The first time I met Doña Elvarita in January, she said to us missionaries, “I don’t have anything to give you except my joy, so I give all of my joy to you.” This beautiful woman has become one of my regular home visits here in General Cepeda. Every Monday morning I visit her at her home, and I believe she brings me more joy and Jesus than I could ever bring her.
Elvarita is 90 years old. Her husband died thirteen years ago, and they were never able to have children of their own. She deeply loves and cares for all of her many, many nieces and nephews, and in fact has two of them living with her. She has very little and works hard to take care of her home and nephews.
In my visits with her we talk, sing, and read the Bible, which she is no longer able to read on her own because of her eyesight. She is incredibly faithful, and in fact used to assist Frank and Genie, our founders, when they lived in Mexico. At the end of our visits whenever I offer to pray with her, she is the one leading the prayer and asking God to protect and take care of me, her Perlita. (She has the hardest time saying my name, so she calls me her “Little Pearl” because I told her my name means pearl.)
Last week we had a mission trip here, and it was definitely the most awesome group I’ve ever been a part of. Monday morning I took three girls with me to visit Elvarita, and what a blessing it was! She was so excited to see us that we ended up in a huge group hug and began dancing together in a circle. We talked and sang and I shared her story for the girls, and Carla read a psalm from the Bible. Despite being hungry and concerned for her sick nephews, Elvarita shared with us such joy that we left laughing and smiling.
This woman has become in many ways my Mexican grandmother. Her love for Jesus and trust in Him, even in her deepest need, always reminds me to praise God in my trials. Her joy at seeing me makes me want to always give such joy to the people I meet. Her faith in God is incredible, and no matter how deep her sadness, I always see her lift her eyes to Jesus and thank him for loving her. Thank you Lord for your beautiful daughter!