Everywhere you look there are children, people, cars, dogs, trash blowing across the road, busses racing by....a constant sea of movement. There are buildings being constructed, people at work, something for sale, a noise that never ceases; always a rush.
But what for? People work hard in hope that opportunity will come, but sadly enough, for many here in Sucre, it seems that it never does.
We met with Esperanza, a mother of three who works hard all day, every day, handwashing laundry and still just barely getting by. We assumed she was single by the way she spoke of her "son's father." But none of us had the heart to ask. She lived in the heart of the city but spoke as if she were all alone. The only family she mentioned were the "cousins" of her children, as she called them, from her "boys' father's family". To get to her humble dwelling we climbed over a concrete guardrail, at a random spot off a steep embankment from a busy road, down a shaky set of rusty steel and plywood stairs. It was a tiny, hidden community unto itself, no more than five ramshackle dwellings. You never would have known it was there. It left us wondering how the women of FH had ever found it?
There were children, dogs and hanging laundry amongst the rubbish and mess. Yet children’s eager faces greeted us, hoping for a sponsor`s letter or even better, a visit! All three children were FH sponsored children and seemed more optimistic than most.
But on Esperanza's sad face, there was loneliness and exhaustion, embarrassment that all she had to offer her guests was Salvetti soda, one of which she provided in a wooden bowl because she had no more cups.
Though we knew that our 20-minute visit, gift of school supplies and simple words could not erase that, before we left we covered Esperanza with our prayers. What else can you do when you feel impossibly inadequate?
God's grace covers what we cannot.
His love was a hopeful light in Esperanza's dim, damp, single room dwelling. She smiled as we left, asking us not to forget her. It was heart wrenching.
How could we possibly forget?
Just as her sad face and situation was a profound example of those need, Jesus is a profound example that we NOT FORGET those in need.
"And the King will answer them,`Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40
Just as Sucre felt like a city that would never sleep, I prayed that we would be a people that would never forget. That we would remember her as a member of the family of Christ and continue to lift her up in prayer.
It left me wondering, what will we do for the least of these? In a world that moves too fast, where distraction abounds and we race to keep up, how will you and I serve, how can we pray and be a people that never forgets?