by John LaBerge
My wife and I moved to Yuma, Arizona in June 2004. My wife is a devout Christian woman, however she has always had issues with people of Hispanic descent. The second Sunday of August 2004 when she got off work, she encountered a Hispanic woman and her 10-year-old son. The woman approached my wife, said she’d been waiting for her ride, but it was three hours late. The temperature was in the hundreds.
In broken English she said her son was sick and asked if my wife could give them a ride home. My wife, without hesitating, agreed to give them a ride. My wife isn’t familiar with Yuma, and is not very directional, so she stopped by our house so I could assist in getting them to their residence.
Arriving home, my wife called our assistant pastor, Michael (who speaks fluent Spanish) to meet us at the church and find out where the woman lived.
I drove them over to the church. Michael learned her name was Marguerite, and that she was an illegal alien who’d come from Idaho to Yuma with her husband a month ago. The husband had left her and their five children soon after arriving. After getting bottled water and food for them from the church, my wife, Michael and myself drove Marguerite and Renaldo across town to their home.
The family was living in a tiny trailer, in desperate straits. The mother was working at what she could find, selling tamales in front of the local grocery store. She had barely scraped up enough money to get into this tiny dwelling. She had no beds, so the children were sleeping on the floor. They had few clothes and no air-conditioning. That’s not good when temperatures rise into the 110’s on a regular basis.
My wife was overwhelmed by their level of poverty. She returned to our home, picked through closets and cupboards and returned to Marguerite’s. Our pastor’s wife also got medicine for the sick boy, and clothing from church members.
Monday my wife and our pastor’s wife picked up Marguerite, brought her to the local mission and helped register her kids for school. The mission gave Marguerite clothing vouchers for her kids. I asked at my office for beds for a needy family and the response was swift. Five days after meeting Marguerite we delivered three beds.
We plan to continue helping Marguerite and her family in any way that we can. My wife believes Marguerite was brought to her to help heal her negative opinion of Hispanic people. Just by showing someone cared, my wife let Marguerite know that she was not alone.
Saying yes to helping people can really change your life. I’ve never felt better than the day we helped this family in need. It doesn’t take much to make a big difference in someone’s life.