“In quietness and confidence is your strength.”
Going back to our early days of 2012, Kaitana and her sister Mary are some of our earliest members of La Casa de La Paz. Both sisters are warm and friendly neither is shy or withdrawn and rarely if ever do they miss a meeting. Yet I’ve never heard either of them speak, ever. Recently after five plus years, Kaitana decided to share some of her story. Everyone was listening very closely that night and here is what she said:
“My parents were alcoholics, they both used to get very drunk together. I was the first one born but they both rejected and looked down on me. They did not love me and they were always very drunk. Then my sister was born and things stayed the same. As a little girl now they rejected and mistreated two of us and not me alone. I was only 8 years of age and was already being abused. They loved and cared for the boys but gave my sister and I almost no food as only the males in the family were fed. So as I was growing only the food was given to them and we had to go to the river to get our own food; to get some fish to eat. Sometimes I found fishes that were dead or crabs and then I had to share them with my brothers since my parents were too drunk to care to feed any of us. When I look back I am so grateful to God that we did not get poisoned since many times we ate dead fish found in the river. My brothers would eat them happily but I used to get very worried that we will get sick or die by eating those dead fishes. I was very grateful to God for the food, but as time passed I grew tired of not having food every single day or clothes to wear either. Then I left to start my own business in my own house. When I started the tortilla business my parents and my brothers stopped talking to me. I had became like an enemy to them. I was without my family and completely alone. I used to pray a lot as without them I really felt very lonely and I was only 20 years old.
Later I met a young man and I fell in love with him. After months of knowing each other he had to go and join the military. This was during the war time. I spent months crying for him, missing him, when suddenly I received a message that he had been killed in the military. I still cry for him every day since he was the first man I loved. After him, I could not love anyone anymore. I spent my life alone. Now I am 70 years old and I keep working in houses and cleaning clothes just to be able to survive. I thank God that I met some ladies from La Casa de La Paz (the house of God’s peace) because they are like a family to me and I feel very joyful and peaceful in our meetings. We talk about God and now I don’t feel alone.
I never went to school and I do not know how to read or write. But I know that He listens to me and when I hear about Him I feel very happy and grateful that God has found me. With His help I was able to recover from all these traumas, from all the pain and all the hate. I have learned to forgive. This is what I learned in the meetings at La Casa de La Paz. I learned to find peace within myself. God is unique and He is so wonderful. Yes He exists and we just have to kneel and ask Him for all we need because He is our real Father. I see what God has done in my life. I am so grateful to Neil and to La Casa de La Paz that this place exists because here we find women that have had difficult pasts and we are all recovering together and all learning a new way of life. Today we have joy and peace. I am trying to inspire all these people that read my story. It was painful but we can all recover and find joy in the name of GOD.”
Over the years in her own uniquely quiet way, as the peace of Christ has been growing and developing in her heart, Kaitana and has been inviting us of La Casa de La Paz into a greater sense of the peace of Christ. Now we in turn invite you our reader to stop for a few moments by interrupting the busyness of your day to ponder the peace of Christ personally in reflecting on our master’s Holy Spirit filled words,
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled …” (John 14:27)
After this brief meditation please pass it on because “… blessed are the peace makers” or saying it another way the peace makers are blessed.