|Carmen and Kevin read a Bible lesson together|
¨My mother doesn’t love me,” eleven-year-old Kevin used to say. He is shy, but strong-willed. There was a time he would repeat this phrase to his mother Carmen Cruz, 32. Carmen remembers it was hard for her to learn how to love and show tenderness to Kevin because it wasn´t how she was brought up.
Carmen was raised by her grandparents because her mother couldn’t care for her. She remembers the lack of love and affection from her mother and that´s why she tries to be there for Kevin, to break the cycle and repeat what had happened to her. Carmen recalls seasons where Kevin would rebel in school and fight against his teachers and parents.
A friend invited Carmen to attend Pastor Oscar´s church, she agreed and she took Kevin with her. “A lot started to change, thanks to the embrace I felt by the pastors and the church members,” she says. Carmen had never felt includ-ed, nor did she understand that things could get better for her family. Pastor Oscar introduced Carmen to the raising children with tenderness methodology provided by World Vision. She started to realize how God is a loving and caring Father who loves us for who we are. Love was some-thing Carmen had never experienced before, and it helped change her mindset when it came to loving Kevin.
Little by little, Carmen started to hug Kevin more, to spend time listening to him and hear about what he liked to do. They even read the Bible together. This impacted Kevin so much that he started to participate in the church dance club and in Sunday school. He would do house chores that used to be a burden. He began to be more caring towards his mother and talk more to his father. Carmen now encourages Kevin in core principles. He should not steal, he should be respectful towards others and be kind to everyone. World Vision works by equipping churches and caretakers to change the traditional mentality. The program helps create an environment in which children feel protected, allowing them to experience God’s love and peace.
Carmen says that what she learned has helped her relationship with her husband and they are getting along better. Carmen knows it is important to talk to Kevin in the right tone of voice, even when she is mad. ¨I'm grateful to World Vision for sharing this knowledge with me - because of it I am a changed woman.¨
The head pastor of the church, Oscar says, ¨I´ve known them for some time, Kevin and Carmen have changed a lot and it’s thanks to the outstanding programs that World Vision shares with us. They have been able to learn the right ways to treat each other, and how raising [children] with tenderness is truly a wall- breaker because everyone needs to experience God's true love.¨