Note: This post by Tita Evertsz originally appeared in Spanish on the Vidas Plenas blog, and has been translated and reposted here with permission.
Not for the first time, we are having a stressful time in La Limonada. Although we always have different situations like these, I want to tell you about the reality of our current situation, and also about my great admiration for our team members whose commitment to God is so genuine, real, and intense.
The people of La Limonada are known to be strong as the lemon, as the saying goes. I can attest that they are intense, passionate, and real people—and that they know who they are without a doubt. In most cases, life has not taught them very many good things. They have not benefited from the vast opportunities that others have had the good fortune to experience, and even to squander.
Currently we are living in a time of great tension. Gunfire and encounters between “los muchachos” have only resulted in one injury until now, thank God, but the community is quite tense because of the great danger and because at any moment shots can ring out. Some children are too scared to go outside, and many mothers are afraid to go where they need to. There is a lot of tension in the little streets of our beautiful communities.
I cannot keep silent about this story, nor can I simply hide the light that shines in these people, because the Bible says that the light is to be put up high to illuminate the darkness. I hope to do that, to raise it up, to make it known.
After a recent fight, one of the psychologists was indignant, frustrated, and angry, because despite the risk to leave their homes—despite the fact that leaving home literally means taking your life in your hands—even so there are children coming to the academy. But as she expressed her deep indignation and frustration, she fell silent for a moment, looked down below and with a sigh said, “But if they do not come to the academy, they won’t receive their plate of food.” Indeed, some mothers send their children despite the risks because if they miss their mealtime here, they may not have another opportunity that day to receive it.
Life in our community is beautiful but sad at the same time. It is admirable but hard.
– Tita Evertsz