Ofelia stands in the kitchen of the home she shares with her daughter and son-in-law in Guatemala.
Dec 30 2016

With age comes wisdom

Ofelia stands in the kitchen of the home she shares with her daughter and son-in-law in Guatemala.

Ofelia stands in the kitchen of the home she shares with her daughter and son-in-law in Guatemala.

Seventy-eight-year-old Ofelia proves the age-old adage, “with age comes wisdom,” to be true.

“My first advice is to trust God,” Ofelia said. “If you want life, ask for it. Pray. Get on your knees and ask God to give you more life.”

Ofelia has done plenty of praying in her life. Widowed at 28, she was left to raise her three children on her own in Guatemala. Over the years, she has sold vegetables in the local market and cleaned homes to provide for her family.

Ofelia continues to work by making and selling chocolate for hot drinks. She lives with her daughter and son-in-law, and by working she’s able to contribute to the household income.

Her parents cultivated in her a strong work ethic as she grew up.

“I was 7 years old when I started selling vegetables,” Ofelia said. “I used to carry vegetables [in a basket] over my head for hours.”

As Ofelia reflected on how times have changed throughout the course of her life, she believes the world today is much louder, with more violence and less understanding.

For youth growing up in an unstable world, she has some advice for overcoming life’s challenges.

“Our world is filled with many temptations,” Ofelia said. “Please stay away from those things, it will do you good. Respect your parents, treat them with love and give them your time, that’s what we treasure most from our children. And go to church.”

Respect your parents, treat them with love and give them your time ... — Ofelia, 78, from Guatemala Click To Tweet

Over the past 10 years, Ofelia has been sponsored by Barry and his wife from Georgia.

Ofelia uses their support to purchase food items that she otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford on her income selling chocolate.

“I enjoy getting milk and corn flakes, that’s what I like most,” Ofelia said. “I get other food supplies, like sugar, rice, oatmeal, beans, cooking oil, pastas and other goods. I wouldn’t be able to buy all those things, and I like all of those things.”

While Ofelia acknowledges many things have changed in her lifetime, one thing hasn’t changed.

“There will always be good people to support you,” Ofelia said.

Ofelia regards her sponsors as two good people who she appreciates deeply.

“I pray for my sponsors all the time,” Ofelia said. “I want you to tell them that please, and tell them that I love them. I ask the Lord to give me the opportunity to meet them so I can hug them and make some hot chocolate for them. But if I die before meeting them, please tell them that I will take them with me in my heart.”

Help elders like Ofelia. Sponsor today.

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