This is Johanna. To say that she has had a rough time of it the past few years is a gross understatement. Five years ago, Johanna was shot as she was leaving her house. Choices that she was making and the company she was keeping left her with a bullet hole and the loss of her leg function. Two years ago, her mother moved in to help with her 5 children after Johanna was diagnosed with cancer.
Being paralyzed and dying from cancer, one would only expect her to be mournful and absent of hope and life. Instead, Johanna continues to fight and is filled with hope of a long life. We are praying with her that this cancer won’t take her body, but it’s hard for the team in Guatemala to see the suffering on her face. Johanna’s prayers for healing are being lifted up to the heavens, with her physical body wasting away to skin and bones, her vision completely gone, and being unable to care for herself.
Last week, Tita and the team visited with Johanna and her family. Tita felt led to tell Johanna’s mother that she needed to ask for forgiveness, without knowing how this would be taken. When Tita broached the subject, Johanna began to cry, telling her mother that she didn’t feel loved by her. This resulted in a softening of both of their hearts. There was an emotional healing that went beyond the physical and touched the souls of mother and daugher.
The violence, the lack of medical care, food, hope…. It can threaten to consume souls and take hearts. But, in some, hope still remains.
-Written by Bethany Streng, Volunteer Blogger