An Invisible Girl Finds Hope in Bolivia

Abuse destroys a child from the inside out, confining victims to an existence of fear and loneliness. But through the love and care of her church, one invisible little girl in Bolivia found hope. Her name is Esperanza, which means “hope.” 

Esperanza’s childhood was scarred with hardship. Her father was an alcoholic and violent man. He often lashed out at her mother and siblings, creating an atmosphere of fear and pain. Amid the chaos, the little girl felt invisible, often overlooked by her father but also abused by her siblings. They would frighten her, isolate her, and tell her she was a burden to her mother, deepening her sense of worthlessness. When she looks back at her childhood years, she remembers feeling afraid and crying much of the time. 

She was the youngest of nine siblings, but three of her brothers passed away as infants, and her eldest sister left behind nine children when she died. Her mother took in three of those children. Benita did everything she could to feed her family. She worked doing laundry for other people and taking on any job she could find. Inspired by her mother’s sacrifices, Esperanza began selling candy on the streets to help put food on the table. She also excelled in school. While her good grades brought a rare smile to her mother’s face and a glimmer of pride, they only fueled her siblings’ resentment. 

A Glimmer of Hope 

When she was around seven years old, her mother learned of a local center offering meals and school supplies to children in need. Esperanza, along with two of her brothers, started attending. For the first time, she found solace and a sense of belonging outside her tumultuous home. The center provided more than just physical nourishment; it was a refuge where she could escape her father’s memory and the harshness of her siblings. They helped with her homework, spoke of God’s love, and offered medical care and a long-awaited Christmas gift. 

At sixteen, her life took a turn when she met Jesus. She was baptized at eighteen and became a Sunday school teacher at her church. But life’s trials weren’t over. She became pregnant and had to leave home, facing the daunting reality of raising her son alone. For a time, she drifted away from the church, but her heavenly Father never left her. 

A pivotal moment came when a brother from church invited her to join a children’s project in a nearby city. There, she found her calling working with children in need. She joined a project where she poured her heart into helping other families escape the cycle of poverty and violence she knew so well. She trained women in trades like chocolate making and sewing, helping them gain independence and become self-sufficient. Through her work, she saw children grow into successful adults and struggling mothers become confident entrepreneurs. 

The Tapestry of Hope 

Throughout her journey, God’s hand was evident. He had guided her steps since childhood, from the center that first offered her a haven, to the projects that became her life’s work. When she faced the toughest times, such as the delicate birth of her son and the profound loss of her mother, God provided strength and support through unexpected sources of help. God listened when her son prayed that her mother could have a job where she could take him so he could be near her. 

Her name, Esperanza, means hope in English. The name of this invisible little girl in the two braids was more than just a choice and her mother’s desire. It was a promise woven into the tapestry of her story. Though her life was marked by trials and tribulations that would have overwhelmed most, Esperanza held on to hope. 

This remarkable lady now works for Bright Hope in Bolivia. When she visits the Children and Family Centers, she feels at home. She can see other invisible girls like her, angry boys like her brothers and women fighting to survive poverty like her mother. She can see what the absence of a father does to a home. She can feel and understand because she was there. It is truly wonderful to see what God has done in her life. What a privilege we have to support these Centers where little invisible girls can become strong, God-fearing women. 

Give Hope to Kids Like Esperanza 

Children and Family Centers provide a safe environment where little girls like Esperanza can go after school to learn and grow with their friends, receive healthy meals and hear about God’s love. The centers also host vocational trainings, discipleship groups and marriage workshops, with the goal of creating jobs, sharing the gospel and repairing broken families. 

To fund 10 Centers, we need to raise $75,000. Each Children & Family Center can nurture 75 kids per year. Your yearly gift of $100 or monthly gift of $10 will offer protection and hope for one child for an entire year! And if you can give more, many families in Bolivia will be eternally grateful. 

Please give today in support of our Children & Family Centers!

Children and Family Centers are a beacon of hope for families in Bolivia. Thank you for prayerfully considering how you can get involved!

Malia Rodriguez
Malia Rodriguez

Malia loves serving as a Copywriter for Bright Hope, where she has the privilege to share how God is working among the vulnerable and caring for the extreme poor around the world. As a homeschool mom, Malia strives to develop in her kids compassionate, generous, and caring hearts. Malia and her husband, Matt, live in the Washington, DC area with their son and daughter.