Today was hard... really hard!
While delivering food to a few families in need, suddenly I found myself hand-in-hand with a Guatemalan woman, tears streaming down both of our faces as I muttered out the prayer that the Lord laid on my heart in the broken Spanish I could think of in the moment.
This sweet woman's grandson fell into hot water about 6 months ago and has been in the hospital ever since. The synthetic skin that he needs to cover almost half of his body is so far out of their reach that the wages they earn in their entire lifetime wouldn't even cover it. We are doing all we can to find a doctor to care for this sweet boy, but as of now, it looks like June is the earliest he can be helped. To most of us, June seems just around the corner... but to the mother and father of Mario, he's already been in the hospital for 6 months and continues to get infection after infection.
Unfortunately, this sweet 4 year olds father, also named Mario, can't work hardly at all because he spends his days and nights at the hospital caring for his son and taking a bus back and forth over an hour each way, when he can. Sandri, his mother, is at home caring for their other son, only 6 months of age. Read that sentence again... 6 months of age... this means that the baby was born right around the same time of the accident and the brothers have never met... they've never shared a meal together.... they've never laughed together or played together.
Sandri can't stand the thought of sleeping in their home at night without her son and husband, so she usually sleeps at her mothers. Each time we visit this family, we talk with them, we do our best to make them smile, we share Jesus with them, we cry with them, and we pray with them. I always ask her what we can pray for when I look around the small, 1 room, cinder block home they live in... and she always responds the same -
I don't care what we have to eat.
I don't care where we live.
I just want my boy home.
I want him to play out here in the dirt like he used to.
I want my husband back.
I need God to send someone to help him.
Please pray for this sweet family by name... Sandri, Mario, Mario Jr. and Baby Dennis.
Later in the day, we found ourselves face to face with Julio, whom some of you have read about before and have been praying for! Julio struggles with alcoholism and as he's asked Village of Hope to help him and his family, we agreed that he could work for us for the next 5 days and in return we would help to get the papers he needs from his schooling to help him find permanent employment.
As Dan and I sat down with him today, I fought to hold back the tears as we explained to him the conditions of him working at Village of Hope. As he got tears in his eyes, we looked into his and explained how important it was for him to be the leader of his family, to step up and care for his wife and children. As his face buried in his shirt, I told him that I understood... and fought back the tears as I shared with him that my biological father had been an alcoholic for MANY many years. I told him how hard it was on my dear mother, my brother, and I and that he eventually died from the years of alcohol abuse. He suddenly looked up, with tears in his eyes, as I did my best to explain the pain we had endured through it all. While I don't know the pain of addiction and I can't totally comprehend his life, I do know the other side... and I hurt for his wife and daughters... and when I explained after all those years that my biological father had died... he sunk... it was like he understood that what he has been doing is ripping his family apart. We prayed together for the Lord to release him from these chains and set him free...
PLEASE pray for Julio, his wife Silvia, and their daughters Dena and Cindi.
Thank you all for walking alongside us! And if you feel led to help continue to work of Village of Hope, please visit our website here.