Maria’s Story: From Darkness to Hope in Guatemala

26 May

Maria’s Story: From Darkness to Hope in Guatemala

Image of Maria and her daughterMary and her daughter have been rescued from abuse and homelessness thanks to your support.

Maria’s Story: From Darkness to Hope in Guatemala

Burt and Patty’s 2nd trip blog from Guatemala

Dear Family,

Greetings from Guatemala! After visiting with our second ministry partner in this country, we were overjoyed to see firsthand the quality of love and care shown to children who have suffered unspeakable pain. Below is Maria’s story, as told by our partner:

Maria grew up in places where ‘home’ was anything but safe. Mom was often gone, just trying to make ends meet. Maria never knew her father. Her mother once said he walked out the day she found out she was pregnant. Then she never mentioned him again.

While Maria’s mom did the best she could, never having the opportunity to study herself, she worked any odd jobs she could find to help support them. Some nights they’d stay with “friends.” But most nights they’d sleep hidden in a nearby field. There, Maria would lay her head across her mother’s legs as she’d drift off to sleep, listening to her mother tell stories about how one day things would be different. One day they would have a real home of their own. Those dreams were some of Maria’s favorite memories.

Late one afternoon, while selling small packs of gum on the side of a busy road, a nice man with a big silver vehicle stopped and offered Maria and her mother work and a place to stay. Was this finally the opportunity they had dreamed of? Had their chance finally come, Maria and her mom wondered?

Desperate for a chance, they climbed into the vehicle.

Days later, 9-year-old Maria found herself living the worst nightmare of her life. “Home” now became a dark room where men would come and go. Eventually, her tears stopped, along with her dreams.

At the age of 11, Maria became pregnant. When her captors realized she was of no use to them anymore, she was shoved out the door. The bright sunlight pierced her eyes as the tears trickled down her cheeks. Once again, Maria found herself homeless.

For weeks Maria survived on whatever food she could find digging through garbage cans, her growing belly aching to be fed.

Maria was rescued and brought to our partner, where she and her daughter still reside. Over the past 5 years, Maria has finished elementary school and is continuing on to middle school while training to be a Barista. Her dream is to one day have her own coffee shop where she can share the hope of Jesus to every customer who comes through, she exclaims with joy in her eyes.

We are filled with gratitude for your generous support, which has made stories like Maria’s possible. Your compassion is providing shelter, education, and most importantly, a renewed sense of hope for those who have suffered greatly.

Thank you for caring for the “least of these” in Guatemala!

Image of the directors of the Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry

Burt and Patty Forney
Directors, Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry

Contribute to the Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry

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