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Confident that she could find exactly what this lady wanted, Anna assured her that we would return with something pretty the following week.
A few days later, in the big city, Anna and I searched and searched. After going in and out of what seemed like every shop, we finally found some treasures: two beautiful dresses and a couple nice tops.
Anna was delighted to bless our new friend with the pretty outfits, but her love and generosity didn't stop there. Anna offered to walk with the woman to the market to buy her enough food to last their family two weeks. Anna invited her to Mass that evening and made sure she had a ride home. It was such a beautiful experience to witness.
First, a mattress for her daughter since she was previously sleeping on a piece of cardboard.
Second, new chairs to give them somewhere to sit other than the ground. Previously, they only had one chair to share among them.
When we stopped in to deliver the chairs, they insisted that we stay for dinner. Despite their limited resources, this family generously prepared a delicious meal of chicken, rice and plantains. When they realized that our friends from England were with us, they quickly filled more bowls and invited us all to relax in their new chairs.
It was difficult to accept food from a family that we know goes to bed hungry most nights. However, we were honored to be invited into their home and graciously accepted all that they offered.
During our visit we talked with them about their living conditions. We inquired as to what aspect of their situation is most difficult. They immediately responded, saying that when it rains their home fills with 6-8 inches of water and the dirt floor becomes a slippery mess. We listened and assessed our options. We left without promising a thing, but knew in our hearts that we would like to do something to help them in a more significant way.
Upon inspection, we realized that most of the columns in their home could be reused and the roof is in great shape. If we could pour them a cement floor and replace the bamboo reeds and plastic tarps with wooden planks, their situation would be greatly improved.
Please pray for us as we determine the best way to bring this family the love of Jesus.