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Rosa

Rosa was waiting patiently for the local bus in the center of town to take her home to her neighbourhood. The bus was late, as usual. Then she saw a woman standing across the street, cradling a small child in her arms, and clearly agitated. The child had just vomited and now lay, limp and unresponsive, in the woman’s arms.  

From the woman’s dress, Rosa could see that she was an indigenous Mixtec from the mountains. She watched as the woman clutched the sick child and entered a pharmacy nearby. Desperate, she tried to ask for help in her broken Spanish. The owner, like many Latinos in Mexico, obviously considered her to be just another dirty, ignorant indio. Haughtily, she commanded her clerk to drive the woman out of the store. It was more than Rosa could bear.

Angry, Rosa marched across the street to the pharmacy to intervene, but the owner just ignored her. Rosa stormed out of the pharmacy and proceeded to flag down a taxi, bundle the mother and child into the back seat and then climb in herself. It was going to be far more expensive than the bus she had planned on taking that afternoon, but she didn’t care. The woman needed help. Together they made their way across town to the hospital. Knowing that she would need to act as an advocate for this woman, Rosa went straight to the reception desk, dealt briskly with the paperwork and then demanded to see a doctor. 

The child was badly dehydrated, which meant an overnight stay. Rosa saw this tired mother settle down on the floor to hold vigil beside her child’s bed. No one offered the woman so much as a pillow.  

Rosa returned the next day to complete the paperwork for discharge, then took the woman to the pharmacy and paid for the child’s medication. She spent time drawing little pictures on paper to communicate dosages, and then gave her enough money to get back to her mountain village. The woman and child left, having experienced the hands and feet of Jesus in a tangible way.

These are the kind of friends that we are privileged to know and to journey with, working together to bring healing, justice and salvation to the indigenous people of Oaxaca. We long to see God’s Kingdom come - here on earth, as it is in heaven. 

 

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