One of my absolute favorite things about this trip was visiting with some of the people in their homes, listening to their stories, hearing about their lives, their struggles, and their faith in God.
Meet Monica. Her home was the first one I was able to visit in Marurui slum. It was tiny. Held together with cardboard boxes and old wood pieces with a rusty tin roof. We walked into the dark room with the little light there was creeping through the door. Rhonda, Beth, Lauryn, and I sat with barely enough room for all of us to fit. Huddled together, we listened to Monica's story. She's a single mother raising six kids. She reached into a plastic bag hanging on the side of the twin bed she was sitting on and pulled out a photo. She handed it to us. I looked at the picture of Monica with her beautiful children and she beamed with pure joy. One of her sons is crippled and goes to school outside of the slum where he is lucky enough to have a sponsor who is able to pay for his schooling. Her husband left her after her youngest child was born so she has been alone to raise the children. She tells us that she is HIV positive. She tells us that she is feeling good but has been very sick in the past. We asked how she was able to care for her kids and she confidently stated that she was only able to do it through God and without his help she wouldn't be able to. Despite her circumstances, she is not angry at God, but she relies on him to get her through.
We asked Monica how we could pray for her. She told us that she wanted us to pray for her children and that they would grow up knowing Jesus and that they would choose to love him. As we sat in Monica's home praying for her health and that she would be able to provide for her children, I felt God's presence and it was so much bigger that that tiny room we were sitting in.
Beth, Monica, Lauryn, and I after our visit
Pray for Monica, for her health, for her children.