In our Puyupungo church, every Monday is Children’s Church. When we arrive to the community of Encañada, the children are always ready and waiting. They literally burst into screams of excitement as the truck pulls up so they can get in and go to the church!
One of the older children, Elisabet, 13, also gets in the truck there and since she does, we assumed she lived in the community, too. But after getting to know her more, she told us she does not live there. She walks there to meet the truck, so she can have the opportunity to go to church. I still had no idea the sacrifice she was making until just a few weeks ago.
She told me she was going to have to quit coming to church because her dad was complaining that she shouldn’t be walking home in the dark (it’s about 7:15 or so when she arrives home). We usually finish church between 5:30 and 6, so we asked what the delay was. She said, “Hermana (Sister), I have to walk one hour to get to my house”. My heart sank!!!! A child, who so much wants to know love, that she walks one hour to meet our truck to go to church, then walks one hour to get back to her house after service. Where she lives, there is no road, only a small path, so our truck cannot drive to pick her up. And no one in her family comes to church with her. She does this on her own. How many adults reading this would make the kind of sacrifice Elisabet does every week and sometimes on our Thursday service too??? “….for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”
(And FYI, we prayed for her and Jesus took care of the situation and her dad permits her to still come to church).