She’s 13 and works 10 hours a Day, But That Day She Got to Just Be a Kid

While visiting our Guatemala Base, Adventures Staff Amie Beth Beadling met a little girl who she will never forget. 

My heart is overwhelmed upon meeting 13-year-old Francesca, a little girl staying with Kellie and the crew at the Adventures Base in Antigua, Guatemala. Kellie met Francesca almost four years ago when her World Race team helped tear down Francesca’s family home to rebuild one with a better foundation.

Francesca’s mother recently had to have surgery forcing Francesca and her 10-year-old brother to drop out of school and become the breadwinners for the family. The scars on her fingers tell the stories of the 6 and a half days a week she and her little brother work sewing jeans in a factory each week—for 10.5 hours a day.

Her dream is to one day have a job that is not as difficult. On the side she makes and sells vibrantly colored bracelets for 5 quetzals (approximately 75 cents) a piece.

Remarkably Kellie was given permission by Francesca’s mother to invite her for a sleepover at the base, which means that weekend was the first time Francesca:

  • left her village
  • swam in a pool
  • saw a flock of more than 5 birds
  • felt cobblestone under her feet
  • sliced an onion, which made her cry and she didn’t know why
  • made pizza
  • sat in a hammock
  • ate a donut
  • took a shower
  • heard someone snort when they laughed

And it was only the second time she’s ridden in car.

That day, Francesca was able to just be a kid. She was filled with awe and wonder, almost as if it were all a dream. Oh, to be like this precious little one and to see things with fresh eyes.

Watching long term missionary Gabe Sanchez interact with Francesca was like watching the Father’s heart for each one of us. He so desperately wants the very best for us and longs for us to know that love.

Kelsey put it so beautifully: “Hoy es un dia llena con cosas bonitas!” or in English: “Today is a day of beautiful things!”

Sometimes discipleship looks like day of firsts. Other times, it’s giving someone the chance to be a kid. Most of all, it’s letting someone know that they are loved, safe, and called out to live in the wonder of God’s love and power.

*First photo by Sarah Baker

We have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: our 2017 Short Term Mission Trips are now open—including short term mission trips to Guatemala! If you would like to serve God in Guatemala in 2017, CLICK HERE to see how you can GO