Cuesta Arena

As most people know and some have experienced, Cuesta Arena is a special place. It is the anchor for my soul and the happiness in my life. This week I read my journal entry for the first time I ventured up that slope of sand:
“today as we drove through Santiago I fell into a deep thought and a feeling of comfort rushed over me. As we started to drive more into the country, I thought this is it. I didn’t know where we were going but my heart knew. As we climbed a hill in our bus, we stopped at a little pavilion with a cross on it. As we exited the bus we were greeted by a few children, then a few more, and after 10 minutes we were surrounded by 60 children. We started playing soccer, talking, playing hand games, and they danced for us. I fell in love. I held a 1 year old (Yensis) and my heart melted. I knew this was the place.” written 1/17/2008
Last Friday as our plane descended on Santiago, my heart leaped for joy as it did every summer as we turned into the gates of Warren W Willis UM Camp. The anxiety of driving up that now familiar hill was more extreme this trip than any other. This was the longest I had been away from Cuesta Arena and a little girl I care about deeply had been hospitalized for 5 weeks due to illness. Some of her hospital time she spent in a coma and though we were excited for her to be home, she has a long recovery road ahead of her. Oriliedy is a beautiful 8 year old girl who loved school, reading, coloring, and laughing. Tonight I watched a video of her just last July and it broke my heart to see her full of energy when she is now struggling just to walk and smile. I know that God is bigger than it all and will give her the strength to heal and some day laugh and run.
As the years pass and I become more involved in the lives of the people of Cuesta Arena, it is difficult to know that I can not do everything. I can not solve all the problems they will encounter in their lives. They need a Savior that will walk with them and give them the strength to endure the hardship and bless the beauty. The one thing I can do is renew their hope and help them press on. God is great and powerful and will surely shine through in the end!!

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