Karina is one of our teachers of “Los Pequeños” (The Little Ones) in our church in Puyupungo. She loves to sing songs with them, teach them to make art projects, and hear them shout “Gloria a Dios” (Glory to God).
It’s the only time Karina can be herself, can laugh, can enjoy the children, instead of feeling like she must care for them. Why? Because Karina is 16 and the oldest of 6 children. Karina’s responsibilities include cooking meals, washing the laundry (this means, taking a mountain of clothes, walking 15 minutes to the river, washing them in the river, carrying that wet heavy, mountain of laundry back to her house and hanging them out to dry on anything and anywhere she can) and she is always in charge of her younger siblings, especially her baby brother. She even must bring him to church with her for services (She assists in both children and adults). And all of this is not acknowledged with the smallest “Thank you”, but instead is expected of her.
Sometimes she thinks she’s hiding behind her smile, but we can clearly see the sadness in Karina’s eyes for the hard life she lives. But she knows that her tears roar like thunder in the ears of an Almighty God and she knows that He hears every time she calls out His name. She rejoices in the church, her place of solace, of comfort, of joy and she never misses a Monday or a Thursday. Jesus said, “Suffer the children to come unto me…..”