Sometimes you teach, and sometimes you learn.

Sandy kept texting me, asking if we had a job available, and I kept replying that I would let her know.

This is her story.
“When I graduated from high school, I couldn’t wait to get a job. I didn’t consider the possibility that I wouldn’t find one. I was so full of hope that doubt didn’t enter my mind.

“I don’t remember how many applications I filled out. Most of the time, there were 100 applicants for one job.”
She and her mom worked during the day picking peas, earning $7.50 a day. They cleaned the academy at night.

“And then the pandemic hit. Everything shut down.

“I remember sitting with my mom, wondering how we were going to eat. The academy closed, and you called to tell us we didn’t have to come to work. I remember we were worried.”
Sandy looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You will never know what it meant that you kept paying us. The food you delivered to us, to the community during the pandemic... no one will ever forget that.”
She was smiling, but tears rolled down her face. A wave of emotions hit both of us. We were both smiling and crying.

Sandy kept texting me, asking if we had a job available, and I kept replying that I would let her know.
In the midst of the battle, which poured into other areas of southern Palestine, Joshua spoke to the Lord, saying: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon” (10:12).
“So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel”

Joshua 10-12
I love how Joshua prayed boldly in the midst of battle. Joshua didn’t pray and wait. Joshua prayed and fought. He prayed with confidence, and he fought with confidence.

Like Joshua, Sandy prayed and fought. “We worked 8-10 hours and then cleaned the academy at night.”

Sandy cried her prayers. “Lord, You know our needs. You know we’re desperate. Just give me a chance.”

As I talked with Sandy, I wondered how many times I’d ever cried my own prayers about a job or about food. How many times had I ever been desperate like that?
Sandy’s neighbors (extended family) started to tell her, “What a waste it was to go to school. It would be better for you to get a job at a factory so you can help your mom.”
(If you don’t know my view on factories in Guatemala, they’re basically sweatshops and should be illegal.)
“But my goal wasn’t to work at a factory.
“They told me, ‘You’re going to end up like your mom.’”

I asked, “What did they mean?”

“They thought I would get pregnant and be a single mom.”

“Why would they say that???”

She smiled, “I don’t know. They always say humiliating things to me disguised as love.

“But I didn’t care. Truly. I just needed an opportunity. Just one. So, I kept texting you.” She laughed.

“If you would have said, ‘Clean my house.’ I would have done it. I’m not too proud to clean. With a cleaning job, we can eat.”
"I began to get depressed.
I cried every day for six months.
My mom was worried.
"God. Why me?

"If you love me, why are you letting this happen to us?
"I started to believe the lies.

"I would be a single mom.
I wasn’t capable.
It was a waste of my time to study.
"I felt forgotten.
“And then you texted me, telling me that you had a job for me.”
“I immediately started to cry. I felt bad. I repented.

“I’m sorry God.
I didn’t know what you had for me.
I thought you had forgotten me.
I doubted You.
I wasn’t patient.
I’m sorry.”

Who does that? Who falls to their knees in Godly sorrow when God answers their prayers?
Mostly, we celebrate. Mostly, we forget to give glory to the One who answered our prayers.

Sandy's given me a new perspective. Am I desperate for God? Or do I have it mostly handled? When I pray, do I repent for my lack of faith, or do I just celebrate the blessing?

Thank you for walking this journey with us... with Sandy.

(Sandy tutors four kids from El Rosario who were born deaf or severely hard of hearing. On weekends, she's studying to be a speech therapist at a nearby university.)

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