Two weeks ago, our Guatemala ministry partner Esperanza de Vida rescued a starving teenage girl named Mirza Lopez, who weighed in at a vanishingly small 19 pounds. That’s less than the size of my 7-month-old son! Mirza also suffers from paralysis as a result of contracting polio at a young age. She lost her mother three years ago to an unknown illness, and her father is a poor field worker who has nothing to feed his children when the crops fail.
I struggle to believe that Mirza is really 14 years old – or maybe I just don’t want to believe it. Where do you compartmentalize this kind of horror in your brain so you can eat your lunch, finish your workday and return to your comfortable home with a refrigerator full of food? How do you ask God to fulfill your dreams when there is a nightmare next door – a nightmare of skin and bones and atrophe and chronic, wasting hunger?
At least I know that for Mirza, the story doesn’t end there. The staff at Esperanza de Vida’s emergency nutrition center cleaned her up, gave her new clothes and began the long process of bringing her out of severe malnutrition. I know she is surrounded by love and prayers; I know she is receiving the best possible care; and I know she won’t just be fed and discarded. They’ll make sure her family is equipped with the knowledge and resources to maintain Mirza’s health. Or if necessary, they’ll keep her at the ministry’s own orphanage.
Please keep Mirza in your prayers. Her condition is extremely delicate and she really needs a miracle right now.