She sits on the street in front of a gas station with an eight month old baby in her arms. The exhaust filled air, city smells, and dry heat accompany the pavement she is sitting on, and it’s obvious that wherever she has come from, whatever her story is, has paid a toll on her body. We exit the car, kneel down next to her, and ask her if she needs help. In a shy manner while barely making eye contact she begins to tell us that her baby is sick, the village she came from didn’t have the medicine she needed, so she took a day’s journey into the city in hopes to find medicine. She also explains that she doesn’t have any money left from her journey and she’s been sleeping on the hospital floor for the past 4 nights trying to find anyone who will help her. As the conversation continues, and we pull more information out of her, we finally find out that she is only 16 years old. At 16 years of age, out of money, malnourished, with child, uneducated and unaware of her surroundings, we know it’s only a matter of time before she gets taken advantage of or worse. Just in the few minutes we were with her, her vulnerability was obvious as more and more attention from the opposite sex was growing. So we decided it was time to act. She got in the van with us and we took her to a private clinic where her baby got the attention needed. On the way, through the winding roads, she told us she was scared, we assured her that we were here to help her and that everything would be fine. But it was easy to see that she would have gotten in the car with anyone, she was desperate. Thankfully, we got to her first. God put her in our path, we were able to give her baby the correct medications, feed her, make sure she was in no danger, give her money for the journey home, and get her on a bus back to her village.
Our heart is to be a beacon of light, to be carriers of hope, even if it is just an afternoon encounter with a 16 year old girl trying to find medicine and make it back home. As we continue to reach out to young girls in Honduras in need of an encounter with hope, we are reminded that it is no coincidence who has been put in our path, how this restorative work has come together, and the people who have given resources to make this a reality. Together, we’ll change lives, one girl at a time.