How to Find Strength When Your Life Fell Apart

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

Fernanda is young. Fernanda is beautiful. Fernanda is stronger than most people I've met.

She smiles a lot, she is happy and playful. When you talk to her, you would think she had an excellent education, loving family and great childhood. Unfortunately, it's only recently that she is surrounded by the right people and can live the life she deserves.

Get to know Fernanda's inspiring story.

"I grew up in one of the worst neighbourhoods in Bogotá. You can imagine: prostitution, drugs, young girls getting pregnant. I have had several stepfathers and my little sister was sexually abused by one of them. My mum was working a lot, I was sent to boarding schools far from my family. When I was home, as the eldest, I had to look after my brothers and sister, cook, clean and iron clothes. I was only 10. So when I met a guy at the age of 13, I left to live with him without thinking twice. He was 16 back then. After a while, things got worse: he abused me. I left him and went back to my family but life was a chaos. My younger brother was a drug addict, my sister became involved in prostitution. I fell into depression and attempted suicide several times. I was sent to therapy but what really helped me is that I found God. I also met a guy, a Christian guy who was so different. I knew it could work with him. We did things differently as before, it was serious. We were in love, planning to get married, we were buying a house. One day, he bought a motorbike and had an accident the same day. He died. I was in shock, my world fell apart. I didn't know what to do. When I saw this opportunity with a Christian group in Cartagena, I decided to save up all my money and join them. I had never left Bogotá before so I was very nervous but I just had to get out of that place. I don't even know how but in the end, after all the suffering, God arranged everything. I had the chance to go to Switzerland, Turkey and Russia for two months with a volunteer programme helping the migrants and the poor. Obviously, I couldn't have afforded it but He sent the right people who supported me entirely. Here we are a family, everybody helps each other and we live a healthy lifestyle, close to God. I finally feel good. Now my plan is to become a psychologist and help kids in similar situations as mine was."

Cartagena, Colombia


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