Excellence is answering God’s call to the best of our abilities with the gifts and resources He has given us. It is carrying out God’s work with an attitude of enjoyment.
Thanks to the Leadership Development Program (LDP), Talita is living in the best moment of her life, not only professionally, but also spiritually. Her life story is about striving for excellence. Her dedication makes her an example to be followed by others and a reference of struggle and Christian character.
Petite and delicate, 20-year-old Talita teaches the 5- and 6-year-olds at her former child development center. God, the Father, has made her a great woman.
The public system of education in Brazil is full of contrast. The best universities are public, and to be accepted in to one, the student has to have a good and strong education during high school. But when talking about a young person who’s attended a public school, the odds are small.
Public schools are the worst ones and rarely prepare for the next step. Besides all the hardship and risks children in poverty have to face, their academic and professional path can be compromised due to the lack of good education.
Talita attended a public school in her town, Tauá, a small city about 330 kilometers from Fortaleza – the capital of Ceará state. But different from most of the students of lower class who barely finish their studies in order to get a job and help their families, she devoted herself – and still does – to study. She overcame the statistics and got a vacancy in a public university – the “Universidade Estadual do Ceará” (University of Ceará State).
“The challenges in my life are still many, but smaller in comparison to my childhood. I hadn’t even been born when my mother had to ask my drunken father to choose between us and ‘the bottles.’
“At a certain time in our lives, she was pretty concerned over me and my brother. Then my father decided to leave us and never came back. I have never accepted growing up without him.
“But despite all the feelings my mother could have had at that moment, she had to be strong for us, working hard and trying to teach some good principles to me and my brother Tiago.”
At the age of 10, Talita had a decisive moment in her life, at her child development center. She finally understood all the teachings she had been learning about Jesus Christ and discovered that she had a real Father who gave His own life in order to save hers, and would never abandon His little girl.
“The educational support, the investment on my self-esteem and hope I have received through Compassion contributed to make me feel loved and protected. This is what I want to teach to my students. God has been transforming my difficulties into victory.”
Talita also recognizes the blessing of being sponsored from 3 until she turned 18 years old.
“This relationship was fundamental in my personal development … someone who just stopped, looked at you and cared about your life was very edifying. Without such a thing I am sure I would have taken a different path. Maybe I would be a single mother, or would be working as a cleaning woman instead of teaching my children.”
After her graduation from the Child Sponsorship Program, Talita could not accept just being seated at the church. She was willing to make the difference, and the LDP was the answer.
“I prayed a lot, asking God a way to be used by Him and that what is happening know. For a moment I did not believe that I could be accepted in Compassion LDP, and my approval was a surprise; but I had never lost faith. I think I was chosen due to my commitment with Christ and my great desire to serve people.”
Besides attending college at night, Talita spends her whole day at her former development center.
“Talita is an inspiration,” says Sélia, the director of the center. “We saw how much she grew and how blessed she is. We hired her as a teacher due her life testimony and dedication. She used to be a volunteer, but her love and commitment impressed us.”
Talita’s time to study is only after 11 or on weekends, when she reads and does research. She suffers with the distance from her LDP friends. In order to take part in the LDP meetings, Talita has to travel from Tauá to Fortaleza, which takes about 4 1/2 hours – but she knows she has friends whom she can count on.
“He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). – Mark 5:41, NIV