Yesterday we arrived at the school for a parent meeting only to find it had been cancelled at the last minute so that everyone could attend the funeral of a community member. As a group of teachers stood at the gate discussing the day's events, a story began to unfold. And we all began to wonder about the future of one little boy suffering in unthinkable hardship and heartbreak.
Two days ago, little Erick's father went to the woods to cut and gather firewood to sell on the roadside. A large branch fell from a tree above and killed him. It is a tragic loss for sure. But it also means a severe blow to the family's income potential.
Little Erick isn't really little. In fact, he stands heads above his classmates in Steve's first-grade class—something that struck us as odd in a community of indigenous people known for their small stature. As it turns out, Erick towers over his classmates because he is nearly 12 years old. He's never been able to attend school until now. His family probably moved around a lot or were too poor to provide the supplies and uniforms required for a public education in Honduras. But no one really knows for sure how this preteen ended up squeezing himself into the minuscule desk of a first-grader. It's hard to imagine how isolated Erick must feel among his tiny classmates. But he must be eager to learn, the world opening up before him as he painstakingly tries to grasp the fundamentals of reading and writing.
It's unclear is Erick will return to school in the coming weeks. He may need to find work to help his family survive. Or he may be too distraught after this great loss. Either way, this not-so-little boy and his family are in desperate need of a comforting touch from the Father. The future must be blurry behind the tears of heartbreak, loss and fear. Will you join us in prayer for Little Erick and his family this weekend? We are praying especially that His love will be even more brilliantly evident through the darkness of despair.