Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Making a Difference: The Bravest Woman in Mexico

My sister told me about Marisol Valles Garcia, a 20 year old girl who has been named "The Bravest Woman in Mexico."  I'm going to give you a link to a news article about her, but here's the nutshell.  In a small Mexican town on the Texas border, gangs and drug lords have taken over.  There is rampant violence.  The drug groups are known for killing mayors, police officers, anyone who stands in their way.  They killed the chief of police and left his head outside the police station.

After his death, the position was vacant for a long time (understandably so).  Until this woman stepped up. 

Marisol Valles Garcia Photo 

She is 20 years old, mother of one child, is in school for criminology.  Not exactly who you would expect to lead the fight against serious bad guys.  Her reason for taking the job?  "I'm doing this for my people," she said, "I'm tired of all the drug violence."  This woman is my hero.  It's a situation that looks hopeless.  That looks like evil will win.  Not a single man in the whole town had the cajones to step up and fight.  And now Marisol, barely old enough to vote, is taking a stand.

All that stuff i said a few posts ago about making sacrifices for my BabyGirl?  Now i'm embarrassed by it.  That i could consider my job to be a "sacrifice", and here is this woman who goes to work every day knowing she might get killed.  The fact that she also has a baby makes it so much more meaningful for me.  On the one hand, she has the courage and determination to make the world a better place for her child.  But on the other hand, the process of making the world a better place might just turn her child into an orphan. 

I pray frequently for Marisol.  I pray that God would keep her safe, and bless her efforts.  I pray that He would protect her baby.  I pray that He would stop all the drug activity in her town.  I pray that He will use Marisol to make a difference.

There's a scene in the movie "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" that comes to my mind.  During the final battle, the big super-scary King of the Ring-Wraiths is kicking butt.  He's huge, and he has a big ole mace that takes out multiple people in one swing.  He's sort of like a ghost, so it's difficult to kill him because he's not really alive to begin with.  Anyway, Eowyn is disguised as a man, and finds herself in a one-on-one fight with the Nazgul King.  He says to her mockingly, "No man can kill me."  She dramatically rips of her helmet, shakes out her long blond hair, and replies, "I am no man."

I can imagine those rough, tough, hateful thugs in Mexico laughing when they heard about little Marisol becoming police chief.  And i can imagine what Marisol's family probably said when she told them she'd decided to take the job.  Her abuela probably said, "But Marisol, no man in Mexico wants that position."  And then Marisol could say, "I am no man." 

It gives me goosebumps.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about Marisol's situation.  For some reason it has affected me profoundly.  You will likely see several more posts about this, because i have more to say than i can fit in one day.  It brought back a memory of something i experienced in Mexico many years ago.  I was in high school, on a church mission trip to a few little towns in Mexico.  Our church sponsored two orphanages, so we went to help out and encourage the children there.  There was a married couple who ran the orphanage, and they had a daughter named Carolina who was about 18 years old.  She also worked at the orphanage.  She told a story about a time when she felt very helpless.  She saw the poverty and crime and illness in her village and cried out to God, "Senor, donde esta Su mano? [Lord, where is Your hand?]"  She heard Him say to her, "Carolina, tu eres mis manos [you are my hands]."

That has really stuck with me.  My life is a breeze compared to Carolina and Marisol, but we all go through times when things are bad and we say, God where are you?  When will you intervene? Do you see what's going on here?  Do you care?

The answer is that He does see; He does care.  He will intervene, but He needs to use our hands to do it.  He uses our hands to hug an orphan.  He uses our hands to care for the sick.  He uses our hands to feed the hungry.  He uses our hands to fight injustice.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

For further reading, here is the news article:

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