Banesa’s home consists of two rooms, one door and one window with a red curtain.
Here is Carlos sitting in the front room which serves as a dining room and lounge.
Benesa’s mother tells me that it is the women of the church that built (/rebuilt?) this house after the 2007 earthquake and so that is why it is so well put together.
Their cat likes the house well enough.
But Banesa’s mother says the cat will probably have to go since they have little Estefany. Estefany is 15 months old.
Maybe Estefany is becoming a danger to the cat. Or maybe the cat is one too many a mouth to feed. The income for this family comes from Banesa’s uncle, who does not live with them but does not have a family of his own.
Banesa opens a box that was on the unit behind Carlos. The box contains all the letters I have sent her. But whose letters can only warm her metaphorically because the window can’t be shut and the curtain doesn’t hold back the cold.
Please don’t misunderstand just how important your letters are to your child. They will be read again and again and again as your children grow. If you’ve ever wondered if you written something too ‘deep’ for a young child, don’t worry too much because they’ll understand when they are older! Write your kids words of life because those words will shape their life by their reading it again and again. Case in point; Gloria.
Here is Banesa’s sister Gloria.
Gloria is also sponsored and her sponsors are also from Australia. We put Gloria on the spot and asked her if she wanted to say anything to her sponsors. (I have a video clip of this which I will get to her sponsors when I track them down). She said; Thank you for sponsoring me. I hope you can visit one day and I take good care of all your letters.
Banesa’s house has a sheet dividing the front from the back. In the back room on the left where many of the family’s clothes.
To the right were two beds; thankfully with protection from mosquitos.
I was again in a situation where it was impossible to step back far enough to show you the size of the room but let me describe what we see. There is a queen bed with a pink net on which Banesa, Gloria, Estefany and their mother sleep. Less than one foot away is a single bed on which Banesa’s two brothers sleep. One of them is 19, I’m not sure on the age of the other.
Directly outside the backdoor – and in retrospect I don’t actually think there was a door – I was greeted by this little fella.
His friends were right behind him on the other side of the wooden board.
Ahead to my right was space for a fire.
And immediately to my right the sink.
To my left was a small enclosed yard however I found that Banesa’s dog had just had puppies and was growling and suggesting that I move right along now and not stop for photos.
Back inside, Banesa holds her new bear. It’s probably her first ever teddy bear because, come Christmas time, so many of the kids request shoes and clothes for their Compassion Christmas present.
We pray for the family and then rush out the door. It’s so bright outside.
The light looks so inviting but I wish I could have stayed in the dark for just a while longer. Not to walk in the darkness but to see God working. It’s in the darkness and the hidden corners of this world that I’ve seen God working. I’ve seen the faithfulness of Compassion reaching out into the darkness and releasing children from poverty. I’ve seen them bringing the light to the darkness. And they do it all because they know that Jesus came into the darkness, for each one of us, to release each of us from our own poverty.
‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes, He became poor, that you, through His poverty might become rich.’ – 2 Corinthians 8:9
How do we be free of our spiritual poverty?
‘If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’ – Romans 10:9
You mean I only have to believe that Christ paid for my sins? There must be more to do? No, there’s nothing more, it’s a free gift – so we can’t boast – just believe.
‘… because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions. It is by grace, you have been saved.’ – Ephesians 2:4-5