The team arrived on Sunday afternoon. No activities were planned the first day in order to give the team time to unpack and get settled in for the very busy week ahead. But one hour after arrival, there was an urgent knock at the front gate of the Children's Home. A distraught lady named Gisel who is a member of our sister church in Choloma-Centro Chistiana La Roca, had been in prayer and felt the Lord prompt her to come to our home. She did not know that our team had just arrived but was so relieved as she shared her heartbreaking story.
In her home village, nearly three hours away from Choloma, there was a little 12-year old girl that her family had told her about, named Marilou. The little girl’s step-father was an abusive alcoholic who drank up all of the family's small weekly income. To make matters worse, certain men in the village had begun to notice the little girl every morning as she made her way to the store to buy corn for the family’s tortillas and to get water for them to drink. The men were offering Marilou candy and were asking her to perform sexual acts for them. The mother did all she could to shield Marilou from these men, but soon she heard word that the step-father was negotiating to sell Marilou to one of the men. She was terrified and knew she couldn’t protect her little girl. But who would help? She did not know that Gisel’s family had asked her to pray for Marilou, and that the Lord had answered Gisel’s prayers by sending her to CBC.
Before sunrise that Tuesday, Gisel and members of HPC drove to the little village up in the mountains. They found the little girl’s home and were invited in by the anxious family into a small living area. The step-father was not there. The mother arrived shortly after the team did, dabbing her tearful eyes with an old piece of newspaper. She shared her fear for her little girl. She shared how she had prayed for God to help her protect Marilou. She asked if we could help. That day she gave CBC orphanage custody and we were able to take Marilou out of that place, away from the predators, and back to the CBC Children's Home.
As the team was preparing to help Marilou into the SUV one of them asked if she needed to get her clothes. She responded that the threadbare shirt, worn jeans, and thin sandals were all the clothes she owned. The team from HPC and CBC stopped on the way home and bought Marilou new clothes. They also were able to wash her hair out of a rain barrel at a local service station. Marilou was very pleased because she had never had her hair washed with shampoo. When the team arrived in Choloma, they learned that Marilou had never had a birthday party, so they bought cake, ice cream, and a pinata and threw a grand celebration for the little girl who was crying with joy as we prayed over her.