So, there is a little girl that I work with. Her name is Arianna. She has only been living at the older girl’s home for about four months. She and her siblings were very famous here in Cochabamba for a while. A newspaper article told their story. She and her four siblings were left in a locked room for 3 days without food or anything to drink. However, it was normal for the mom in the family to do this but only for one day. When three days had past without sight of the mom returning home, the neighbors were worried and called the social services department. The social services department acted quickly with this phone call by taking them out of the home. Then, all five kids were placed with my ministry site because we had enough space in both homes to keep them together.
Now that Arianna and her sisters had been living at the home for quite some time, they have been invited to go on the annual vacation with the rest of the girls from the home. This year’s destination was Potosi and Sucre. These places are 12-15 hours away from Cochabamba. We used a bus to get there. It was during the bus ride that something amazing happened between Arianna and I. We were sitting next each other and someone had given her a gummie bear sort of treat. It was not very big which meant it could be eaten in one bite or maybe two bites. She took this small piece of candy and broke it in half. I was confused about what she was doing. Was she breaking it in half to save it for later or breaking it in half to savor the flavor more? She then looked at me and with her hand outstretched, she offered this half of her candy to me. She used no words, only gestures.
I think about this moment a lot every time that I see her at the girl’s home. I don’t view her as this little 5 year old girl who came from a sad situation, but as someone whose heart is full of love. She is a giver of what she has. For me, it was this tiny piece of candy that she offered me. And yet, this small piece of candy tasted sweeter than anything I have ever had in my life. It is a moment that I will always carry in my heart.