Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stepping in...

We all know that extreme poverty is horrible.   However, recently I have a much deeper understanding of the realities of extreme poverty.   Maribel is a young woman with an 18 month old son.  She cannot find a job.  She is pregnant,  likely due in June.   This has been her life so far:
  • given away as a baby - "Do you know why nobody loves you?  I'll tell you: because you are the ugliest child that was ever born, like a piece of garbage that even the garbage truck wouldn't pick up. That's why your mother doesn't want you: because you are an ugly, stupid monkey.”
  • sexually abused by her father
  • sold in exchange for drugs
  • ran  away with a man twenty years older when she was 12 years old
  • gave birth at age 14, had 3 more before she was 22, lost them all to Social Services
  • got hooked on drugs (is off drugs now)
  • spent time in jail for robbery
    Maribel loves her son, Fernando, and was frantic when he became quite ill.  The public hospital, her only option, is grim.  Even if she gets a prescription for him she has literally no money to fill it.  She can only take him back the hut she shares with her grandmother - dirty with no running water.
    Long, steep stairway to her grandmother's hut.
    Entrance to hut

    This is where Christ steps in.  Suzy picked Maribel and Fernando up, took them to a private doctor, bought him medicine, formula and diapers, and brought them to Casa LAMB where I am living.  Since they have been here, Maribel has accepted Jesus as her Savior, Fernando is healthy (and my new grandson!), Maribel has been transformed from an angry, suspicious woman to a relaxed, beautiful child of God. 
    What will happen to them?  I have invited her to stay with us at Casa LAMB until Fernando is fully healthy and until we can find a reasonable long term solution for her.  I have just added to our inventory a car seat, a stroller and playpen, a BIG bulldozer truck and a very cool fire engine!  She is uncomfortable living entirely off of charity and is anxious to find some work and live independently again.    She is helping around the house in the meantime.   

    So, without Jesus, what chance did she have or would Fernando have?  None.  Their futures are still uncertain but now they have a Christian family to depend on and who pray for and with them.  Most of all, at 25, finally Maribel is loved.