Brisa’s* childhood came to an abrupt end the day she discovered her father’s body, lying lifeless and cold. And before she could recover from the loss of her father, her mother died.

Having alcoholic parents, life wasn’t exactly ideal for Brisa, but it was better than being orphaned with two younger sisters to support. Brisa and her sisters were sent to live with an uncle, but this shelter came at a cost. Both she and her sister Madelyn were cruelly beaten regularly by their uncle. Eventually Brisa and Madelyn moved to live with an aunt, while their youngest sister Dayana stayed with their uncle. Though separated from their youngest sister, Brisa and Marcela began to live a “normal” life with their aunt. But the normalcy was short-lived, as Brisa soon discovered that their cousin was abusing Madelyn in the same way he had abused Brisa when she was younger. They told their aunt, but the aunt did nothing. However, when the cousin’s wife heard of the abuse, she was alarmed and took action. That is when Brisa and Madelyn were taken away to the safety of the government-run children’s home.

In 2011, Kids Alive’s Oasis ministry heard of the girl’s plight and invited them to stay at the Oasis to receive the help they needed. Two years later, their youngest sister, Dayana, who they barely knew, united with them at Oasis. Here the three sisters began to learn to live together. At first, it wasn’t easy – the three struggled to adapt and to trust that they wouldn’t be hurt anymore by the adults around them. Over time, the three came to know Jesus. Their hearts, hardened by years of abuse and the sadness of losing their parents, slowly began to soften and heal. At Oasis, Brisa and her sisters came to know a very sweet friendship, grounded in their belief in the Lord and love for each other. They now care deeply for each other and spend as much time together as possible. While Brisa, now 17, has moved to the pre-independence program, she is often seen enjoying a meal or a laugh while visiting her sisters. The pre-independence program prepares girls on the threshold of young adulthood to live independently. All three girls have expressed a strong desire to be together as a family once they all graduate from school. In the meantime, they have adjusted well to life at the Oasis.

Brisa is quiet but driven. She recently started working on-site at the Oasis daycare while finishing up her schooling on Saturdays. She has found favor with her Kids Alive teachers, missionaries, and house parents for her strong work ethic, desire to learn, and her loving and kind demeanor. Her enthusiasm and devotion to pursuing the Lord, as well as being a fierce protector of her sisters, have already brought her far. The Oasis staff look forward to what the Lord has in store for Brisa as she navigates through late teens to adulthood while leading and guiding her younger sisters.

Brisa is a different girl from the abused, neglected, and fearful child she was when she arrived at Oasis. She is now a young woman who radiates the hope of the Lord as she playfully laughs with and encourages those around her.

*Names changed for privacy