I had the blessing of going into the loving home of Felicidad who is a 24-yesr-old mother of three. Her son is 5 and is in kindergarten so we did not get to meet him. He is a child born out of rape. Her daughter, Cielo, is 3 and is stunningly adorable. Sweet face, engaging eyes, and ready for independance. You just wanted to squish her cheeks and love her right up! Felicidad is expecting another child in 5 months and is living with the father of this child.
Once we arrived at the home, the mother came to open the gate. The home had a front yard of dirt. To the right was a bathroom hole and a rock/dirt area for playing with toys. To the left was an area for the egg laying ducks where the mama securly protected her ducklings. Cats greeted us as well. Straight ahead was an open area with a clothes line, coops for critters, shovels, wheelbarrows, and a motor scooter.
Felicidad was proud to show us her room. She made a "Bienvenidos" (welcome) sign for us that hung above the opening to get home, her 'door'. She explained that she lives with her mother, brother and his family and that this room was built just for her and her family. VERY proud to have her own room. This room was constructed out of sticks as braces to hold the tin and cardboard walls where light filtered in. There was a double bed taking up the whole back wall as you entered. Above it were scripture verse, and learning posters. She did have a refrigerator but no hanging light. Next to the refrigerator was a sewing machine table and the cooking corner. She had a small table in front of the sewing machine where she demonsrated for us what she learns through Child Survial Program. The instructor from the program bragged on what a good student Felicidad was. Felicidad beamed. She said that she was very greatful to the program because they have taught her how to be a better parent. She has homework, like teaching Cielo how to brush her teeth, and learn her ABCs.
Soon her mother entered and was introduced with great affection. Clearly this was a wonderful bond. Her husband also arrived and was introduced as a good husband and was given many kind words regarding caring for Cielo in the mornings while Felicidad goes to work.
Our gracious host offered us boiled cinnamon water and an egg & tomato sandwich on incredible tasty bread. Amazing hospitality and with a joyful heart she shared that she talks with God and doesn't know why he doesn't answer. We prayed with her and assured her she is heard and well loved.
Felicidad shared that after work she sews. We asked her to show us what she makes. She knew exactly where to under the bed and grabbed plastic bags. Out came knit leggings for women and baby pants. Remarkable skill put into them. Some of us wanted to buy them, so humbly she let us. Since she did not have enough finished, she said she would deliver them to the hotel.
We said our goodbyes and started walking back to the project site. Not far from her home, we heard her calling for us. She and her husband chased us down the street wanting to give us our change! We assured her that it wasn't necessary where she breathlessly and sincerely thanked us and went about our way.
Last night (March 6), Felicidad, her husband, and a tired Cielo delivered the clothing items purchased and left the hotel where we then proceeded to run down the street to tell her thank you and give one last hug.
It seems like we can be so happy with the little things we have and can be very generous hosts offering simple things and yet we are always running. It is a beautiful thing to know that we have friends and family to run to, but really we are always running into God's arms. He loves each of us so very much!
Such a light was shining on March 4. Through the walls of the home, to the humbleness of Felicidad's gestures and voice... God is working here in Cochabamba!