Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
I was sitting there alone on the bridge near the church one evening, and I heard a beautiful, worshipful praise coming from the church. I thought to myself, I would go to that church if they could ever accept someone like me.
My father was a drunk. My four sisters and I grew up suffering in an abusive, loveless home. My mother hated us for she was convinced we were to blame for my father’s sickness. Before us, they were happy. When he raped my little sister, I fought him to protect her. My mother slapped me hard. How dare I.
When I was fifteen, I gave myself to someone who showed me a love I had never experienced and got pregnant. My father called me a whore and threw me to the streets. There I lived with my child, depending completely on the mercies and kindness of strangers.
Eventually, I was able to afford a small house (made of mud and sticks) and got married to the man I am with now. We had two more children. I had just started to get my feet on the ground, when the flood came. One horrible day, my house and all my belongings were washed away.
With my two young children and newborn baby, I returned to the streets. My husband left to find work. I had returned to where I began; alone, desperate, hungry, empty and hopeless. And when I heard those songs being lifted to Heaven that night, my soul longed to go to that little yellow church and feel the same joy of those inside. But it would be years before I opened my heart to let God heal the brokenness that many years of abuse, shame, poverty, and sin had left me with. In that moment, no other life was possible for me.
Moving to the Urrutia community was a new start for us. It was truly the first home, I had ever lived in. It was there where I got to know the people of the little yellow church. As they helped us in our time of greatest need, they showed many of us a kind of love that the world had never offered. I suppose God had to bring the church to me. Outside my home, every Wednesday they came and taught the children songs and stories of the Bible. Slowly, my hard heart began to soften.
Since then my life has changed completely. I have been abundantly blessed; my three beautiful, happy children are all going to school with scholarships (from the Honduras Education Project) and my dreams for them get bigger everyday, I have finished my studies and work as a kindergarten teacher, and the Joyas de Esperanza jewelry project has allowed me to provide for my family. These changes I suppose could be credited to a simple change of circumstance. But the more incredible transformation, that could only be explained by God, is the change in my heart. I have forgiven my mother and father acknowledging that they too are just products of a broken, sinful world. I am not alone. I am not fearful. I am full of hope and joy. God has restored my very broken heart and given me a new one that is strong, pure, and at peace.
Now that little yellow church is my church, and my voice is among those singing praises to Heaven.
I am just a simple person who is trying to follow God the best I can. For He has changed my life and my heart. He has shown me what it is to love and to serve. And I spend my days trying to imitate His example wherever I am.