See this woman? She’s a hero of the faith. Through her, the walls of poverty are crumbling for her family.

Ana Morales is the mother of our very own Tony Beltran. Tony graduated from the Leadership Development Program in the Dominican Republic and will be graduating from Moody Bible Institute in May.

Tony is known for his leadership and for speaking with passion. That passion shines through as he looks at his mother and testifies about this amazing woman.

Ana Morales is a portrait of perseverance. Poise and confidence inhabit her words.

Ana grew up in church, where she first learned to trust our heavenly Father. That trust was vital in the midst of poverty. As a child, Ana and her siblings often went without meals.

As a young woman, Ana married. After two years of marriage and with a 6-month-old baby, her husband died. She clung to that same trust that sustained her through her childhood.

“When you are young, and when you experience hard times, you grow up with lessons in courage and perseverance. You realize that you will make it and that God will provide.”

Ana Morales is a prayer warrior.

Tony recollects his mother’s early encouragement. She once told him, “While I have knees, you will go to college.” This prayer warrior was constantly on her knees, lifting up prayers to Jesus for her young son. She saw early on that Tony was admired for his passion, always willing to work hard and excellent at scripture memory.

Ana Morales is a servant leader.

Tony speaks about his time at Moody Bible Institute. About the people he’s met and the lessons he’s learned on leadership. Yet one of the many things he realizes: “The best leader I ever met was right in my house. It was my mother.”

The mother and son look at each other, recalling difficult times. Ana admits that often there was not enough food to go around for all of her children. So to make sure they could eat what little was available, she pretended she was working in the kitchen and didn’t need any food.

Ana knows, though, that it takes a community of believers.

“Compassion is a ‘Fountain of Help,’” she says, tears streaming from her eyes. Ana was able to provide the intangible things Tony needed: love, prayer and family. But she was not always able to provide financially.

Around the same time that Ana was praying for her son, the lives of the Sibley family were about to change. They began sponsoring 14-year-old Tony. Their choice allowed Tony to continue with high school and eventually move on to the Leadership Development Program and Moody Bible Institute.

Gary and Cindy Sibley joined us for the wonderful celebration of Tony’s graduation.

Cindy and Ana grabbed one another’s hands and the tears began to flow again.

“We met yesterday for the first time. It was extremely emotional!”

They share the love of the same child. They have been used by God to help raise this child to become quite a man.

When Tony was younger, Ana’s biggest hope for him was that he would finish his schooling. Now that he has earned a master’s degree she prays he will maintain the path of the Lord and God’s plan for his life.

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  1. Jan 26, 2011
    at 7:03 am

    Kinda knew it all along–with sending family gifts and including messages to family members in my letters–but when we sign up to sponsor a child, we’re not just saying to the child that we care about him/her, but we’re saying to the family that we want to help them as they raise this child. We’re stepping up to help financially as we are able, but also for families with parents like Ana, we’re joining them on our knees in prayer for the children we sponsor.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Jan 26, 2011
    at 8:56 am

    The most significant experience I have had with Compassion in 17 years was when I meeting mothers of my Compassion kids in Peru this past August (2010). Emmanuel’s (age 5) mother is the mentor and tutor for the teenagers at their Compassion project. My sponsoring her son allows her to mentor and care for several sponsored teenagers. I also met David’s (LDP student) mother, Emerita. I began corresponding with David shortly before my trip so our relationship was fairly new. When I met his mother, she shared with me the struggle it’s been raising her children in poverty. She asked me to pray that she would continue to encourage her children (now in the 20s) in the Lord. I asked her to pray for me – as a mother – that I would have the strength to raise my children in the Lord, just as she has. I am honored and humbled that this strong woman of faith goes to Lord on her knees, on my behalf. I am also honored and humbled that I have the opportunity to do the same for her and all my sponsored children (and their families).

  3. Katy Causey
    Jan 26, 2011
    at 1:13 pm

    Hi there,

    I agree, Judith. As sponsors, we are partnering with families!

    And Jill, what a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Katy

  4. Chuck Guth
    Jan 26, 2011
    at 5:29 pm

    All I can say is that I have tears in my eyes. Having met most of the Moody students I am awed by their humbleness and dedication. Michelle and Tony have both touched my lives and my testimony. Compassion works and I am blessed to partner with the parents of my sponsored children.

    • Katy Causey
      Jan 27, 2011
      at 10:52 am

      Amen, Chuck! I agree with you. They have taught me so much!

  5. Beth Hendricks
    Jan 26, 2011
    at 7:14 pm

    Thanks Katy for telling this beautiful story. It’s exciting to think how God rewarded the prayers of a faithful mother and blessed through faithful sponsers.

  6. Jan 26, 2011
    at 10:05 pm

    In 2006 my wife and I went to the Dominican Republic to meet our sponsored children, and we LOVED hearing the stories of the LDP students. The LDP students are most inspirational to me. It is great to be reminded that sponsors are not only an important part of the students life, but become part of the family. It has been great fun watching the LDP students I know grow in their education and their faith.

  7. Meg
    Jan 27, 2011
    at 2:37 am

    Great Inspirational story of Anna Morales. She has really passed most of time in Struggle only and that is only for her child who also emerge as a GREAT example for YOUTH. I feel proud for BOTH –Courageous MOM and Obedient SON.

  8. Jan 27, 2011
    at 11:16 am

    It’s so wonderful to read this post and see the pics! Tony, you and your mom are an inspiration to me! May God bless you both in your future — and use you in mighty ways.

  9. Jan 27, 2011
    at 7:57 pm

    What an inspiring story!

  10. Julie Patterson
    Jun 16, 2011
    at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Katy! Great article! Love to you, Tony, and congratulations on your graduation from Moody! You are an amazing young man! God bless you greatly – to continue to be a blessing!

  11. Cathy Collins
    Jul 19, 2011
    at 2:04 pm

    what a beautiful story. I is so encouraging to hear the reuslts of sponsoring the children! what an amazing Mom and son. Together they can help change the world. God Bless them!

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