A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.-John 13:34
For those who do not know the story of Veronica, I wrote about her in our introductory post of this blog (see link below). However, I will give the nutshell version here; Veronica was a homeless girl whom we met about 20 years ago. She was ten years old then. She left the streets and lived in our missionary community until she became an adult. Today Veronica is 30 years old. She lives in a city called Ponta Grossa which is in the southern Brazilian State called Paraná. We travelled ten hours by bus to visit her last week.
Veronica came to this city from São Paulo with almost nothing. She worked in a Drug Rehabilitation Center for a few years and she eventually got a position as an advocate for abused and abandoned children. Veronica had firsthand knowledge of the plight and suffering of these children but she lacked any formal training in the legal matters concerning her work. A particular director of a social program saw Veronica’s potential and helped her to get scholarships for training programs. This eventually perked her interest in Law and now she is due to completing her Law degree.
Veronica had planned a busy schedule for us in Ponta Grossa. There was a list of people she wanted us to meet. For Veronica, we are her spiritual parents and she wanted to show her parents all the good things that had happened in her life. Needless to say, we could not keep to the schedule due to time restraints. However, we saw enough to realize how God has transformed this homeless girl into a rich child of God in this city. Her treasures are where neither rust, moth or thieves could steal.
One visit that marked me was with a single mother with a two year old toddler. Veronica was the godmother of this child. Veronica met this young mother when she was about to get an abortion. Abortion is available in Brazil even though it is officially illegal (personally, I don’t how this works). Veronica had a long talk with this young woman and managed to talk her out of the abortion. The young woman herself was an adopted child of a wealthy family in the city but for some reason, she was estranged from the family. They had practically abandoned her. She was squatting in an abandoned house and had no financial resources. She was planning to use pills to effect an abortion. However, she really wanted to keep the baby but was afraid that she could not manage financially and emotionally.
Veronica used her own personal money to help this woman rent a small apartment. She also supported her emotionally during her pregnancy. The family eventually took their adopted daughter back after the birth of the child and assumed financial responsibility for her. When we visited this young mother, she was truly happy to see Veronica and she gave all of us warm hugs. Most importantly, we saw the baby boy sleeping peacefully in his bed. This boy wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Veronica’s willingness to be God’s instrument of compassion and love to this young woman. This was something Veronica did privately and no one knows about it, not even her husband. Veronica wanted us to see it. It was something special she wanted to share with us.
We met many people like this young woman who were blessed by Veronica’s kindness and generosity. However, the most powerful sign of her willingness to God’s instrument was the young toddler sleeping in his crib. The baby is alive because this young girl twenty years ago said “yes” to God. Veronica is forever part of this young child’s life and so are we through her. God has made us rich indeed.
Read the story of Veronica on our Introduction Post: