A Home For Esmerelda's Family!

A few months ago, on Tara’s blog, she introduced you to the newest family in our family preservation program! Esmeralda has four daughters living with her, two of which have special needs. Jennifer, who is thirteen has Muscular Dystrophy and is bound to a wheelchair and Daniela, who is nine was born blind. Esmerelda has endured the difficulty of raising children with special needs on their family’s severely low income, but providing for her family became more difficult a few years ago, when her husband died, leaving her to care for their children on one income. Despite all of this, Esmeralda is a fighter and takes the initiative to care for her daughters in the best way she knows how. 

This July, I spent a week with Esmerelda and her daughters, and I saw firsthand the one-room shack in the slum that they live in. Their home that has no water or electricity is down a steep and rocky pathway next to the river. This pathway makes it nearly impossible to get Jennifer up to the main road where the access to transportation is. She needs to be carried up the steep pathway, and Esmerelda is no longer strong enough to carry her. On top of this, when there is a lot of rain, Esmerelda and her daughters cannot stay in their home because their home fills with water. 

It is so clear that their family has had so much working against them, yet when I walked into  Esmerelda’s family’s current one-room house, on the wall was painted, “Si Dios es por nosotros, ¿quién contra nosotros?” Which is Romans 8:31, that says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” If anyone has a reason to believe that God is not for them, it is Esmerelda, who has endured hardship her entire life. She has fought against, “trouble, hardship,  persecution, hunger, destitution, danger, and death” (Romans 8:35), yet she believes and proclaims that nothing and no one can be against her and her daughters, because she believes to her core that God is for them, despite their circumstances.

We have watched God prove the truth of this verse, how He is for them in a few amazing ways. A few years ago, a high school student who came on a short-term mission trip went back home inspired to raise support for a family in a similar situation as Esmerelda’s. He raised enough money to be able to build a home for a family in need, however, that family moved to a new region and turned down the offered assistance. We have been waiting for a family with an obvious need to enter our family preservation program, that had the desire to see their family stay together and loved while having a longterm plan to practically keep them together. After getting to know Esmerelda’s heart for her family and her passion to do whatever it takes to improve their lives, we knew that we had found the perfect family to use the money for a home that had been raised. Identity Mission partnered with a local pastor who committed to overseeing the construction of their home and is committed to surrounding Esmerelda’s family with the support and new community that they need. 

While I was in San Pedro Sula in July with one of our short-term mission teams that were beginning to dig and build the foundation of Esmeralda’s home alongside the pastor and his team. The team spent time with Esmerelda and her daughters while working on the construction of their home and they quickly built a strong relationship with their family in just a few short days. The semester before the trip, one of the high school students on the team had been collecting shoes for a school project that she brought on the trip with her, and we mean A LOT of shoes (250 pounds to be exact)! After serving with Esmerelda’s family and working on their house, the team had heard the story of how Esmerelda had been working towards having her own business of selling shoes, but often that meant traveling hours in a bus to El Salvador in order to get the shoes at a better price in order to make a profit. The high school student who collected the shoes decided that the best way to continue making a long-term impact in Esmerelda’s family was to give the shoes to Carlos, our Family Preservation Director, to be able to supply Esmerelda with a kickstart of products for her business! She had no idea when she was collecting the shoes that she would be making such a deep impact in a family’s life! 

The construction on Esmerelda’s home is scheduled to be finished soon. They will live on a main road where Jennifer can easily access transportation. Their home is completely handicap accessible and is designed to have a storefront where Esmerelda can sell shoes and some of her delicious food, without having to leave their home, where she can care for her daughters. 

We love when we get to see God prove in the most practical ways that He is for His people,  and when He strengthens their faith that nothing can be against them. We love how He provided in the most specific ways, far better than we could ever plan. (And we love that He used a few high school students and their passion for the least of these to make it happen, we could write a whole separate blog on that alone!!)

Si Dios es por nosotros, ¿quién contra nosotros? / If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31


Erica Switzer

Identity Mission, COO