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A Pear and a Prayer

prayer of hope There is nothing like visiting a Compassion child’s home. Nothing prepares you for the sights, sounds, smells. And nothing prepares you for the beating your heart takes.

It’s like you got in a fight with the Holy Spirit. And every time, the Spirit leaves you limping and bruised and better for the battle.

We arrived at Cesar’s house after winding our way through muddy Guatemalan cornfields. Sheets of plastic formed an inadequate barrier against the storm. Cesar’s mother welcomed us warmly, but her story was heartbreaking.

Her husband abandoned her, but not before beating her. What must it have been like for Cesar to watch his mother abused by the man who was supposed to be a protector? Then Cesar spoke.

He told us about having to drop out of school and having to go work in a factory hours from home.

I listened as every person in that room spoke words of encouragement to this brave young man: God has a plan for you. You can do anything. We love you.

Tears poured down his face. He was ready to give up. You could feel it in every fiber of his being. But somehow I know that he won’t.

I know because I watched a sponsor envelop Cesar in his arms. I watched that sponsor’s heart break. And in that brokenness, I saw determination.

Cesar knelt while our group circled around him. We prayed, words thick with tears. And the rain began to pour, thundering on the roof. What a beautiful sound.

After the last amen, Cesar’s mother ran into the yard. She grabbed a stick and began poking at their pear tree. Pears thumped to the ground. She picked them up and brought them to us.

“Muchas gracias,” she said. “Gracias,” we repeated. She wanted so badly to give us something back. Little did she know how full our hearts already were.

Give justice to the poor and the orphan;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. —Psalm 82:3–4, NIV

Prayer: Father, help us be filled with your spirit—in the broken places, may joy grow.


Read all the One in Spirit [3] devotionals.