Poorest of the Poor, by Matt Cooper, Back2Back Cancun Staff

A few weeks ago we were introduced to a family. The social worker from the DIF (Child & Family Services) here in Cancun said she wanted us to meet a family, and wondered if there was anything we could do for them, as they were in a very rough situation.

Fifteen year-old Noehmi, is lower functioning, perhaps mildly mentally challenged. A few months back Noehmi had a baby, and has been receiving some services through the teenage mom program that we’ve been serving back to back with here. Noehmi lives with her younger sister, who is in sixth grade, and her 17 year-old brother, who is no longer in school. These three teenagers live with their elderly grandparents.

The grandfather is not in good health. Their mother has passed away. And their father, who had always supported the entire family has recently been sentenced to prison. The father’s old employer leant a room to the family to stay in.

When the social worker took us out to see the family, we met them in this tiny back room of a house with a tin roof that was caving in over their heads.

“Every time it rains all of our things get drenched,” they explained.

They family had been making payments on a plot of land, but the income from her grandma selling tamales, and the 17 year-old washing car windows at intersections had been barely enough to feed the family, let alone have anything left to make payments on their land, or to build a home.

“So, do you think there is something Back2Back can do for this family?,” asked the social worker.

For a moment, we sat in silence, and I felt overwhelmed, helpless, wondering what I could do to really make any difference. It all seemed so urgent. Yet, I felt like I had no resources at my fingertips, no solutions to offer. And then God brought something to my mind.

Several weeks earlier, a friend of ours on Back2Back staff in Monterrey shared that someone had given her some money and asked her to use it when she came across a situation of the “Poorest of the Poor”. Our friend had shared with us that she praying about where to use the money in Monterrey, but felt that God might equally want to use the money in Cancun, and that we to should be praying and should let her know if we came up with a need.

I was convinced that this was it, this money was given for Noehmi’s family. I contacted our friend and learned that the money was still available. The social worker contacted the land owner of a plot of land the family had making payments on, and permission was given to begin working on construction of a new home for the family – somewhere they could call their own.

I could not have been more excited for the way God put the pieces together and for the way we’re going to have a chance to bless this family in a very, very real way.

Noehmi with her daughter, Miriam

Noehmi's sister, Blanca, making tamales with their grandmother

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