Home » From anxiety to newfound peace: a refugee’s story


Jun 12 2024



From anxiety to newfound peace: a refugee’s story

Mery Quintero and her son, Daniel Sells clothing and hair services PERU (COMAS CMA CHURCH)

Leaving Venezuela 

In 2019, Mery realized the time had finally come: She and her son had to leave their home in Venezuela. The political and economic crisis in her country had become so severe that even finding food was difficult.  

“Sometimes I would stand in line [at the store] for three [or] four hours, and when I arrived the products had already run out—like rice, sugar, flour,” Mery says. She and her son, Daniel, had lived alone for some time. The job shortage had already forced her husband and brothers to move to Peru years ago, and they sent any money they could back to Mery. But as inflation soared in Venezuela, Mery could no longer afford to buy basic necessities, including critical medication for her ongoing health condition. “The situation was quite sad,” she shares.  

Finding new footing 

Mery and Daniel packed up their belongings and set out for Comas, Peru. Beyond seeing her husband again, Mery had no idea what lay ahead.   

Her husband worked as a taxi driver, and Mery began to think of how she might supplement her family’s income. Back home, she was a certified business administrator—but as a refugee in Peru, her accreditation wasn’t recognized and her job opportunities were limited.  

Having learned hair cutting years before, Mery had the idea to open a small salon in her home. And, with a sizeable oven in her kitchen, she recognized an opportunity to bake and sell cakes in her community. 

When Mery learned about savings groups through a local church in Comas, she knew it would be a great way to not just build her family’s financial stability, but also serve her family and community.  

“I found [out] about savings groups in the church, and I learned that it was a way of evangelizing, of being able to reach people with the Word of the Lord. … And to learn savings principles according to the Word. That was my initial reason for joining. I loved it.” 

Week by week, Mery faithfully saved her earnings with her group, and before long, her diligence paid off. She used her savings to buy a stovetop, hair products for her salon, and cloth to start a new initiative—sewing polo shirts. As her family’s income has stabilized, they now know how to save for the future. 

“Yes, [our family] has changed a lot because, for example, there is a different way of looking at money. We no longer feel like slaves to money. … Money is a tool for us. And best of all, we can budget, set goals, and be able to achieve those goals. … Before, we lived life day-to-day, and there was no goal.”  

Trusting in the Lord’s provision 

Mery says God has done even more than transforming her family’s finances—He has also been at work in her heart. As she met and saved with her group, she also studied the Word of God. “I learned that God is the owner of all things, He is the creator of all things, and that everything God has created is to bless us. … I was suffering from anxiety, but with this I learned to trust in God, to learn that He is the one in control of all things. And this has helped me to strengthen my confidence.” 

Mery hopes to continue building a home for herself and her family in Peru. As she grows her businesses, she’s saving to buy a car. Through it all, she takes comfort because she knows she’s not alone. 

“The beautiful thing is that we can see God is in everything, he is the one who provides for us, the one who blesses us.”   

Through our Dreaming Beyond initiative, we’re accelerating our efforts to reach more refugees and other underserved groups with Christ-centered financial services. Sign up for our monthly prayer updates to receive the latest news from across the HOPE network and pray for those we serve.



As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered economic development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

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