Jhon Fredy Galvez is 21 years old and a graduate of the child development center in Yumbo, Colombia. He has always lived with his mother, Elizabeth, because his father has another family and lives in another house. He has no siblings on his mother’s side.
Jhon was sponsored since age 7, and he went to classes twice a week. Remembering his center days, Jhon says he had fun in the classes, doing sketches about Bible stories, learning with question-and-answer cards, reading his books and investigating.
One of the skills for life he learned was jewelry-making, where he learned to make bracelets, earrings and necklaces. He made them at home and sold them in school. Sometimes he made enough money to help his mother with house expenses, because they faced many needs.
During his adolescence, Jhon had very difficult moments, not only because of the economy but also because of the mental and spiritual poverty he lived in.
“When I was little, I was vindictive and I was not afraid of doing bad things. If God would not have allowed me to pass through Compassion, I would have been a young man without vision, doing what everyone does, like drinking alcohol or using psychoactive substances.
“The focus the development centers have of directing the youth toward God is something that marked my life. I value a lot having been in Compassion. It was a great learning. Being 17 years old, when you start to see life more seriously, I said yes, it is time that God will enter my life and change it.”
Jhon started attending church faithfully and was baptized. Today he is part of the team that leads his church’s youth. He goes to meetings on Saturdays and Sundays, and he also participates in intercession meetings held at 6:15 a.m., when he and others pray for needs of the church.
Through Jhon’s example and telling his mother about Jesus, she now loves God too. She supports the birth of a new church, led by the church where Jhon attended his child development center.
Spiritual change has occurred in Jhon and in his mother, and also in other members of their family, whom Jhon disciples and teaches about God’s love. His desire is that his whole family will render their lives at Christ’s feet.
Jhon graduated from the Child Sponsorship Program in 2007. He set the goal to study because, in spite of not getting into the Leadership Development Program and not having financial resources, he knew God would find a way to fulfill his dream.
Thanks to a relative, who supported him with money for part of the fee, Jhon began studying at an institute to become a technician in accounting and financial management. This area interested him because, when he was in high school, he had the opportunity to take a course in accounting assistance at a university that has an agreement with his school. In fact, his high school degree is for an accountant high school student because of his experience.
During the two years of study, Jhon had to work to pay for expenses. He helped paint houses, did stamping (which he learned about at the development center) and worked for a logistics company, helping with events. He also cleaned a storehouse, and there he had the opportunity to support his boss in management tasks.
Jhon taught his boss at the storehouse some of the things he was learning in his classes. As a result, they offered him a better job in an accounting company. In that company, Jhon acquired experience and, with the money he earned, he helped his mother. He also saved some earnings to continue with his studies, and is now at a technological level.
Jhon is dedicated to his studies, showing self-discipline and outstanding performance. He places high value on being able to study because it requires great effort and sacrifice.
Now he works for his town’s public services company as an accountant assistant. He wants to continue being trained as a professional.
Jhon’s future expectations are to start a company that will generate employment for people of his community.
“To make company, I have to be a good professional. To be a good professional, I have to be a good student. To be a good student, I have to live in uprightness. I am always working on this.”
Besides his professional plans, evangelism is part of what Jhon does and wants to continue doing in the future.
“I see myself later on evangelizing in big places.”
One of the greatest lessons Jhon learned during his years at the development center is that he is the “head, not tail,” that he must dream and know God will work in his life and that he will be successful.
The boy who grew up in difficult circumstances is today a young man who learned to dream and is willing to follow these dreams until they are fulfilled, keeping in mind that he “should not be someone else, but the best” person he can be.