She stood up out of her chair, and without warning, tears welled up in her eyes.
“I wanted to go to school, but we could not afford it. Last year, FH gave me a scholarship and now I am studying to become a teacher.”
There were fresh flowers on the table and the smell from the pine needles on the floor was strong in the air. We were honored guests.
“My mother and father, they do not have jobs. They just take work wherever it is available. I will be able to work as a teacher every day and be able to make money for my family.”
We leaned forward and smiled as the translators explained what Rosalia was saying. She is sixteen years old, and in the five years since Food for the Hungry arrived in Chioya, her family has been given a water filtration system and a new stove, as well as her academic scholarship.
She returned to her seat next to her mother, and I asked our translator if it would be appropriate to take the seat on the bench next to them while she composed herself. I put my hand on their backs. I struggled to find words that would be appropriate for that moment, but I had very few and that was okay.
I encouraged her to continue her studies.
I told her that teaching is an honorable profession and that she should be proud.
I told her we are thankful to know her and asked how I could pray for her.
I wished I had words that would keep her safe as she walked an hour to school and back every day on the mountain road. I wished I could say something to make her realize how phenomenal she is – how very special and unique and loved.
I knew I couldn’t. But I also knew Who could.
We visited the family’s kitchen, and they told us about the time a few years ago when Rosalia’s father was very ill and they prayed for him and he was healed and was saved. We played a bit with her little brother, Cesar, and offered him a few snacks from my backpack.
They shared some of their fears and some of their dreams. Rosalia’s sister wants to get a scholarship from FH so she can go to school, too. We looked on, impressed, as a cat in the kitchen caught and ate a small mouse. And we admired the family’s stove with them – they were so proud.
And then, the best part.
We joined hands – all of us – and bowed our heads before our Father – His children.
We prayed thanks for this appointed meeting.
We asked for safety for Rosalia and her family.
We thanked God for His love – for His Son, and for the cross.
We looked forward to Heaven together – where we will meet again.
And we blessed each other in the name of Christ.
Kingdom work. In Rosalia’s home. In the Myers home. God is at work!
All photos by Jessica Taylor for Food for the Hungry.