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By: Nicole Greiner on: June 21, 2012
Story Type: Story    

Ana's Story

 

“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” Psalm 68:5

Never before have I beheld this amazing truth as powerfully as I did when I met Ana. Something about her struck me. Maybe it was her story, maybe it was the light that shown in her eyes despite all she had been through. But there in the rural town of Siguatepeque, Honduras, I witnessed God as the Father of the fatherless and the protector of widows.

The daughter of an alcoholic father and an absent mother, Ana grew up abandoned alongside her nine brothers and sisters. She never felt the love and warmth of parents who truly cared about her. She became a mother as a young teenager. Three more children came shortly after, and she married somewhere in between. I met her at the age of 26, just after her husband had been murdered.

It is estimated that 80% of all rural people in Honduras live in poverty. They have little to no access to basic goods such as food, shelter, potable water, sanitation systems, even roads and markets. Rural women and young people are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the country. (See details from UN report.)

When I heard her story, I had such respect for her. All she had ever known throughout her life was abandonment, yet left in an impossible situation with four mouths to feed; she didn’t follow in her mother’s footsteps.

Even though there are an estimated 170,000+ orphans in Honduras, Ana refused to let her children become just another number. She worked at the local landfill, sorting through garbage and salvaging anything that she could sell to put food on the table.

This is common among the poverty-stricken in Honduras. There are approximately 300 children working at the dump in Tegucigalpa (the country’s capital) alone, some as young as five and six years old, for less than a dollar a day.

The landfill in Siguatepeque is where a pastor from a tiny local church with a profound passion for poverty met her and reached out to her. He began to show her a love that she had never known — the love of Christ.  

He provided food for her, a job and a temporary home — all asking nothing in return.

For Ana, it was nothing short of a miracle.

After experiencing the love and care of her heavenly Father, and realizing that it was Him who had been protecting her all along, she gave her life to Him.

I had the privilege of being at her home the day that her sister came to know Jesus. It was such a blessing to witness God completely alter the future of this family for generations to come.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27.

[Hope Coffee is currently working with that pastor to build Ana and her family her own home. They recently purchased her land and are expecting a team of missionaries to come and help build her future. Stay up-to-date with the progress.]

See the video of Ana's Story.

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