by Kayonna, Children at Risk DTS student
We hiked down a dusty path to the village for the New Year’s Eve celebration. All around us, people were dancing, playing music, and serving exotic foods. What stood out to me the most, though, was one woman named Mary.
After the party, my team and I sat on a porch that overlooked the village, drinking tea together. Mary came over and sat with us. She began to tell us her story, but it wasn’t like any other story that comes from the lips. Mary spoke only with her hands.
Her hands formed her words as she pantomimed her life story. She told us about her husband who would come home drunk every night. He often tried to throw their daughter in the garbage. Finally, he left. But Mary’s daughter also left and lives with someone else.
My heart broke to learn of Mary’s difficult life.
The next night I met Mary’s daughter who is now six. Mother and daughter stood side by side, as if they weren’t even related. There was no connection between the two. Then Mary reached out to her daughter, to hold her close and smooth her hair. But her daughter would have none of it. She just yelled and pushed Mary away.
It was hard to see such a beautiful woman leading such a difficult life and being rejected by the people who should love her the most. I’m glad that God sent us to her village and that I got to know her story. I hope that the time we spent with her will be a balm to the wounds in her heart. I hope that even though she couldn’t hear the words we said, that she could see the love in our eyes. I know that God can speak to anyone’s heart, whether or not they can hear with their ears.
It’s my prayer that Mary KNOWS God’s unshaking, unchanging, unfailing love.