Aida and her girls

She walks toward me with that beautiful, gold-toothed grin.

Her tiny frame bedecked in a lovely skirt.  Her hair pulled back from the morning's visit to church.   Her eyes twinkling with the knowledge that the gifts she holds in her hands will bring a smile to my face.


Today, she has 9 plants that she has carefully selected and packed in plastic to transplant to our land.   She kneels in the dirt, always smiling... digs with her hands as she explains that everything she plants grows.  I wonder to myself if she knows what it means to have a green thumb or if the idiom would just confuse.

Mama to Yaneli and Dareli and 7 others.

Foster Mama to 5 orphaned children that have arrived at their small concrete house and have been invited to stay.

Wife to the same man for her entire adult life;  a rare find.

Friend to many... my friend.

Prayer warrior when conflict arises in the neighborhood.  Prayer warrior for her own children.

Leader in her church.   Volunteer.  

Lover of Jesus.   Teacher to many.


Yaneli & Dareli... 2 of Aida's daughters.  We have known these 2 and their siblings as long as we have had land out here in Kasaubila.   They have an ear for the distinct sound of our vehicle as we make our way down the red dirt roads.    As we turn into our property, they always come running.

And now... they eat and sleep alongside our family.   With the arrival of the additional 5 orphans in their house, plus a very sick grandfather and grandmother, there is little space in their house.  There are many mouths to feed and little means by which to do so.  Marvin and Aida have asked us to help with the girls until the outdoor kitchen that was under construction can be completed and turned into a bedroom.   Soon.

And then... then what?   There will still be 18 people in two small spaces.   There will still be insatiable physical hunger.   There will still be poverty and a lack of material.

And yet... there will also still be evening 'church' at their house in the pitch black darkness.  Songs sung to a God they know and love; Scripture read by sweet tender voices.   The only light that shines is The Light.

My heart knows not what to do with all of this.

These two are a part of me now... as is their mother, Aida.   They call me Mama Laura... I have no idea why.   They love so deeply and without reservation.    They crave attention and food.  They eat like ravenous wolves all. day. long.   They love their family.   They love my family.   They laugh at our oddities.   They take us in.    They pray with fervor and believe that God answers.  

They teach me.


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