I love little fighters. You know the ones – the kids that seem to defy the odds every day. The children that keep saying, “I will not let my circumstances define me.” There are so many of them here in Guatemala. I remember years ago meeting a bright-eyed teen named Cecilia. She had literally grown up in government orphanages. But she was a tenacious girl, and she saw a life bigger than her cinder block and razor wire walls. It was that spirit that allowed her to live in a transition home with several other young women. I asked her what she wanted to do with her life, and she was resolute in her answer. “I want to be an attorney. I want to make a change in my country.”
I’ve met another Cecilia, though she doesn’t know what she wants to be or what her name is. In fact, no one knows at this point. Little “Victoria” came to live at Eagle’s Nest only a few weeks ago. She was relinquished to the court system, and God made sure she found a good home on a mountaintop. She’s a feather of a baby who can easily get lost in your arms when you hold her. The mamas at Eagle’s Nest are working diligently to help her gain weight, and she is monitored throughout the night to make sure she is resting well. They’re not sure if she can hear the gentle voices telling her she’s fearfully and wonderfully made. But they keep whispering.
You see, Victoria only has one little misshapen ear. And she’s prone to seizures. Though she’s two months old, she is the size of a newborn. It’s difficult for her to suckle. The odds are stacked against her.
But Victoria is a fighter. You can feel it when you hold her and let her tiny hand wrap around your finger. You can hear it in her cry. You can see it when she’s sleeping. She wants to grow and thrive. But she needs so much care, so much love.
So her family at Eagle’s Nest fights for her and alongside her. And when you meet her, you can’t help but want to join her team. It’s easy to picture her running on the playground or reading books or singing “Sapo Sapo” with the kids at New Day School. And I believe she will do all these things – and more.
Last night, as my precious team from Austin Christian Fellowship spent their last evening with the kids at Eagle’s Nest, several of us took turns snuggling with Victoria. As she slept, her rhythmic breathing captivated me. It was bigger than she was. It seemed to say, “I’m strong. I’m brave. I’m here.”
Yes you are, little fighter. Yes you are.