As Rosita swings on the swing set, the soft breeze tousles her curls while warm rays of sunshine bathe her surroundings and whisper to her of a Father she is just getting to know. There in the back and forth of her swinging this small child is removed from the extenuating circumstances that are the reality of her short life.
She is the youngest of seven siblings who recently came to live in the PAHS Home. These children’s lives recently were a nightmare. Four hours travel time away in the capital, Tegucigalpa, their mother is dying of a lung disease and only a miracle can save her.
Two months ago, as the children lay sleeping, their father disappeared during the night. “When we woke up in the morning he just wasn’t there anymore. He left without telling us good-bye”, Rosita remembers. At the age of six she already is feeling deeply the repercussions of abandonment.
“Before coming here we lived in the city with an aunt. She took us to live with her when our older sister went to be with our mother in the hospital. She locked us up and then brought us back to our house. We were alone and scared. There were many men close to our house and my siblings and I would hide. When someone would knock on our door we would be very still and quiet so that they would not know we were inside”, Mercy tells us. At the age of fourteen she has become the primary caretaker to the younger siblings in the absence of their oldest sister, 17, who has gone to be at the bedside in the hospital to care for their dying mother.
Now the fear that these children lived in has been left to one side, and in its place they now get to enjoy the company of other youngsters who they can talk to and play with. And they get to eat three meals a day and to live in a room that was specially decorated just for them by Gary and Jennifer, a couple who God used to remove them from the nightmare they were living in.
Part of a visiting group who stayed on the PAHS campus while they worked construction in a nearby site, Gary y Jennifer came across the abandoned siblings when they were out distributing food baskets to the community. Observing the conditions that Mercy and her younger siblings lived in they decided to intervene and find a safer situation for the children.
Safety, now they have it. There is no more fear. And even though they are not fully aware of the seriousness of their mother’s struggle to live their little hearts are with her and their hope is placed in the Father– their Heavenly Father– they have just come to know.
“I didn’t know any songs before, but we just learned ‘Let us give thanks to God’. We feel that there must be Somebody that loves us so much to provide us with all of this. And you say that Jesus loves us. Well I am thankful to know this Father that will not abandon us”, concludes Mercy.
Meanwhile, Rosita jumps off of the swing set, and runs to the arms of her older sister. The smile on her face is evidence that just like this sibling bond of love held them together in the dense darkness of the trial they have come through, now they have the security of that Heavenly Father, they are just getting to know, who will always be with them just like He always has been before they knew it.
Thanks to a visiting volunteer group and the watchfulness and concern of one special couple, the siblings are now adapting to their new home at PAHS.