When Silveria left her hometown in the Peruvian Andes, she and four of her children climbed into a truck and took the long trip toward Lima. Her husband had abandoned them three years prior.
“I went to Lima with the purpose to change my life forever. I used to say to my children, new city, new life.”
Two of her oldest children were already in Lima working and attending school.
After her husband left, life turned into a routine for the family and each day Silveria’s mother, who lived nearby in the village, went to the fields with her four grandchildren.
The family would return around noon to have lunch and enjoy fellowship with Silveria, helping her do the household chores. But one day a man from the town, who knew that Silveria was alone doing her chores, snuck into the house and raped her.
When Silveria and her mother told Silveria’s brothers about this incident, they immediately went to the police station to file a claim. But, the rapist had fled the area.
Some weeks later Silveria discovered that she was pregnant. She felt humiliated and knew that she was going to be segregated by the townspeople. Her oldest brother invited his sister and her four children to come to his home in Lima as soon as possible where he would help her settle in a place near him.
When Silveria and her children arrived in Lima City, she registered at a temporary government program as a bricklayer. Despite being pregnant, she got the job because of her positive attitude. Then she looked for a place to live.
“I was told that the squatter community was being enhanced, so I requested a space to settle there.”
Several weeks later she was given a space to build a home. She worked hard for four months, until she reached the eighth month of her pregnancy and was asked to quit.
“With the money I earned, my brother and oldest son helped me buy some plywood to build a house.”
A neighbor then told her to go to Mount Sinai Church to register with our ministry’s Child Survival Program.
“I was told about the Child Survival Program and all the benefits for the baby and me. The first thing I was taught at the program was that I should have pre-natal check-ups.”
The new baby was born healthy and Silveria tells us, proudly looking at her chubby infant,
“Since I had been working hard as bricklayer, the delivery was faster than my previous deliveries. Shortly before the time I had to deliver, my mother joined us, which was a joy for the family.”
Her brothers decided to send for their mother by bus since she missed her daughter and cried each time she remembered her grandchildren, to whom she is very attached.
One morning, when the baby was around 3 months old, someone else knocked on the door. Silveria felt absolutely stunned, not knowing what to say or to do, because standing on the porch was her husband, who had come to rejoin the family.
“My siblings told my husband of all the things that happened to our family, and he came to us with a repentant heart.”
He apologized to Silveria’s brothers and then came to Lima to gather the family and to apologize to them also.
Now the family is living together and Silveria’s husband is working as a contract laborer at the Lima’s main fruit market, unloading fruit boxes from the trucks. Silveria’s husband enjoys playing with the baby each day after work.
“I notice that my husband has changed, and now he more positive. He even wants to register Manuel as his own son.”
Silveria is happy to have all her family living together again as before, although she would rather live in her hometown.
“I really don’t like Lima. I miss my hometown, its green valley, a spacious house and a nearby river.”
But on the other hand she recognizes that in life nothing is as perfect as we want; we have to lose something to gain another thing.
“Here my children study and work, while in the country there are no opportunities to do either.”
Today, Silveria and her family have gained not only work opportunities and study facilities for the children, but they are living a better quality life thanks to the many donors who have a sensitive heart for the poor through the Child Survival Program.