2 1/2 more months and im realizing there is so much here to do. Its hard to know im building relationships and earning trust with girls who will open up their lives to me only to leave their lives in a few months. There is brokenness everywhere and America is no exception but there is something different being in a place where most have little desire to help and would rather turn a blind eye to injustice. Maybe growing up around it makes you numb to it?
I had my first counseling session today and talked with a beautiful little girl who is the subject of verbal and at times physical abuse from her mother. Her father is an alocholic who she believes loves her but cant leave his alcohol. She is the oldest and is responsible to cook and care for all of the children. Her brother who is a year younger than her hits her when he does not like her cooking. There is little money for food as her father spends it all on alcohol. She sits in my office sobbing asking me why her mommy doesnt love her. She tells me how her brother who was born before she was alive had died as an infant. She says she wishes it had been her. Her mother kicked her out of the house and she rented a room for a year from a woman who she would work for all day and get fed only one meal a day. The woman eventually kicked her out when she found someone else to rent the room who could pay and she moved home with her family. Can you imagine a 13yr old girl living by herself? She asks me why shes had to take care of her brothers and sisters since she has been little but why no one has ever taken care of her?
Her father wants help to stop drinking. He wants to stop but cant. There is no AA in pimampiro. To go to rehab it would cost over a thousand dollars which is more than the family makes in a year. There is no child abuse hotline here to call. I feel so powerless to help. I have spent all afternoon looking for child advocate services or substance abuse centers with very little luck. There are laws against abuse but no one to carry them out, not unless you live in Quito or one of the other few large citys in Ecuador.
My heart feels so heavy. I know this will only be the first of many stories and i feel so illequiped to help when there are no resources here. I feel like i tiny bandade on a gaping wound.
In ways this is so good for me. I AM powerless to do anything. I can do nothing apart from Christ. I know that. I am just praying for opportunities to share Christ because he is the only hope of restoration. She so desperately needs to know she has a father who loves her so deeply and whos heart is breaking over the pain she has gone through. She needs the hope of the gosple, the hope that one day all this pain will be redeemed and restored. She needs to know the one who came and died so she could be set free to have joy in the midst of such great suffering.
Please pray that i would have boldness to take opportunities to share this hope with her but a gentle sensitivity and discernment as well. I feel like its the only thing of any real substance i have to offer to her.