Supporting a Family at Age 13 by Karen

I found this photo in an article titled 
"Child Labor Laws are Ruining This Country".
Throughout my life, I've been really blessed to hear older people tell stories about how they worked hard as youngsters to help support their families when times were tough and resources were hard to come by.  I believe that this builds one's work ethic and develops his/her character in unique ways. I regret any time that I've underestimated my own kids' abilities because I know that people can do incredible things when situations demand it and others believe in them.  

Ever since last December we've been helping a family whose dad had recently passed away.  The young widow, who is illiterate and unable to do basic math, has struggled to know how best to care for her five kids without the help of her husband.  Her two oldest kids have chosen to leave the house, but this hasn't necessarily eased her burden.  All praise be to God, we've been able to provide them with a small amount of work baking bread like they used to do with Dad.

A couple of days ago, I stopped by to give them a care package of food (compliments of Team Carmody of course) and also to pick up the bread that they had all made together.  I asked the 13-year-old boy if he was excited to finally be done with school for the year.  (Here in Costa Rica the academic year starts in February and ends in December.)  He smiled awkwardly, glanced over at his mom, and said, "So-so".   Sonia met my glance and explained that her son would be working at a nearby farm for 10 hours each day to help support their family.  I know enough to know that he will likely only earn $1.75 per hour even though he'll be working as hard as a grown man.  Understandably, wages are relative, but a gallon of milk costs over $4 here in our town, so his earnings will have to be stretched pretty thin.  I smiled and affirmed him by saying that this was a really honorable way to spend his time.  His face softened, his eyes glistened, and he said, "Thanks!"  I assured him that I would be praying for him, and encouraged him to call on the Lord for the strength and perseverance he'd need to do what's being asked of him.  I humbly ask you to pray for this family as they continue to struggle.  I also hope that you'll encourage the youngsters in your life to work hard for the benefit of others, not just to earn the money they might want to buy themselves the latest and greatest thing that everyone's talking about.  

Thank you for all you do to make this mission possible!  Love, Karen

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Thank you and may God bless you and all those you hold dear to your heart!

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