My name is Maryuri Lilieth Antón Arbizu, I am 21 years old, and I was born and raised in the city of León. I was born into an Evangelical Christian family, so from a very early age, I served the Lord in the Church. I was baptized when I was 11 years old, and since then, I have been teaching children in the church.
I live with my mom and two brothers. Despite being a low-income family, my mother and grandmother have always supported me. I never had a father I could count on, but God has been sufficient. At a young age, I decided that I needed to go to school in order to move forward and help my family. Travelling to school was very difficult - I had to walk 1.5 kilometers every day with my brothers. But in the difficulties, God was always with me. With His help, I excelled academically and was recognized as the best student in the primary school.
When I was in my fourth year of secondary school, I began to work on a project located in the community, to benefit children. I worked for a while, but then I had to leave in order to continue my studies. I continued to excel academically, taking part in many academic competitions. I love writing, and won a national competition during my last year in secondary school. It had been a dream of mine since primary school, and I thank God for this gift.
My mom had to work very hard to help us, since she supported, not only me, but also my two brothers. My mother and my grandmother were the pillars of our home. I graduated from secondary school, with honors, in 2012. I had decided that I wanted to study law, and to become a lawyer. I passed my entrance exam for the University of León, and started attending Saturday classes. This program allowed me to work during the week in order to pay for my studies and other needs. I started tutoring children who live in my community, from my home. In the afternoons, I would offer these same classes in the homes of other children. Also, I began to sell beauty products from catalogues.
When I was in my second year of law school, my grandmother was working in a feeding center in the Church of Telica, alongside Twelve Churches ministries. I went to Telica, and I really liked the work that they were doing. So, I decided to support and assist the young children there, instead of tutoring during the week.
I started to travel from León, where I live, to Telica, four days a week in order to support and assist in the kitchen of the feeding center. I also began to teach the children (during the week and on Sundays) to make crafts, and to praise God. We also formed a dance group. They love me very much and I love them. There is nothing more satisfying than to receive the affection of these children, and to know that I am helping them grow to be good people. They are the future of our country.
Currently, I am still travelling from León to Telica to be at the feeding center. I am in my fourth year of law school, and also study English at another academy. I still sell beauty products on the side, and tutor one girl. The Lord has blessed me. I continue to serve the Lord in the Church as a teacher of children, and I am satisfied, because I do it all for God. He gave me the ability and the capacity to do all of these things at the same time. I hope to finish my university studies soon, and to be able to support my family. I ask God to give me the strength to complete my goals. Through it all, God, my Heavenly Father, has been my everything. He has prepared me to fulfill His purpose for my life. He has sustained me and has blessed me, and I believe and trust in his word, that says:
“For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.”
Habakkuk 2:3 NRSV