work and have continually given her more responsibilities.
As well as support from the Nicodemus Youth Mentoring Programme, our partners with ministries such as the “Rays of Hope” medical clinic and our willingness to provide sponsorship for salaries to young people in transition in need, like Gersi, provide a mutual benefit to Gersi and her economic and developmental needs (spiritual, physical) and a benefit to the medical clinic project itself with having Gersi working for them.
“I am so grateful to Nicodemus for being with me and walking with me these recent years. I do not know what I would be doing without your support.” - Gersi