Greetings and happy Friday Monday!

This weekend we celebrate mothers: their hard work, their dedication, and their love. We received a story from Children International in Guatemala that shows us all of these things. Meet Elida, and her mother Faustina:

Elida and SisterEvery morning, around 5AM, a rooster’s crowing is mixed with painful cries of a girl trying to get out of bed and walk. Elida, fourteen, suffers from muscular dystrophy—if she takes more than two or three steps, she falls to the ground in pain. Her struggles have made her extremely self-conscious and when speaking with others she often hides her face and refuses to answer questions. Her mother Faustina tells us that Hurricane Stan further complicated an already challenging situation. “We lost the house where we used to live when Hurricane Stan hit,” she explains,“[t]he river swept it away…The one who has suffered most is Elida because I used to carry her to school, but now she’s too big and weighs too much…It’s too far to walk, so she’s resigned herself to staying shut up in the house.” While the Guatemalan government provided the family with a new home after the hurricane, it is deep in the rural heart of Guatemala. There is no public transportation there and it would easily take at least an hour to walk to the nearest highway. Elida with Mother and SisterElida wants desperately to walk, but when she tries she falls to the floor and is left in tears. “When her siblings see her like that,” Faustina says, “they draw near and play with her and she smiles, but it hurts my heart because after a while she tries again and falls.”

But this changed. When Faustina found out that Elida would receive a wheelchair from Children International and Free Wheelchair Mission, Elida was sitting on the ground drawing figures in the mud: “I felt very happy,” Faustina said reflecting, “[n]ever again will my daughter be thrown to the floor.” The whole family was overjoyed at the gift. Elida searched for words—as she sat in her new wheelchair, her words were few but said enough: “Thank you,” she said, “I was tired of writing in the mud.”

Parents can all relate to the pain Faustina felt having to watch as Elida tried to walk only to fall time after time. Scraped knees and bruised elbows are common enough in children, but wounded hearts cut much deeper. As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, please know that thanks to your love for others, you have helped bring healing to a mother a world away and aid to her child whom she loves. Thank you for loving not only your family, but families—mothers—the world over.

Happy Mother’s Day,

Don Schoendorfer

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