Today after a good day of building four homes we were able to once again sit down for a delicious meal at Carrie and Stuart's home. As typical, our translators and drivers stayed and ate with us and I was blessed enough to sit by them. While I have talked to Donald (our driver) before and even met his wife (Ellie) before, I was not aware of the things going on in their lives. Donald spoke to us about his children. Donald and Ellie have two children they can barely afford, but are also caring for two other children who were abandoned by her sister and brother-in-law when they fled for the USA. This is a similar story to those we have heard before from others, and these stories always move me as I consider the impact on the children. In this situation, the oldest child (10 at the time) pulled back and would not accept any affection or Love from Donald and Ellie for over three years.
What was different this time from the other stories I have heard was their description of the missing father. Their father does send some support (it does not cover their costs) and does phone on a regular basis. Recently, the father paid for a coyote to bring the children to the USA without even letting Donald and Ellie know, so the kids were suddenly gone. However fifteen days later the attempt had failed and they were back and in trouble with the law due to the failed illegal attempt. What shocked me was that throughout the conversation they had nothing bad to say about the father, and they even admired him for having the courage to make the dangerous journey to the USA. I was overwhelmed and had to express to Donald that we admired him and his wife because I believe it takes more courage to stay behind and take care of both his family and the additional kids even though it was a struggle.
This very choice is what we have been commending this week in our building community, as so far every home built has been for families with both Father and Mother present and signs of strong commitment. These families need our prayers as the lure of fleeing to a better life in the USA is still alive, even with the broken homes it leaves behind.
Thank you for your continued prayers for us and these families.