Finding Joy Again: One Mother's Journey

Posted on May 21, 2012 by David McGee

Becoming a mother is such a wonderful experience. There is little else that compares to the joy of holding a newborn in your arms, helping a baby to learn to eat, encouraging a toddler to learn to walk. However, for mothers all over the world, these joys are overshadowed by the anxiety of enabling their infants and children to survive at all. Along with clean water and nutritious food, adequate shelter is all too often a dream that fails to become a reality. That is why a local church in Pajigua, El Salvador partnering with ENLACE to reach out to mothers who are struggling to raise children, make a living and participate in their community.
One such woman is Rosa Andrade (70) who lived with her daughter Marta (35) and five grandchildren in a very old and unsafe home made of bamboo sticks and a tin roof. Daily chores such as hauling water from the well and gathering firewood take most of their time but bring no income to help repair their home. At one time, Rosa cooked tamales and pastries and sold them door-to-door earning $15 per week. But over the last few years, Rosa’s health failed, and she eventually lost her hearing. Marta had begun to sell yucca to passers-by but couldn't make very much. Meanwhile, her mother had become depressed and withdrawn.

Rosa and Marta in front of their new home

Leaders from the local church knew that helping these mothers by building them a new home would transform their lives. After receiving the good news, Marta felt utterly relieved. To fix their old home on their income, said Marta, would have taken an eternity. Using their money for food and other expenses has given her a sense of peace. And Rosa expressed a deep joy--something she hasn’t felt in a long time--because now her daughter, grandchildren and herself would have a real and safe home in which to live, work and grow.