Andrea is a warm and beautiful 3-year-old child who lives in a small house in the poorest region of Arequipa, Peru. She shares her living space with her parents and two older brothers. Her life has always been difficult since her parents are very poor and her house has only one light bulb, no running water, two beds for everyone to sleep on, and the house is missing most of its windows. Consequently, her home is very cold during the days and especially in the nights.
However, things became much worse for her and her family when her father fell and hit his head approximately six weeks ago. He has a history of chronic seizure disorder and needed hospitalization for a hematoma he received after his fall. What little money the family had prior to this injury was spent for medical costs.
The house is equipped with a small propane stove, yet little money exists for purchasing gas and, thus the children are not fed proper meals. A hole in the ground serves as a toilet and the family shares a garden hose with the local community, in order to receive any water for drinking. Andrea’s first words to me after meeting her were not, “I’m hungry”, rather “My father is in the hospital”. I was moved to tears by her strength and acknowledgement that her father’s situation was direr than her own.
In Andrea I can clearly hear Jesus’s words (Mt 5: 3,6):
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Andrea and her family are not seeking pity, rather some of the basic necessities that we all may take for granted: food and water. Karissa, I, Sister Yanibell, and our friends are using some of the funds given to us by Dr. Barbara De Lateur- thank you so much for your continued support of our efforts. We are going to build the family a small kitchen, in order to provide meals and bring water closer to the home. We also hope to do more for these wonderful people in the future, for example construct a proper bathroom, if our funds will permit this. We have also asked permission from her parents, in order to have Andrea visit with us on weekends so that she, too, may share in the comfort of a safe and warm environment.
God bless you all for your prayers for Andrea and her family and please remember equality begins with the first step of sharing.
Matt, Karissa, Lydia, and Violet Misner