I'm not even sure how to write this post... I'm not even sure I have the words to express what we saw- and felt. But I want so very badly for you to know. I felt like someone needed to hear. Mostly because I don't think things like this should happen in today's world... Somehow, we shouldn't let this be.
Today after Spanish class Addie and I headed out the door for a brisk walk. Rainy season is almost over and the sun was shining bright. We threw on our tennis shoes and laughed all the way down the driveway. Living here in Guatemala I have quickly learned that each day is unique in it's own- and even when I think I have seen it all- I haven't.
As we rounded the corner, about a block from our house, we looked ahead and saw a young girl walking down the lane. She began to sway and then stumble. Immediately something inside my heart broke, because I knew her situation was not good. The closer we got to her I was able to realize just how much in need she was. On her frail body hung a pair of baggy jeans that looked like they once belonged to a man. The zipper was broken and a belt hugged them tight around her tiny waste. She was covered in mud, her feet looked like those of an 80 year old woman and her hair was covered in lice. But what stopped me dead in my tracks was the dirt around her lips and in the corner of her mouth- evidence of her need to find anything she could to take the pains away from her rumbling belly.
She was obviously startled, so we approached her slowly asking if she needed any help. Without barely looking up she quietly asked permission to pick some fruit off of a bush along the lane. We told her that she was welcome to them and asked her if she would like something to eat. With all the strength she could muster- she looked up and nodded. We asked if she'd like to come to our house- yet seeming afraid she declined, so we told her we would be right back to her. We quickly ran as fast as we could back to Village of Hope and grabbed some warm clothing and threw as much food as we could find in a big bag- beans, rice, corn meal, jelly and bread then headed back.
Peeking around the corner of a brick wall, she waited.
I don't think I have ever seen a child so frail and so emotionless in my entire life. It seemed as if it took every ounce of energy she had left just to breath. It was almost as if she had lost the ability to still hope. The pain of this world had completely numbed her. I wish I had a picture for you to be able to see with your own eyes- only I couldn't do that. I couldn't do that to her.
We found out her name was Rosa and she is 13 years old. She has 10 siblings. We asked where her parents were and she told us they too were out looking for food. She said she didn't go to school- or to church- because she needed to work with her family. We asked if we could give her a ride home and for a minute she agreed- and then once again the fear over came her and she mumbled that she didn't have that far to go and started to walk away. We pointed to Village of Hope and told her if she ever needed anything we would be there. As we watched her tiny skeleton of a body climb the hill I couldn't help but to be torn once again by the injustice of this world. Children should not be starving. They should be swinging on swings, running on a soccer field, picking dandelions, hanging out with friends, sitting around the dinner table with their family laughing, talking, dreaming.
If you would, right now in the quiet of your own home, could you stop and pray for Rosa?
Lord thank you for putting Rosa in our path today. I pray that her belly is full tonight and that somehow she felt your presence and realized how much you care. God help us to appreciate what we have, to live simply and to give out of our abundance so that little girls like Rosa won't go without.
Proverbs 31:8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.”