One rainy day in Belize, I found myself in the front seat of a pickup truck driving down a creek that had once been a road. The driver assured me the engine wouldn’t stall, but I wasn’t convinced. As we slowly made our way through three feet of water, I prayed I wouldn’t need to climb through the window and push the truck to our destination.
When we finally arrived, I saw an old house on stilts – a typical Belizean home design because of the country’s tropical climate – where Pallotti Catholic High School student Keili Mejia lives. At that moment it hit me. Keili and her family face these flooded roads regularly. How does she get to school each morning? How often does she have to ford through three feet of water just to get out of the neighborhood?
As I walked up the steps to the front door, I was greeted warmly by 13-year-old Keili and her family. She told me she is extremely grateful to have received a scholarship through Cross Catholic Outreach, and is thrilled for the opportunity to get an education and improve her life.
“I need the scholarship because it is only my dad who works,” she told me. She explained that her father is a security guard, and her mother stays at home to raise her little brother.
This bright-eyed 13-year-old has big plans for the education she’s receiving; she wants to be a pediatric doctor!
Even though Keili faces challenges, like the frequent flooding, she knows she can achieve her dreams with the Lord by her side. Her favorite verse is, “Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’
“You can do anything with God,” she says. “When I want to do something hard, I remember that verse and I know I can do it.”
My concerns about how the family coped with the flooding had been answered: Keili faces her difficulties with confidence with the Lord by her side. Nothing – not the flooded road or her family’s poverty – will stop her from following God’s plan for her life.
When we got back in the car to leave, the road didn’t seem as treacherous as it had before. Keili reminded me of an important truth: what seems hard to me is not hard for God. I can trust him no matter what circumstances I face.