Kids in poverty find reasons to laugh and smile every day. Despite the hard things they face, God is putting joy in their hearts and minds. Because of Jesus’ love and caring people in their lives, these kids are resilient. That means they don’t let challenges keep them down. Let’s see what that looks like!

Before she joined a Compassion center in Mexico, Deborah didn’t have many friends. Her mom worked from dawn until dusk. So Deborah and her little brother stayed home with their grandma most days.

And even after she joined the Compassion center, Deborah didn’t talk to kids her age. Other kids scared her. What if they didn’t like her? What if they said something mean?

“I remember she was a very serious child,” says Dalia, her Compassion center tutor. “She didn’t say a word!”

But Dalia and other staff encouraged her to join the activities. Before too long she was laughing and smiling! With the help of kind adults, she was on her way to making friends.

Do you have adults in your life who help you make new friends?


“These years attending the Compassion center have brought many blessings to my life, including love, support and companionship.” — Deborah


These days, Isabela smiles often. “I love butterflies,” she says. “I like to chase them and see them land on my finger. They are so beautiful.” Lucky for her, butterflies are everywhere in her home country of Brazil! 

But there was a time when Isabela was sad. That’s because a truck hit her when she was 9. To make it worse, her wounds didn’t heal. She got sicker and sicker. Eventually, the doctor told her parents that they needed to remove her leg. No wonder Isabela was sad! Who wouldn’t be? Even today, having lost her leg makes her sad.

“Not having my leg makes me sad sometimes, and I want it back,” she says.

But friends and family surrounded Isabela with love. Her family tended to her wounds. Compassion staff gave her gifts. So did her nurses and doctors.

Plus, her best friend has been by her side since she left the hospital. Her friend cried when she saw Isabela had lost her leg. Now she plays with her always! All these kind people have helped her feel resilient.

Who gets sad with you when you feel down?

“My best friend cried a lot when she saw me after the surgery because I was missing my leg. She always plays with me and doesn’t leave me alone.” — Isabela

Jonathan is a great speaker. Even when he was little, people paid attention when he talked.

During the pandemic shutdowns in El Salvador, he and his mom made encouraging videos for his friends. He used his trusty puppet Rosita to make the videos more fun for kids his age.

Compassion staff noticed his talent. They asked him to join a program that teaches kids how to share the gospel.

At first, Jonathan was scared. But he felt God calling him to use his talents for good. And God has been with him every step. One time, he forgot the message he had written down. But God was there for him. The Holy Spirit helped him remember every word he had prepared. 

Now Jonathan is so glad that he gets to make other kids smile.

Who gives you the courage to use your talents for good?


“I was scared to take this challenge. But then I felt in my heart that I had to accept.” — Jonathan


What did you do the last time you heard a plane circling overhead? Maybe you looked up and stared at its vapor trail. Maybe you didn’t do anything at all!

But Nawmaybee ran into her mother’s arms. That’s because she used to hear bombers flying above her. She’s heard stories of bombers destroying other villages.

Nawmaybee lives in an area on Thailand’s border where violence and food shortages were common. It was so scary for Nawmaybee, who’s 8 years old.

But she’s still smiling! That’s because her mom, Teedoh, is with her every step of the way. When bombers fly over the village, Teedoh doesn’t run. She holds Nawmaybee close. And they both receive love and support, including groceries, from Nawmaybee’s Compassion center.

Who holds you tight when you’re scared?

“I wouldn’t run. I stayed inside my house with my children. If anything happened, they’d be in my arms.” — Teedoh, Nawmaybee’s mom

The thought of losing her dad scared Lynet. He was in the hospital because of a serious illness. Having a loved one in the hospital is scary in Uganda, just like it is here. Everyone around her had lost hope that he would get better — except her stepmom. She told Lynet that God could heal her dad.

That night, Lynet read her Bible and prayed. She read Psalm 120:1: “I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.” Later that night, she read Isaiah 59:1: “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.”

She stayed up until 4 a.m. praying for her dad.

The next day she visited her dad in the hospital. She was scared. She saw other families with sick relatives, but everything changed when she saw her dad. He sat up! He held her in his arms! Lynet knew it was a miracle from God.

Her dad came home three weeks later. God turned her sadness into happiness by answering her prayer. 

What Bible verses give you the courage to pray and trust God?


“God’s answers don’t always come quickly. But they are never late.” — Lynet


Romans 12:15 (ESV): Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.


Everybody feels hard things. Everybody feels shy, scared and sad sometimes. It’s part of life. But that’s where the people who love you can help! They can give you the courage to make new friends. To use your talents to bless other kids. They can even feel sad with you when you’re down. And they can help you feel resilient, even when you feel weak.

And no matter what, God is watching over you. Ask him for help! Tell him how you feel when you’re scared or sad. He might surprise you with the ways he gives you laughter and joy.