abandoned and alone
When Cintia’s husband left her at home in rural Peru with their five children to go find work one day, she had no idea that she would never see him again.
Slowly, though, Cintia came to realize that he wasn’t coming back. She was on her own. With five hungry children to keep alive. And an entire life-savings of $6.
What would you do with $6 in the face of such desperate circumstances?
Cintia bought a watermelon. “I bought it to make money to buy my kids food,” Cintia says simply. “And pay our daily expenses.”
a choice no mother should have to make
Battling against her motherly instincts to feed her starving children — she knew if she did, there would be no food for tomorrow — Cintia went out to sell the watermelon as the first step to creating her own small business to provide for her family: “We were hungry, but I knew we couldn’t eat the watermelon because I wouldn’t have anything to sell the next day.”
No mother should be forced to make a choice that gut-wrenching. But, like so many women facing seemingly impossible circumstances, Cintia did what she had to do to survive. As the days passed, she used her profits to buy more watermelons to sell and grow her business.
“I spent every penny.”
When things seemed to be turning the corner and finally beginning to go well, Cintia’s youngest child fell sick. He was suffering from a combination of dehydration and bronchitis.
“I spent every penny I had for medicine,” said Cintia. She rocks her youngest in her arms as she speaks, back and forth, back and forth. “Everything from the business was gone.”
It seemed that once again, Cintia was on her own, with five mouths to feed and no money — despite her Herculean efforts to care for her children.
Except this time, she wasn’t alone.
a new beginning
Around that time, Orphan’s Promise started an outreach in Cintia’s community to help vulnerable children. Cintia’s 10-year-old daughter, Valezia, started to attend the program along with her younger brothers and sisters.
There, they received healthy meals and were able to hear stories from the Bible through CBN’s Superbooks program. Valezia’s eyes light up when she talks about it.
“My favorite Superbooks episode is David and Goliath,” she says, smiling. “It taught me not to be afraid of anything. I was scared when my dad left, but I’m not afraid anymore.”
Bubbling with confidence, Valezia invited the rest of her family to the Orphan’s Promise program, where the whole family ended up praying to accept Christ as their Lord.
when hope multiplies
Recognizing Cintia’s strength and potential as an entrepreneur, Orphan’s Promise decided to invest in her small business— setting her up with a stand of fresh fruit to begin her business again.
“I don’t have words to thank Orphan’s Promise for the way they have blessed us.” Cintia smiles as she stands in front of her fruit stand. Hope now doesn’t just look like a watermelon — it takes the form of fresh oranges, apples, bananas, and pineapples.
In our minds, Cintia is a hero. Because sometimes world-changers don’t look like powerful politicians or eloquent speakers or celebrities on a big stage. Sometimes they look like single mothers, balancing plates full of watermelon slices on their heads, selling it door to door in the heat to keep their families alive despite all odds. Sometimes, they look like Cintia.
Thank YOU for coming alongside Cintia and her precious family to provide the support, care, and resources they needed to create a new life for themselves.