Love looks like never giving up

Ask Walkiris. Her young life was colored by harsh realities: her father died when she was five, her mother died as a result of domestic violence when Walkiris was eight. Ultimately, she and her three siblings (12, 10, and 4) lived alone in their small family home without electricity or running water. “There were days when there was only sugar water or nothing to eat, we shared one bed.” Her older sister became a young mother at 13.

At eight years old, her future looked dim.

But God had another plan for Walkiris. She came to Kids Alive’s Ark Jarabacoa in Dominican Republic and found so much she had been lacking; a home, food, a bed of her own, a bathroom and shower with running water, clothing, games and a good education.

She fondly remembers visiting service teams, especially those that came to play soccer in the rain and mud, and sponsors who wrote her letters she still has to this day. But she believes the most important and valuable thing she received in the Ark was the love of Christ.

She worked hard, this little girl who loved Jesus and loved to learn. She graduated top of her class in 8th grade and again in the 12th grade and set her sights on being a doctor. Quite a long way from the little girl we first met who had no home and no education.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. Like all of us, Walkiris has walked through challenges and consequences but has clung to the Lord. She has allowed God to reveal His faithfulness through her persevering faith, choosing to walk in the light.

Twenty-four years after she first came to Kids Alive, Walkiris is a doctor working with Kids Alive International at the Ark. She walks with the poor and needy patients who visit the clinic, and her heart breaks as she sees mothers struggle to feed and care for their children. She knows those realities all too well.

This past year, Walkiris had another heartbreak. She and her husband Miguel lost their infant Hallie Analiz, but she remains strong in her conviction of God’s goodness and provision:

“He [God] is the one who sustains me, the one who lifts me up gives me security. I have learned that we are borrowed, that only he knows how long we will be passing through this land. In each of the processes that I have gone through, God has been there with me and my family. I do not deny that I would long for everything to be different, but there is no greater joy than knowing that I will see my little girl again. The Lord keeps me firm in Him until He comes or He calls me.”

Walkiris’ story is a reminder to all of us that our decision to follow Christ is not a “one and done” event, it is a journey. That’s true for ministry and why your partnership with Kids Alive International is so significant. The true power of impacting communities and families for the long term is being there for the months and years ahead as children grow, dream, and sometimes fail.

We asked Walkiris what she’d like you to know:

“I am a living example that [because of] God and all those who He caused to support me in one way or another, like my sponsors, I have been able to achieve great goals, be a doctor and be able to work for the ministry. I encourage you to be part of our great family. With your help you can make big changes in the lives of children who have lived through difficult circumstances.”

Help us step in for more kids like Walkiris: www.kidsalive.org/yearendgift