Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: WASTE (10/11/18)
TITLE: Hilda - her true story
By Jack Taylor
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Hilda’s is one such story. Hilda was twelve when her mother in Honduras sold her to another family to be their housekeeper. She was confused but went to work cleaning and cooking, not realizing that most girls her age went to school.
She lived off the leftovers from the meals she had to cook. She also lived off the scraps from the neighbors who set out their garbage for their dog. She was hungry but learned to live on what was.
It was a Tuesday morning when the army sergeant walked by the home as she was hanging out the laundry. He walked into the yard, grabbed her by the arm and took her to a home the soldiers had claimed for their local headquarters. He ravaged her without mercy, locked her in the basement and left her for others to use. She lived off the scraps they left behind for her.
It was almost a year before someone forgot to lock the door behind them. She walked tentatively into the sunshine and found her way home, to her mother. Her mother scolded her and took her back to the people who had bought her. They beat her for leaving them and set her back to work with harder chores. The food was more challenging to come by. She often cried herself to sleep.
It was a Thursday, this time, while she was digging out a new section of the yard for a garden when the army sergeant walked by and saw her. He grabbed her by the arm and dragged her back to the same basement suite where he ravaged her again. The cook up the stairs threw the leftovers down the stairs like he was feeding the pigs, and she often licked the stairs clean to get all she could.
Three years into her confinement, she gave birth to a baby girl. She was alone when she delivered at the age of sixteen. “Elizabeth,” she said. When she cleaned the baby off the best she could she went to the small two by two barred window which let in the only light and she began to call. Eventually, a woman stopped and leaned down. “Take my baby to my mother,” she said. “I can’t keep her.” She squeezed her only child through the bars.
Eighteen months after delivering her baby, the door was left open again. She walked out and kept on walking until she crossed into Guatemala. For two years she lived on the waste piles from the garbage dumps, restaurants and grocery stores. Police beat her regularly until she hardly felt the blows from their fists and clubs. She hadn’t bathed in years and depended on the sparse rain for cleaning.
After a week in a filthy jail cell, she determined to walk on and made her way to Mexico where she repeated the experiences she had living off of the waste piles. She was at the mercy of gangs who took advantage of her, often exchanging herself for something to eat. She was numb to anything and everything.
It took her three tries before she made it across the U.S. border without getting arrested. She walked across desert plains until she could hardly move. Someone picked her up off of the ground and sheltered her for a few days before releasing her to forage in Houston. The authorities were busy picking up illegals and so she prayed and walked all the way to California.
Authorities were still busy so she prayed and walked all the way to Washington where she stayed until she got restless by a changing political climate. At the age of 39, she finally walked across the Canadian border.
She arrived at our refugee home, severely crippled in her feet. Her mind and soul were wasted by the years of abuse. She was a stranger to love. She had no tears left to cry as she poured out her story. She trusted no man and yet somewhere on the journey she had come to believe in Jesus. She talked with him as a friend who had walked every step of her journey.
She learned to read and cherished the Word of God. She prayed many times through the nights, knowing that none of her time was wasted. In time, she was given her own place.
She is like family and I know God doesn’t consider a single minute with her wasted.
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