This week, I met a one month old premature baby named Valerie whose 18 year old mother abandoned her and she is so malnourished that she barely weighs 2 pounds... and yet she is surviving in one of the dirtiest, poorest places in the world only through the love of God, the power of prayers, and the unselfishness of a wonderful women within the community who has agreed to love her as her own.
This week my heart was broken by a 13 year old boy named Francis who needs attention so badly that he resorts to treating women in the community with a huge amount of disrespect. What's even more disheartening is that he is encouraged by the men in his community to do so.
This week, I held a mother's hand as we prayed over her 3 year old son who spends most of his time being terribly sick. This child, Wilme had to have colostomy surgery at a young age and needs to be taken to the capital (which is about 4 hours away) every couple of months to receive medical treatment. If you met this kid, you would never guess he spent more of his days being sick... joy radiates from him... and its through his sickness that his mother, Tika, came to Christ.
This week, I sat on the sidewalk with a man named Migueso who just one week ago believed that this life that we have now is all the exists, that all our hope lies in our life here on earth and that there is nothing to live for past that. Just yesterday, as we said our goodbyes, this wonderful old man told us that even though we might not see him again here on earth, that we will see him one day in heaven.
This week, I hugged on children and watched them cry as we told them our final goodbyes. Goodbyes, and not See You Laters. It was in that moment that through foggy eyes I was reminded that my purpose in temporary, and while these beautiful children of Guachupita are no longer under my love and protection, they are cared for by a loving God who can do much greater things than me anyway.
So... that's my week, in words. Overwhelming, rejoiceful, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Each and everyday I experience a love and compassion that I will never be able to forget. It's a wild ride, no doubt, but one I am glad I took the time to stand in line for.