Growing in Spirit

When I came to visit her house, Justina Espinoza greeted me with a warm smile and brought three of her children that happened to be home out to meet me. In the remote mountain community of Sapanani Alto in Bolivia, there aren’t exactly a lot of foreign visitors.

While the village is charming and located amongst beautiful mountain scenery, life is far from easy there. Justina and her husband work as farmers and own a few cows and sheep. Their house, which has earthen walls and a dirt floor, in is very poor condition, and she said the family gets by on subsistence farming—but just barely.

But in this poor and stressful situation, there’s one thing Justina doesn’t have to worry about: medical care.

Justina Espinoza and her three children

Justina Espinoza and her three children.

Our ministry partner, called the San Lucas Foundation, operates a medical clinic in this rural community for poor families like Justina’s. Children receive important immunizations, mothers receive prenatal care and safe deliveries, and families have access to dentistry and medical check-ups, to name just a few of the services provided.

The rural clinic has helped Justina’s family in many ways. All of her six total children were immunized at the clinic against diseases such as measles and mumps. Justina received prenatal care and formula for the children when they were younger to help them grow. Today, they know they can see a doctor if they become sick.

If not for this Catholic clinic’s presence, Justina said she would be forced to take her children to the doctor in the nearest city, Cochabamba, something she and her husband couldn’t afford to do. “The foundation has helped me a lot and my children, too,” Justina said.

The San Lucas Foundation director Maria Theresa Losada Monsalve sent this message of thanks to the generous Catholics who support the rural clinic through Cross Catholic: “I’m thankful to the donors because they are giving financial resources that enable this project to function. By doing that, I’m sure they are growing in spirit.”

Amen! Thank you to the compassionate Catholics who support the clinic, and by doing so support families like Justina’s and do, as Maria Theresa said, grow in spirit through their generosity. God bless you!

-Stephanie J.