A Sweet Success Story……
One of the joys of working with El Ayudante is that we get to stick around in our community to see the effects of our ministry. I first met Lily when she was 17, 3 years ago. She and her 19 year old boyfriend, Marlon, had a 6 month old baby named Carol. One day Carol had a horrible seizure and they rushed her to the hospital in Comayagua(the closest hospital to our community). They immediately sent them to a bigger hospital in Tegucigalpa, 1 ½ hrs away. She was admitted to ICU and was there for 2 months. Marlon & Lily had no family in Teguc and had no money. They literally slept in the parking lot(not in a car) so they could stay near Carol. She initially began calling me needing help buying medicine and supplies but soon began to call just for emotional support. She was 17. Her baby was near death. She didn’t understand what was going on medically. She had no support system. She would often call me in the middle of the sobbing, needing someone to talk to. Unlike what’s normal in this culture, Marlon stuck with Lily and Carol every step of the way!
Eventually Carol was released but had suffered much brain damage by this point. She will never function as a normal kid. She will never walk or talk or do anything for herself. But the love of her parents is UNENDING! They are some of the best parents I have ever seen. They love and dote and interact with Carol like you wouldn’t believe. Carol literally lights up when her daddy talks or plays with her. She LOVES her daddy and he is super good with her. That, too, is culturally rare. Dads in this culture just don’t do that, but Marlon does!
They returned to Lo de Reina exhausted, with a special needs infant that wailed 20 hours of the day, and no idea what to do. They rededicated their lives to Christ that week. Life was still a struggle for them but they kept moving forward & fighting for their future. They had another baby, Helen, born a few years later. We continued to grow our relationship with them. One of our first adobe houses was for their family. They signed up for our marriage class. They attended a few sessions but it got to be overwhelming with their 2 little ones so they stopped attending BUT another couple in the community who had completed the course volunteered to go to their home each week and help them finish the course. Marlon works hard in the guava fields and has become the person EA hires to stucco all of our adobe houses. He picked up the skill very quickly and excels at it. This past January, Marlon & Lily were married at the 2nd community wedding that EA hosted. They just received a latrine a couple weeks ago.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was out walking in the community and stopped by their house. The baby was taking a nap in a brand new hammock they had hung from the porch. Marlon has installed a cute picket fence and they have a home garden. Lily was smiling ear to ear as she worked in her yard. It stopped me in my tracks. I asked her point blank, “You’re gonna make it aren’t you?” She answered with a resounding YES. She was so proud of her house. She had hope in her eyes and you could tell she was confident. She felt like she had arrived. She & her husband had been given the tools to be empowered and to make it. We are so happy to have been a part of this beautiful story.