I am privileged to know many heroines. One of them is called Gabriela. I first met her when she was thirteen years old. She lives in a remote village here in Ecuador, far into the countryside along an unmade road. Her father has been quadraplegic since she was eleven after he suffered a tragic accident. The family toppled from making ends meet head long into abject poverty. Gabriela's parents were in Quito for a year while her father was fighting for his life in the hospital. Gabriela finished primary school but could not go to secondary school. She dedicated herself to helping her mother once her father finally came home. She washed and cared for him as he lay in bed all day. She learned to suction his tracheostomy tube to keep him breathing. She milked the two cows and sold the milk. She collected the eggs from the chickens and often cooked dinner. She was a child losing her youth in her service to her parents.
I began visiting the family providing rehabilitation and medical support and was impressed by Gabriela's quiet dedication to her family. She is a child of the King. She is a precious child of God. She had to have more of a future. I could not ignore her plight.
I found a sponsor for Gabriela to pay for the cost of sending her to school. She could help her family during the week and make the long journey into town on Saturdays to attend a distance learning school.
Without education Gabriela's future was bleak. She was being condemned to an eternal cycle of poverty and hardship. She would continue to live hand to mouth, fearful that she would go hungry. Gabriela deserved more. All children do. I was filled with joy as I told her she had the opportunity to go to school. Gabriela's face lit up as hope flooded her eyes.
Gabriela is a heroine because she has pursued her dream of becoming an agriculturalist with dedication, while never failing to make sure her father is well cared for. She is now in her final year of secondary school. She is going to make it.
I hope Gabriela goes on to find work she enjoys through which she can provide for her family in a dignified manner. I hope Gabriela receives the love and joy of her own family one day. I hope she finds a husband who will love and cherish her for the very special person she is. I hope she knows deep in her soul how much her Heavenly Father loves her, and follows his path for her life.
I am in Ecuador to have the privilege of lending a helping hand to heroines such as Gabriela. It is a privilege I enjoy everyday.