Please enjoy this update from Village of Hope, Guatemala–
I remember the day so well, she said. It was just days after my 12th birthday. My mom had left early that morning for the market. I was outside playing in the dirt with the marbles I had received for my birthday. My little brothers and I were laughing. One marble rolled down the hill and into a patch of grass. I was looking for it when I heard him call my name. The sun was hot on my back. I tried to act like I didn’t hear him as fear trickled up my spine. He had been looking at me in a different way lately. I tried to pretend I didn’t see it. My mom said she needed to stay with him in order to pay the bills. She said he was our only hope.
She was wrong.
He put his hand over my mouth and shoved me on the bed. He told me if I told anyone he would kill me. I could feel his hot breath on my neck. The pain was unbearable as the tears slipped down my cheeks and soaked into my long braided hair.
Later that day I packed my marbles and my dolls into a box and shoved it underneath my bed. Somehow I knew my childhood was over.
As the days and months passed the abuse would continue. I felt numb inside, like I was just a shell, yet no one seemed to notice. Everything in my life had changed, including my body- I didn’t know how to make things go back to how they once were.
Then one day they came. I still to this day don’t know how they found out about me. They told me I would be safe. I didn’t want to leave my mom and my little brothers. One of my brothers clung to my legs screaming as the officers led me to the car.
My baby was born on a rainy September day via C-section, as my small frame would not allow for a regular birth. I will never forget looking in his beautiful big black eyes and promising him that we would be okay.
While I know now that my mom did the best she could, I have come to realize that hope doesn’t come in the form of someone paying your rent. What they have taught me here at Village of Hope Guatemala is that TRUE hope comes from Jesus and only Jesus. When you find yourself being tempted to feel alone, forsaken, poor or unable, if you are wondering if God even exists or hears your cries, if you feel that nothing and no one in your life remain faithful- you can trust that God IS there. Hope isn’t finding security in things, hope isn’t having everything turn out the way you want it to. Hope is knowing that no matter what happens to you in life, His beautiful life giving redemption and grace is enough.
My childhood was taken from me, but my purpose was not.