***This entry begins a new series of posts focusing on children in my community. Each story will tell about one child's life from his or her own perspective. My hope is that this will allow my readers to see and experience the daily realities for these children, the joys and the struggles. (For confidentiality's sake, I have changed the names of the children I will be writing about). Please keep these niños in your prayers. They are very special to me and God has a purpose for each of them.
With an angry look on her face
She turned away and hid from me
The first time I entered her home.
Go feed the dog! her mother yelled
Reluctantly, she obeyed
Trudging her feet, eyes downcast.
Without a word she stood gazing at us,
As we spoke to her mama
Fidgeting with a pencil in her hands.
Each day she arrives at school at 7 AM,
Trying her best to learn, but
Distracted by life's problems.
She sees the letters but confuses the words.
Other kids say she can't, that's she's stupid
But I tell her she can.
At home she has to work, too.
Feeding the animals, digging onions,
cooking meals when her mother cannot.
Feeling the pressure to be an adult,
At times she runs off to escape the toil
To just be a kid for a few hours.
Returning home, she fears the pala and hortiga,
And the angry words of her mama.
She cries herself to sleep, full of guilt and defeat.
She just wants to play with her friends.
Her thoughts of shirked responsibilities and
The time she doesn't have fill her mind
As she tunes out the teacher's lecture on long division.
She steals money from the family savings
To buy candy she can't afford
And go on class field trips without permission.
She just wants to be loved.
Lonely being the only child in the house,
She needs someone to talk to, someone to listen.
She needs someone to confide in.
She is nine years old.
No one remembered her birthday.
She tries so hard to do what's right.
She just needs to feel important to someone.
But there is hope.
Now her mama is getting better.
Everything is calmer and pleasanter.
She helps in the kitchen, caring for her every need,
Hoping for a new chance, a new beginning.
They came to church again this week.
Both of them smiling, content.
Her mother can walk again.
Lord, you are healing them.