Benita says each day she gives thanks for another day of life. That gratitude is difficult for some to understand, given all she’s gone through in her 17 years of life.
At the age of eight, Benita was abandoned by her mother in Honduras. The young girl was distraught and confused. How could her very own mother just walk out the door and not come back?
For the next six years, Benita’s aunt did the best she could to raise her. Still, Benita suffered emotionally, continuing to long for her mother.
Finally, one day in April 2014, Benita’s mother showed up at the aunt’s house.
“My mom asked me to go with her to El Salvador. She said she was sorry for leaving and that she was going to take care of my education. I believed her,” Benita says.
Sadly, that’s not how it worked out. Just 20 days after arriving in the new country, Benita’s mom inexplicably – and unimaginably – left her daughter once again.
“I felt an emptiness. I asked myself, why must I go through all of this?” she recalls.
With no one else to care for her in the foreign country, Benita was taken to a protection center with others who’ve been abused or abandoned. That’s where she received caring and counseling that you make possible.
“At the center, I met Johana of Orphan Helpers who comforted me. Johana and Soledad (the Orphan Helpers country director) taught me more about God and how to overcome life’s difficult situations. Thanks to them, I’m a different person knowing that He loves me,” she says. “I truly thank God for everything that has happened to help bring me to this place in life.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
– Psalm 30:11-12