Maritza has been living and working with us for five months now. She has helped me in learning Spanish and especially in understanding the Lenca Indian culture. She has also become a good friend of mine. While living with us, she has been away from her family for the first time, she has become more outgoing, has started teaching Children’s Sunday school at church and she has gone from not caring if she finished school to wanting to be a doctor. However, this week when we returned from Christmas, Maritza did not show up for work. This is very unlike her as she has never done that before. We tried calling on several occasions but never reached her. Her sister stopped by last Wednesday and told us that Maritza is not coming back to work. She assured us that is was nothing that we had done but that it was a personal decision of Maritza’s. We are very troubled by this for several reasons. A little over a month ago Maritza told me that she had a new boyfriend and that he is thirty (she is 18.) An age difference is normal here but 12 years is a little much. However, her family celebrated this because he is able to provide since he is older. Their aspirations for Maritza are for her to get married and have children though not necessarily in that order. Rumor has it that her boyfriend is married and has one other girlfriend. We have also heard that they have been getting drunk on the weekends. It is fairly normal for young girls to date older men- even married ones but it still breaks our heart. Since dating him, her attitude has change and her work ethic. More concerning is that she has stopped going to church. For all this to change so suddenly is very concerning. We are sure that the new boyfriend has had an influence on her decisions and on her pulling away from the church. Please join us in prayer for her, that her eyes would be open to His will. Please also pray for us that we would have wisdom and grace in dealing with her.
Since writing this post a week ago, we found out that Maritza got married and moved two and half hours away. We have not talked to her and have no way to see her. We are very sad to have lost this friendship so quickly and abruptly. Please continue to pray for her as she begins this new life, that God would place people of Peace in her life.
On a lighter note, the day after her sister told me that Maritza was not coming back to work, her sister showed up to our house again while I was at school. She cleaned, cooked and moved into Maritza’s room. We were very confused by this and asked a Honduran what was going on. Apparently, one way to get a job here is to just start working in someone elses place. We had decided not to replace Maritza so we had to tell her sister we would not to be hiring her. It was a little on the awkward side and yet another example of the difference in cultures.