“My husband left.”
Sadly, these have become words that don’t shock me anymore. After 2 years of working in the small village of El Rosario, husbands leaving has become part of normal life and a part of our ministry. Like the time Silvia’s husband called to tell her he had 2 other families and he couldn’t support her anymore. Or when Glendi’s husband left for a “visit” to the city and never came back. It is an all too common occurrence.
As tears streamed down Katerin’s face, she asked if she could tell me the story. Katerin has 5 children. Her two oldest come to our high school class every Saturday and her middle child, Antony, is one of David’s Vencedor Boys. “I haven’t share this with anyone. I’ve been trying to be strong for my kids but I don’t know what to do. My husband left to go to the United States. He hasn’t had a job in months and he wants to provide for our family. He’s a good man, Lindsey. He left last Sunday with a coyote guide to try to cross the border.”
My heart sank.
“He left me with $100 and promised that as soon as he crossed and found a job he would send us money so my kids can eat and have a better life. But ever since he left, I find my boys in their room crying. They need their dad.” My mind started racing with questions. How long would their $100 last? What if he didn’t make it across? What if he was caught? Where does he plan to get a job? How would they pay the coyote?
“He called me last night and told me they tried to cross but were spotted. Now they are hiding in a basement. He said the dessert is really tough. I just want him to be safe or to come back home. I know that we need money, but I also need my husband… I can’t do this alone.”
Fast forward 3 days…
“I’m going to go check on Katerin”, I told David as we pulled into El Rosario. As I walked to her house, I prayed God would give me wisdom in how to encourage her. When I got there, her oldest son was rushing out the door late for school. With a huge smile on his face he told me his mom wasn’t home but he would be sure to tell her I came to visit.
Later that day, as I was listening to David teach his boys about God’s power in saving Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the flames, I caught a glimpse of Katerin waving me down out of the corner of my eye.
After a huge embrace she whispered, “My husband is back!”
Her husband took off with a group of 40 others looking for new opportunities. He spent 3 days traveling through the deserts of Mexico. Most of the group couldn’t endure the heat and harsh conditions and were abandoned by the Coyote in the desert. Out of the 40, only 4 were able to cross over the wall at the border. They were picked up about 2 hours outside of Houston and flown back to Guatemala.
As I sat there, talking to both of them, I could see love for him overflow from his wife and children, as well as the contrasting pain in the father’s eyes at his sense of failure. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment when Katerin stared into her husband’s eyes and said with such love, “We may end up homeless, but at least we’ll be together.”
Katerin is no longer struggling alone, but their story is far from over. They still have no source of income. Without an education, it is difficult to find work. They still have to pay a large sum of money to the coyote, despite being caught. They even mortgaged their house in order to take out the initial loan. It feels as if they are up against a wall with nowhere to turn.
And sometimes, that’s exactly where we need to be. When we finally let go and say “God, I can’t do it alone anymore.” We give God the space to work in and through us, so He can show up in a mighty way.
Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. –Deut 4:39
Please join us in praying that this family would learn to trust in God and that He would show them just how much they are loved by Him.