Monday, May 16, 2011

From a Dirt Floor to the Suburbs

Before we came back to the States for Jonah and Silas' birth, Bernabe asked us if we would try and find her daughter.
Bernabe is a wonderful lady and a dear friend of ours who lives in Santa Rita. Her daughter Berta was working with a human rights group during the Guatemalan civil war. Due to threats on her life along with other violent events she was given an immediate visa to the States to protect her. Bernabe and the rest of her family fled to Honduras during that time. Over a decade has passed since they have been able to contact each other. All we had was an old address in Louisville, KY. This trip we made it a priority to go through Louisville on our way back to FL.

This afternoon we made it to the address Bernabe gave us. No one was home. As Jimmy was walking back to the van, a car pulled up. It was the couple who lived there and they were very kind to the stranger they found in their yard!
It turns out that they befriended Berta when she first came to the States. She lived with them a while and they took good care of her and got her on her feet in this new country. Thankfully they have stayed in touch with her over the years and gave us a more current address.

We drove about 30 minutes to this new address but sadly no one was home.
As we were driving away a Spanish family a couple doors down was just getting home. We thought they might be friends with Berta's kids, so we stopped and asked them if she still lived there. It turns out that they were relatives of her boyfriend. They said that they had just ran into Berta at Walmart and that she would be home any minute.

We were really excited by this point. We wanted this to work out for Bernabe's sake. About 10 minutes later Berta and her entire family pull into her driveway.

We explained who we were and that we had pictures and paperwork (documents that she had left behind) from her family in Petén. I know that her leaving Guatemala and all the events that surrounded that must have been very traumatic. So here we were... surprise... you now have to process this all in a matter of seconds. She was very kind to us and invited us in.
I cannot imagine her life and what all she has been through. I think it was difficult for her to look at photos of her family. She misses them. All of this took her back, to moments good and bad. She was very happy to hear about all of them. I took photos of her beautiful family to take back with us.
We videoed a message from her to her mom, dad, and siblings. Bernabe and Eulalio have 3 grandkids they have never met. Berta is applying for citizenship this Friday and then she will be able to get a US passport.
God just brought all of this about. We are so thankful and cannot wait to get back to Guatemala to see Bernabe!

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