“I will not give up until I’ve found my sisters and my brother!”
After months of fruitless searching, 13-year-old Isaias was determined not to quit.
They were, originally, four siblings living under one roof, born to an alcoholic father among the indigenous people of Mexico’s Sierra Madre: Isaias, the oldest, fraternal twin sisters Marisol and Matilde, and little brother Joel. When their mother died, their bedridden father parceled them out.
Marsol and Matilde, both age 4, went to live with a poor grandmother who was already burdened with caring for other grandchildren. The twins rarely saw each other, however, as their grandmother dished them out to live with neighbors or relatives who used them as their child servants. Worse, after a few years, she allowed Matilde’s aunt to force her to view pornographic videos in order to educate her on how to service local men.
Neither girl ever attended school. Beatings were common. They usually ate just one meal per day.
Baby Joel’s circumstances seemed more hopeful after he was adopted by a Mexican woman, but she died 6 years later. So Joel found himself in the same hellish circumstances as his older twin sisters, first living with his grandmother, then farmed out to live with others; neglected and abused by them all.
Isaias, separated from the other three, never found a welcome home. He lived wherever he could find a place to sleep—usually in fields or along dirty streets. He worked at any odd job that a street kid could do to earn enough to eat.
After some years passed, Heaven’s Family-supported missionary Nicole Fitzpatrick happened to encounter Isaias, then 12 years old, while he was wandering the streets of San Lorenzo. She asked him if he would be interested in living with a community of Christians where he could go to school and be fed. It sounded too good to be true. He agreed.
“The Village,” as it is called by Nicole and her husband, Jason, although primitive, was like heaven to Isaias—a place of love and joy. There he learned of Jesus’ love. Having never forgotten his three siblings, Isaias eventually requested Nicole’s permission to search for them and bring them back if he could locate them. Nicole granted him permission under the condition that he be accompanied by a trusted older companion from The Village. And so Isaias began his quest to find his lost siblings.
Every weekend, for months, Isaias trekked from village to village in the region, even through monsoon rains, freezing wind (in the high elevations), and scorching sun. After 2 years, his determination finally began to pay off. He found each of his siblings, one by one over a period of months, all living separate nightmares.
Isaias pleaded with each of them, in turn, to join him at The Village. “No one will hurt you,” he promised, “and you’ll eat 3 meals a day!”
With the help of a social worker and an attorney, Nicole succeeded in gaining custody, and all four children now live at The Village where they’ve been thriving. Emotional scars are fading, all are attending school, and dreams are beginning to blossom. Matilde wants to become a doctor some day so she “can make people feel better.”
But there’s more to this story.
Learning that their ailing father was close to death, Nicole brought his children to visit him. Suffering from the advanced stages of diabetes, he had lost his vision, and both of his legs were gangrenous. Having learned about the forgiveness God offers and expects of those He’s forgiven, the children tearfully told their father that they loved and forgave him. As they did, he broke down, apologizing for all he had done to them. He then asked Nicole if she thought God could ever forgive him. She assured him that yes, God’s love and forgiveness are available to all who come to him in repentance, and she then led him in a prayer to receive Jesus.
Last year, our Orphan’s Tear Ministry began partnering with Jason and Nicole through our child sponsorship program, in order to help all 37 children with similar stories living under their care. All of those children are now available for sponsorship on the Orphan’s Tear website… including Isaias, Marisol, Matilda and Joel.