Ivette – 2015 Graduate
I was born in Lima, Peru. Before I was born, doctors told my mom that she needed to abort me as I was going to have birth defects. For months my mom cried out to God, and I was born healthy. I grew up with my sister and mom, and my dad came around occasionally. I went to a private Catholic School and was raised to believe that if I wasn’t Catholic, I was going to go to hell. When I was 11, I was sent to the U.S. to live with my sister and some other close family members. This ended up being an abusive environment where I was often forced to sneak food. When my sister turned 18, we moved out on our own. My sister didn’t have enough money to pay the apartment rent, so she had to drop out of school and work a full time job. A few years later I returned to Peru with my mother, who had become a Christian while I was gone. I slowly desired a relationship with the Lord. However, confusing events in my life led me to stop going to church, and I began hating Christianity. I found success in opening my own clothing line, but money trouble in my family led me to prostituting myself to an acquaintance to pay off debts. I was determined not to tell anyone what I had done. I was disgusted with myself. I hated my body, and I hated myself. I did not feel like I was worth much. I found out I was pregnant and decided to have an abortion. The abortion failed and I needed surgery, forcing me to tell my family that I was pregnant. I did not tell my family the whole truth and continued a pattern of lying to all those close to me. The doctors told me they were able to miraculously restore my body. My family was happy I was alive. I pretended I was happy as well, but deep inside I just didn’t want to be alive. I was caught up in lies, and I knew I needed help.
I first heard about Mercy from my pastor. My friends encouraged me to apply to one of the U.S. homes. I did and got accepted!
A turning point during my time at Mercy was telling those closest to me about the lies I had been telling and living. Facing the truth has helped me so much. I have freedom now. I have learned that if I trust in Him with all my heart and do not lean on my own understanding but acknowledge Him, He’ll direct my path. I thought I could do it all by myself but I obviously couldn’t. When I realized that, it opened my eyes to trust the Lord.
I gained so much while at Mercy! God led me to an awesome job! I also feel like I read most of the Bible, and I can compare my life with the stories there and ask God for the promises I need to hold on to!
After graduating from Mercy, I plan on training to become a flight attendant! I want to be able to financially support myself. I also plan to go on mission trips and help other people. I am excited about the possibly of sharing my story in order to help others.
I would like to say thank you so much to all the Mercy donors. You have no idea how much your support helps us daily. My faith has grown so much seeing donors helping Mercy. Please keep giving because your donations change lives!