“The first time I went to church with my parents, it felt like I was walking in space. It was magical,” says Gisele*.

“November 12, 2017 is an unforgettable day for me. My mother and father woke up early in the morning, prepared themselves, and wore their best outfits—the ones they usually wear to weddings—and walked with me to church. It's hard to describe the joy I had that day, but I was extremely excited."

The youngest of her parent's seven children, Gisele was registered into the Child Sponsorship Programme as a five-year-old in 2010. “Our daughter's registration into the project took us by surprise because we were not members of the church and we were not Christians. Immediately after registration, she was able to start school. She was given so many things starting with a school uniform, books, a mattress, bedsheets and a blanket. It was the first blanket that we had in our household,” said her mother, Martha.

body3-1.jpgGisele at her home village. 

As Gisele grew up and learned at the centre about God's love for her, she gave her heart to the Lord. She loved signing in the choir at church. Her greatest prayer was that her parents would share her faith. “My prayer to God for the longest time was to change my parent’s spiritual life so that they can be saved. At every prayer gathering, I was part of at the centre or church, I would share this as my prayer request,” said Gisele. “I’m glad that my parents never refused me from going to fellowships or choir practice and this gave me hope that they will one day embrace salvation."

Thankfully, she had others who encouraged her in her faith. “My sponsor not only encourages me to work hard in school, but they also encourage me spiritually and they always tell me that they pray for me," said Gisele. "I feel their love every time I read their letters."

body1-1.jpgGisele reading her sponsor's letter. 

In 2017, Gisele decided to get baptised. Her prayer was that her parents would share her faith in Jesus by the time the day arrived. God answered her prayer, and He did so by transforming a challenge into a testimony.

October 20, 2017, is a day marked in her family's memories. As Martha walked to the garden, she felt dizzy and fainted. Her worried husband took her to the hospital, where she was bedridden for a month. During this time, the parents of other children in Compassion's Child Sponsorship Programme visited her.

“Fellow caregivers kept praying for me during these visits and I started healing gradually. My husband and I realised that the caregivers sowed the seed of love in us. The support we were given at the time touched us spiritually and we got to know the true meaning of God’s love,” she said. “We accepted Jesus as a personal Saviour in 2017."On November 12th, 2017, her parents gave their hearts to the Lord. Gisele's prayer had been answered.

body2-1.jpgGisele with her family. 

At her baptism in December 2017, her proud parents watched on and celebrated with her. "God uses different situations to bring many to His Kingdom,” said Gisele. “I had always asked God that the day I was baptised by immersion, my parents should have embraced Salvation and God is faithful. My baptism was celebrated in a big way because my parents had accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and they threw a party for me.

"It took us a long time to accept Jesus as our Saviour, but we had been seeing His miraculous ways through our daughter Gisele. She has lacked so little, thanks to her sponsor and the project staff,” said her father, Samuel.

Today, 14-year-old Gisele is in year nine at school and loves singing in the youth choir at her project. Of all of her siblings, she has reached the highest level of education. "I can confess that my daughter’s future is bright," said Samuel, "and she will do great things all the days ahead of her."

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