Johana Gamarra

Johana Gamarra

I arrived in Paraguay in September of 2011, after having worked for two years and seven months in an organization known internationally as OM. I arrived without having anything certain, and my intention was to finish a pending thesis.

I was without work and had no idea how to continue or re-integrate myself into the culture. However, there was one thing I could be sure of in that moment: That my life was in the “Hands of God,” not in mine, and I put my trust and faith completely in Him. After two months, I heard of an opportunity to work with the children in Dulce Refugio. I hadn’t heard much about the organization, but when they told me more about the place, I became excited. When I arrived at the place for the first time I asked God, are you sure this is where you want me to be? When I looked at the people who were there, I became very sad, and it made me remember a time I had been in Africa. At that time, I did not know that my own country had needs of the same nature. I could see a new challenge lying ahead of me. In November of last year I decided to do a month-long trial period. I sincerely did not know whether I would end up continuing there or leaving the place, but the whole time I continued to ask God for direction. In part I felt powerless and believed that I would be unable to bear it, but on the other hand I felt peaceful with the idea of staying. During that time I had a bible verse: “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” This affirmed in my mind that this  was of God, and He would give me whatever I needed to complete his Mandate; what I needed to do was surrender myself completely to Him.

Today, I’m working with the children in Dulce Refugio. For me it’s a challenging place, because many different children come with striking psychological, physical, and spiritual needs.

It’s a place in which I have the opportunity to practice the fruits of the Spirit:

LOVE; Loving all the children as God would, without exceptions. For me love is the most important thing; it can change everything.

PATIENCE and PEACE; With my co-workers, the parents, and their children.

KINDNESS and GOODNESS; Without looking to see who it is.

FAITHFULNESS; To keep myself strong in God and to keep going even in the middle of difficult times.

HUMILITY and SELF-CONTROL; To pray before any decision, and to not give a quick response to unexpected situations.

Do what is possible with LOVE and let God do the IMPOSSIBLE.

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