The Story of Sarai
Through a friend of ours, we were very blessed to meet a beautiful, smiling, single mother of six named Sarai (second from the left in the photo). By looking at her, you’d never guess in a million years what she’s been through.
A few years ago Sarai escaped from her violent husband. She was covertly transferred hours away from a coastal city in Costa Rica to a small city near our mission post. Her husband was then sentenced to fifty years in prison on accounts of domestic violence. They had been married for 15 years and had six kids together.
Sarai lost everything and had to start over. Luckily, she and her children were relocated to a place close to an uncle of hers, who happened to live near the popular tourist town of La Fortuna. Here she was able to find a job.
Even though Sarai found what many would consider a prestigious job as a high-end chef at a five-star hotel, she is only making 1200 colones per hour—which is equivalent to about $2.00 an hour.
With the cost of living in this tourist town, her salary would be barely enough to support just herself. As it stands, she needs to pay bills and feed her family of eight, who all live in a small one-bedroom apartment. They have a total of three beds for all of them to share and no outside space for them to play—save a skinny sidewalk leading to the street. Can you imagine? Eight people, including your mother, sharing three beds?
Sarai has a dream—a dream to start her own business baking cakes and other decorated sweets to sell. She’s dreamed it enough to have found and priced all the bare minimum materials needed to get started.
Sarai proudly showed us pictures of the creations she already makes for her hotel job: exquisitely prepared cakes and other baked goods. She would have already started selling her baked goods on the side to make ends meet, even in addition to working sometimes 14 hours a day. But her landlord won’t let her connect an oven due to the electricity bill it would incur.
Now we have the same dream as Sarai: not only to eventually help her start her own business but first to get her family into a house that fits them. We want to help her get out of survival mode so she can sustain feeding her family on her own.
God has brought our two families together. I know we are meant to help his family. We sometimes struggle greatly with the inequality of the circumstances of life. But instead of dwelling on this, I’m remembering that God loves to use us all when we agree to be used by Him. Which is, in fact why we are here, praise God! The Lord hears the cries of the poor.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”