The steep mountainside in Manchay, Peru, is covered with a multitude of ramshackle huts clinging precariously to the rocky slopes.

The higher up the mountain you live, the bleaker the terrain becomes – and the poorer you are.

Margarita has lived in Manchay for eight years, arriving here after the sudden death of her husband. She was pregnant with her fifth child at the time. Living on the mountain in a hovel with no electricity or running water – and with five hungry mouths to feed on very little income – she soon became desperate.

Wiping tears from her eyes, Margarita shares with me how everything was transformed for her family: “When I came to Kids Alive, I had no hope,” she says. “I came to ask for help for my children. The first thing I received when I came through the gates was a big hug from one of the staff. I felt so welcome.”

Margarita’s children were quickly enrolled in the Oasis, Kids Alive’s school and care center program in Manchay – and she joined our program for single mothers where she was trained in practical skills. Here she heard the most precious gift we could offer her – the Good News of Jesus. Margarita soon became a passionate follower of Christ. “My whole life changed,” she shared simply. “I love Jesus. I now have hope.”

Today, Margarita works at the Oasis as a cleaner and so has a steady income to support her family.

As we stand outside her tiny home on the mountainside, I ask her how Kids Alive’s supporters can pray for her. Her response is immediate. She wants to see her oldest son, who hasn’t made a commitment yet, to come to know Jesus. And she asks that all of her children may continue to do well in school, so they can one day get employment and break out of poverty.

Margarita’s tenacity, humility, and faith were inspiring to me. Please keep her, and her precious children, in your prayers!