Unpacking what I see on the field is the most difficult thing of what I do at Amor. While it is not the first time I’ve seen poverty it still gets me. Not the kind of poverty in which people simply can’t afford “nice things” but the kind that submerges them in despair and hopelessness. The kind of poverty that has experienced all kinds of horrors. The kind of poverty that is the result and the cause of the way they live. The kind that nearly has killed all the faith. The kind where you can’t help to question where is God in all of this. God forgive me, I thought I knew, but I had no idea and I know your heart is heavy for your people.
When I talk to our families, I usually get the feeling their stories had been waiting to be told. Sometimes a question can lead to a confession, a secret of the soul, a pain so big that tears my heart.
Yesterday was particularly difficult for me, among the people I met was a woman victim of sexual abuse by her grandfather, a former gang member with death on the eyes and a tattoo that confirmed it, a group of children abandoned all day by their parents, who are aware of just how poor they are, a child hurting by the divorce of her parents, a single teen mother who wishes she could’ve been a doctor and the guy at the border who lost his limbs in a factory accident.
By the time I reached the border my head was trying to make sense of it all. In every story, there was hope, and I was excited that at least in some way Amor had played a part. Yet, it felt like it was a burden I did not want to carry. What purpose will my writing have? What do I say? How do I say it? I’m so small God, and the problems so huge.
God called me to each one of those families. Picked at random I arrive to an appointment ready for me by the creator of the Universe. My calling is to be a witness to their suffering. Suffering I thought I knew, I’ve seen before, I’ve read before, but really I can’t wrap my head around. Because I can’t understand it I haven’t stopped crying.
Yesterday I had company. I’ve described how scary is to ride some of the roads in certain neighborhoods, so I asked someone to go with me and drive me around since I’m a newbie. I’m not sure how much she got out of the stories; we really didn’t talk about them. While we were moving from family to family we were more distracted on how to get from point A to point B without ending on a ditch.
At every home, I’m biting my tongue not to ask the question in my heart, should I ask? Should I ask what’s behind the burnt scars in her hand? Should I ask about his dad? And even when I don’t ask, as I put away my camera, and made them laugh with my silly antics, their eyes will tell me everything. Sometimes, is a please-don’t-leave just yet, sometimes a thank you, every time a kind of strength I know I don’t possess. At that moment all I can offer in return is prayer. Their faces will hunt me long into the night. I could never do it alone. Thank you God for showing me through, thank you for showing me what breaks your heart, thank you for my calling even if I don’t know the outcome. Thank you.