When does helping hurt?
Genoveva, the mentor at the girls’ house, received a teary telephone call from her mom high in the Andes Mountains. She had hurt her knee and was unable to harvest her corn. Mamita Justina had asked David and me to come visit her a number of times through the years. Contemplating the need, we decided this was the year! We took Genoveva, her sister, John, the mentor of the boys’ home, and two of the guys to Ayacucho to help with the harvest. After an hour plane ride, we rented a vehicle to take us several hours higher and higher, along switchbacks often crowded with sheep, shepherds or donkeys all loaded up with a week’s worth of supplies.
Here is Mamita Justina in her kitchen preparing us chicken soup.
Accommodations were definitely not 5 star, but the views were heavenly!
It was much harder work than we had anticipated, as the field was on the side of a mountain. Some suffered from altitude sickness.
It is difficult to believe that this 80-year- old woman could do this all by herself!
You may wonder … why not just give her enough money to cover what she could make selling her corn and save the expense and time of travel. Wouldn’t that be more expedient? Well, that is when helping hurts.
First, it is all about relationships! Genoveva was ecstatic about all of us helping her mom. John and the boys had an incredible opportunity for discipleship. Second, Mamita Justina uses her corn all year to trade for goods; she has a position in the village as an equal. There was a village widow who was labeled a “millionaire” because her son had come in and built her a house. Since that day, she has been ostracized and no one helps her. Mamita Justina needed a product to trade, partners and friends in her mountain village for the whole year; Not a one-time donation. She was overjoyed by the company of her daughters and us, constantly singing in her native Quechua as she trudged along! In addition, she had the tremendous satisfaction of having the corn that she had planted harvested!
We were blessed! Please pray for health for our dear precious Mamita Justina. In His love, Gina and David