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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Valentine (05/16/05)

TITLE: Amor Por Ti
By Teresa Oswald
05/23/05


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Kelsey’s silky blond ponytail bounced with the jostling of the van as she rested with her head on David’s shoulder. His muscular arm lay across the back of their seat, his head against the window as dust from the lead van billowed past. Sarah made herself stop staring at them and continued writing in her journal.

"valentine’s day. i AM happy for david and kelsey. it IS
romantic that they got engaged today. but i can’t help
this sadness.

"38, Lord. nearly old enough to be their mother and
now THEY’RE engaged. i love serving you, but i am so
LONELY. i would really like someone
to walk this road
with me. i’m afraid it’s too late for me now.

"everyone on these trips thinks i’m happy and content.
mostly i am. but all i ever wanted was to be a wife
and mother. and here i am, a single, childless career
woman. my job is great. and my work with the ministry.
but God, PLEASE, i want my valentine."

Sarah closed the notebook as the van pulled to a stop outside the orphanage. She stowed it in her backpack and helped pile everyone’s personal belongings in one of the seats. Kelsey reached back and stuffed a flier advertising the mission trip into her backpack's front zipper pouch.

Sarah knew the front of that flier by heart. Not only had she taken the photo, a close-up of a slightly dirty Mexican child with large brown eyes, she had chosen the caption. “Look Into the Eyes of Jesus.” And at the bottom, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these…Matt. 25:40 NIV”

Everyone spent the next thirty minutes fighting blowing dust as they unloaded boxes of lice shampoo and spray, clothing, school supplies, medicine and more.

With everything intended for Santa Maria’s stacked next to the school building, the four-man evangelism team prepared to leave for town. David hugged Kelsey goodbye, jumped into the van and waved goodbye, an enormous grin plastered on his face.

The remaining group separated into teams and began to attack their specific responsibilities. Sarah’s group worked for hours de-lousing the children while others played outside with the untreated children, helped the treated children find new clothing or entertained them inside the school house. Still others cleaned and de-loused the sleeping quarters, boiled laundry and worked in the kitchen.

Sarah look down at her hands as she combed through the last child’s hair. These were not her hands. They were her mother’s. So many lines.

She was brought back to the present by a small hand on her arm. “Gracias, Senora.” The little boy had turned around in his chair and was gazing up at her with a faint smile.

“De nada. You’re welcome sweetheart.” She pointed him toward Jennifer who was waiting to take him to finish cleaning up and get fitted with a fresh outfit of clothing.

Sarah and her team cleaned up their mess, grabbed their backpacks and the last few boxes of lice shampoo and headed for their make-shift bucket shower next to the stream. “Don’t forget to keep your mouths closed when we rinse,” she reminded the others. “We don’t need anybody down with dysentery.”

By the time they were finished, everyone was gathered around a bonfire eating beans and rice. Sarah sat on the ground as she ate and listened half-heartedly to Chale’s Bible lesson. “Jesus told us that He is with us always.”

Suddenly Klay was standing next to her with the little boy who had thanked her. “Amador wanted to see you,” Klay whispered. Amador held out a construction paper heart. Sarah took it and read the crayon writing on the back.

Mi amor por ti
Es mas grande
De todo
Los Montanas

“My love for you is greater than all the mountains,” she translated.

She gazed thoughtfully into Amador’s large brown eyes as he shyly smiled down at her. In her heart she heard a Whisper. It was startlingly clear. “I love you. Won’t you be MY Valentine?”

“Yes, Lord.”

She hugged Amador. “Gracias, Amato, Beloved. Gracias.”


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This article has been read 575 times
Member Comments
Member Date
RON BRADY LARSON05/23/05
This story brought a tear to my eye. Thank you Jesus for your Love.
Pat Guy 05/23/05
Wonderful and an entertaining read!
Leticia Caroccio05/24/05
What a sweet read. I especially liked to read about your hands; as they combed Amador's hair, as you looked at them and saw your mother's hands. If I were an artist I would choose to paint hands. This was a piece that touched a secret chord in my heart that I've had for lonely, lost and sad children. Nicely done.
Crista Darr05/24/05
This brought a tear to my eye also. Very beautiful!
Madonna Hooper05/25/05
As a single woman I could totally relate to this story. Brought a tear to my eye for many reasons. Thanks.
Suzanne R05/30/05
This was a really touching article. It is lovely to see a single older lady (mmm ... well, like me, actually, not really 'older' but....!) openly struggle with singleness, but choose to get on with life and make a difference! I think I especially loved this piece because I identified very strongly with it, being a single Australia woman who is very familiar with missions settings. Thanks for touching my heart, and I'm sure you've touched many others too.
Teresa Oswald05/30/05
Thanks for the great comments. I want to make a correction. I had my bro-in-law check my Spanish and he said that the verse written by Amador should read, 'Mi amor por ti es mas grande de todas las montanas.' I wrote this in honor of Tina, my sister's sister-in-law, a beautiful single lady who serves the Lord with all her heart. I love and admire her very much.
Deborah Porter 05/31/05
Hi Teresa. Just popping in very quickly to let you know that you were in the semi-finals for the Valentine Challenge and did very well. So give ourself a pat on the back - you deserve it! Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)