The thing about working in a third world country is that there are days that seem really hopeless. Days where person after person comes up to us asking for money. Days when everywhere we turn there seems to be someone else in desperate need. It’s hard not to get discouraged and feel really low when so many around us are hurting.
To be totally honest, it’s really draining.
Daily we see people in need surrounding us, but the last few days have just really impacted me. Last night I went out on the streets of San Salvador to talk to some of the prostitutes that work there. Doing this is way out of my comfort zone, but I am so glad I went. Every young woman I talked to has at least two kids that she is working to support. It’s hard for me to imagine being in their shoes. But listening to them talk makes it hit so close to home because I’m a mom too. Some of them are there because it’s the quickest way to make enough money to support their kids, but it’s also a very dangerous life. Some of them are there because they are truly desperate and they need to feed their children.
We also found out today some information about some of the families we work with in Apopa. One girl who is around 13 years old is in the hospital right now because she has leukemia. She is one of the smartest, quickest learners in our literacy program. She was already picking up English just from talking to Jon. And now she is probably going to die.
Another family in Apopa consists of four siblings ages 7 to 12. These kids have four different fathers and their mother has recently abandoned them. The pastor found them living alone with no food and no adult to care for them. We are committing to helping this community so we are going to look for the best solution for these kids. There is a grandmother who may be able to care for them if we can help her with groceries, medicine,etc. There are so many children in this community who end up joining gangs and we are hoping that these four don’t become part of those statistics.
Our hearts are heavy this afternoon while we think of all these people who are in need. We ask that if you are reading this, that you would consider taking some time to pray for the people in these situations.
But the thing about God is that we know He is working even in desperate circumstances. I will be honest, sometimes He seems far away and sometimes I have questions for Him about the suffering that I see daily. These are my own personal struggles that I will continually face, but I can choose in this moment to say that God is good, that He is still God, and that He still brings hope to the hopeless.