Impact Story: Demetrio and Katya’s Search for True Family

Demetria & Katya Ruiz Family

God in his grace is using your prayers and support to change lives in the urban centers of Latin America. Just look at this story of hope and change…

Meet Demetrio and Katya (pic below). They grew up in two different worlds but shared the same heartache. Demetrio had a comfortable childhood in Southeastern Spain and learned his father’s auto body repair trade as a teen. Beneath a curly head of hair and a shy demeanor was a growing struggle. Demetrio’s atheist upbringing left his young heart filled with self-doubt. Self-doubt escalated into a battle with his image and life-threatening anorexia. Add to this a failed marriage and a son to care for and Demetrio felt alone and desperate for love.

Half a world away, circumstances cut Katya’s childhood short. The beauty of the Ecuadorian coast could not hide her bleak future. Abandonment forced her to become the primary caregiver for her siblings and cousins. She developed health problems, suffered abusive relationships, and lacked any meaningful connection with her own mother. Disillusioned and desperate for change she moved to Spain hoping for a new start. Her former fiancé tracked her down and reentered her life. Then she got pregnant and he abandoned her again for another woman. Now Katya was in a foreign country as an unwed mother. Soon her child’s paternal grandparents gained custody of her daughter against her will. Life was a mess.

A chance text message brought Demetrio and Katya together while in Spain. A mutual acquaintance sent a text from Katya’s phone to Demetrio. They began talking. Soon they became friends, then roommates, and eventually married. Their common pain, lack of family relationships, failed marriages, and children of the same age became their bond. But they quickly discovered their shared troubles were powerless to heal their real hurts.

Demetrio turned to cocaine to numb the pain and their relationship became volatile. Katya found herself pregnant with a second daughter. The sting of disappointment had tracked her down again. Instead of a family, she had emptiness. Brokenhearted, Katya prepared to return to Ecuador. Faced with losing her, Demetrio resolved to follow her to Ecuador in an attempt to leave his addiction.

The transition to Ecuador was difficult. Katya’s family did not receive Demetrio well and he soon became sick. Several years of struggle made them ready to sell everything and return to Spain. But two unexpected opportunities arose. First, Demetrio received a job offer he could not refuse. Second, a friend and neighbor persistently invited Demetrio and Katya to the Norte Church in Quito.

Katya agreed and visited first. There she experienced a life-changing encounter with God. Demetrio resisted at first but finally gave in. He, too, was touched by the gospel message and generous love of Norte.

At Norte, they experienced the loving, caring, forever family they both longed for their entire lives—God’s family. They heard the good news of Jesus. His love and forgiveness made a way for Demetrio and Katya to be adopted into God’s forever family.

Today, Demetrio is maturing as a disciple of Jesus. He has found peace and forgiveness for his past and leads his family as they follow Jesus. Katya now looks back and sees the Father’s constant pursuit and provision at every turn. They now see their past failures and desire for family as the very things God used to humble them and bring them to Jesus.

Thank you for helping change real lives, marriages and families.