Real life, broken dreams


“Oh, I wish we had a safe place to call home, with a loving mother and a caring father!”  


For the three sisters Josefina, Marta and Maria, were they to depend on the two people who gave them life, that wish has never been more than an illusive dream.


In fact, after having their dreams so consistently crushed, they would have settled for their parents just being present in their lives.


Their father is long gone.  Their mother succumbed to her personal demons by drowning them in alcohol or shooting up with drugs.  She developed diabetes several years ago.  With such a diagnosis come heightened demands for self-care, all of which she incessantly flouted by increasing her self-medication and escape. She was never able to care for her daughters.  That’s why they for several years they have been calling La Esperanza de los Niños (The Hope of the Children) their home.


The mother’s slurred words that she loved her children rang hollow whenever they got to see her on an occasional week-end visit.  Medicating herself always took precedent over any practical expression of love for the girls.


Two years ago the mother’s continued self-neglect lead to the amputation of one of her legs.  Earlier this year, not heeding such a dire warning, the other leg had to be amputated, as well.


Last week she had a heart attack which took her life.


La Esperanza de los Niños is one of the Children’s Homes YesWeServe partners with in Mexicali, Mexico. When you support our ministry, either by traveling with us or financially, you help to make sure that we can continue to provide a safe place where children – like these three sisters – can be loved & cared for in a safe environment.


This is happening in real time; unfortunately, details don’t need to be added to this post for dramatic effect.  Through no fault of their own, these three lovely sisters, the two youngest not yet out of single-digit ages, have just lost their mother.  It is hard enough for an adult to come to grips with something like that.


We who travel on our Missionary for a Day trips every month can love on them, but by supporting the Homes financially we are also helping the care-takers who are there with them every day.


Will you step up and help YesWeServe help these three sisters give their mother a dignified burial?  And pray for them at this time. Looking after these little ones in this manner is another way we can serve the Lord together.


God bless you as together we change the world one child at a time.


Logged On


The other day I was out for a walk with my hosts in their neighborhood on the Akwuapem Ridge in Ghana.  A brisk exercise along the undulating terrain, through the tall grasses, and up the blocked-off highway provided us with a good recharging of the batteries at the end of a demanding day.

At one point we shared the road with a mother and her two children.  The daughter who was trailing her was keeping pace even as she was carrying on her head a log which was as tall as she was.  I didn’t want to interrupt them, so I snapped a photo with my cell phone (Yes, I am aware that this contrast induces a cognitive dissonance: I am carrying in my pocket a marvel of modern technology, on which I have an app which records all the stats and wonderfulness of my physical exercise).  Because we were all moving, the picture is slightly out of focus and not the ideal composition.

Yet, there was a message here, something that wouldn’t let go.  I texted it to some friends, accompanied with only a descriptive caption.

A couple of the comments in return were of the humorous sort.  But a couple of other comments, both from people in the Western world, told of conviction, of sharing the picture with their own children, of pause to reflect, of a reminder to appreciate what we take for granted, of becoming more aware of people’s conditions in many other parts of the world.

The girl in the photo and her mother had been lucky enough to find this log in the thicket somewhere along the road.  It would soon be hacked into small pieces – probably with some sharpened stone instrument – and used as firewood to heat up their next few meager meals prepared in their dirt floor hut.


When was the last time you or I touched a real log out of necessity rather than simply for the pleasure of a cozy fire?