This past week has been one of great joy and great sorrow. I knew that Maria, the daughter of German, in Cuesta Arena died the end of April, but I had no idea the loss it would bring to the community. Maria was quiet, went to church every Sunday, and adored her son, Juancito. Upon arrival in Cuesta Arena the first day, Juancito was the first to greet us. I embraced him immediately and nearly broke into tears for his loss. Without knowledge of his loss, you would never know it by the smile on his face and his constant laughing with the missionaries. He instantly became the favorite of the St Pauls group. Juancito now lives with his uncle Yjohnny in a neighboring community but came everyday with Guillermo to Cuesta Arena to play.
At church on Sunday, not only was Juancito there but also Maria’s mother. As soon as she saw me, she instantly approached me to inform me of the family’s loss. She began telling me about Maria and the great loss the family had endured. I embraced her and my eyes began filling with tears. We held each other and cried together for her loss. Her wounds were still fresh but her faith was strong.
Juancito and the family are adjusting. That is the best way to explain it. Germania is forced to have her four children, Orliedy, Heidi, Ordaily, and Jordaily spend more time with their father because Maria watched them when she worked. Juancito now lives outside of Cuesta Arena and is struggling emotionally with the loss of his mother, and surely his best friend. We continue to pray for this family and the struggles they are going through, knowing the God is holding them close. We especially lift up Juancito as he learns to live without his mother. Cholera is affecting more and more people in the Dominican Republic. The newspaper announces every day the death toll. Cholera to us has now not become a disease but a face with a name.